Chass (sapphires13) wrote in u2,

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Yeah, I didn't have any real intention of doing a SOTD this week, let alone this song. Nothing against this song, but it was never one of my favourites. I'd never really given it too much thought, until this past weekend.

"I Fall Down" from October

So last Saturday, I was having a kind of crappy time. I was cranky, and worried about some stuff, and my family was being a bit annoying. I ended up shutting myself in my room, and oddly enough, I had this song in my head for some reason, so I put it on.

Suddenly the song just clicked with me. I was lying down listening to it on my iPod with one arm slung over my face, and when Bono got to the "I broke myself" line, I started crying a little bit. I just felt useless, and the song seemed to be conveying some of that.
After I finished listening to the song, I pulled U2 by U2 off of my shelf, but was left disappointed. The song doesn't even get a mention. I got online instead, only to see that it never really got a decent SOTD here (and thus the seeds of "Should I SOTD it?" were sown), and so in my newfound appreciation for the song, I consulted other sources, and all I could find was this quote from Bono at a 1983 concert:

"This is a song... A song called "I Fall Down"... A song about whatever... Situation you're in... Where trying seems it's not enough, but it is enough... This is "I Fall Down.""

No wonder if clicked with me so well at that moment.

Now, lyrically, like several songs on October, I Fall Down is a little bit sparse and repetitive. Where some of the songs make up for that by being quite inventive musically (I Threw A Brick Through A Window being a perfect example), I Fall Down is pretty straightforward from beginning to end, with no specific thing really standing out.
The song starts out with just a piano, but an acoustic guitar is quickly faded in, with the bass and drums following with a slight crash at about the 15 second mark. The vocals come in at 23 seconds, and I love the music during the verses. Just the way the guitar alternates with those little piano notes. But what I like even better is the way the song builds toward the end of the first verse, building into this great crash as Bono sounds "I FALL DOWN!", which is followed by a little moment of just bass and drums, before the second verse.
The second verse is almost identical to the first musically, except that the musical build is a lot bigger, culminating into the crash into the chorus, where an electric guitar is added to the mix. After the chorus the piano is more prominent, and remains so throughout the following verse.
After the next chorus, the song gets really quiet, with the drums dropping out and a sort of soft musical break, before the music builds back into a crash for the final part of the song winds back down again.

Now as for the vocals themselves, I already pointed out that the song is a bit sparse and repetitive lyrically, but it seems to be about a girl named Julie telling her boyfriend that the relationship isn't working for her and that she wants to end it. The song is from the point of view of the boyfriend who is devastated and doesn't know how to deal with it.
In my head he recieves the Dear John letter in the mail and calls Julie up to confront her about it. His phone call wakes her up, and he immediately starts pleading his case. The scenario plays perfectly in my head, including "Julie say something" in response to her silence on the other end. Of course, the story in the song is left unfinished, so we never get to find out what became of John and Julie.

This SOTD is a bit scattered, but I did want to point out that there are certain bits in this song (as with almost any U2 song) where I'm just in love with Bono's voice, especially "Gonna walk in the sun, and the wind and the rain", which to put it phonetically is "gonna wok in the sun, and the wind and the raaaaaaaainuh" XD Also, I must mention the defiance in his voice on "You better not leave me here anyway"

And now I must also add that there are a couple of live performances of this song on YouTube, with this one being the superior of the two, at least in my opinion, although Bono's a little pissed off at the crowd, it seems.
What surprised me was one, how much better the song is live, and two, that Bono is playing lead guitar in much of it while Edge plays piano (and he looks really good doing it, if I do say so myself ;P)


Julie says
John I'm getting nowhere
I wrote this letter
Hope to get to someplace soon
I want to get up
When I wake up
But will I get up
I fall down

Julie wake up
Julie tell the story
You wrote the letter
Said you were gonna get there someday
Gonna walk in the sun
And the wind and the rain
Never walk back again

Now you fall down
You're falling down
You fall down
You fall down

Julie say something
Julie say you're sorry
You're gonna get better
You better not leave me here anyway
I wanna get up
When you wake up
When I get up
I fall down
And I'm falling down
I fall down
I broke myself

I fall...
I fall down
I'm falling down
I fall down
When you fall down
When I'm falling down
Is when you're falling down
When you fall down
I fall down
I fall down

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