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June 4th, 2007

One Tree Hill and other stuff @ 02:00 am

Hi everyone,
I have a question to ponder and a favor to ask.
First the question to ponder (and this could've been
posed way back before I was reading this journal):

I was thinking we could have a little "Best of" of our
own, see what people's favorite U2 songs are in
various categories. To start, I'd be interested in
hearing what song people would say is their best song
lyrically and why. Personally, I'd have to go with
"One Tree Hill". It just conjures up vivid imagery in
my head, I think it really tells a story, in a more
Simon and Garfunkel way than U2 songs typically do.

We turn away to face the cold, enduring chill
As the day begs the night for mercy love
The sun so bright it leaves no shadows
Only scars carved into stone
On the face of earth
The moon is up and over One Tree Hill
We see the sun go down in your eyes

You run like river, on like a sea
You run like a river runs to the sea

And in the world a heart of darkness
A fire zone
Where poets speak their heart
Then bleed for it
Jara sang, his song a weapon
In the hands of love
You know his blood still cries
From the ground

It runs like a river runs to the sea
It runs like a river to the sea

I don't believe in painted roses
Or bleeding hearts
While bullets rape the night of the merciful
I'll see you again
When the stars fall from the sky
And the moon has turned red
Over One Tree Hill

We run like a river
Run to the sea
We run like a river to the sea
And when it's raining
Raining hard
That's when the rain will
Break my heart

Raining...raining in the heart
Raining in your heart
Raining...raining to your heart
Raining, raining...raining
Raining to your heart
Raining...raining in your heart
Raining in your heart..
To the sea

Oh great ocean
Oh great sea
Run to the ocean
Run to the sea

"The Fly" is a close second, then maybe UTEOTW, after that it's all a

My favor request is partially related. I don't have
the original of One Tree Hill in mp3 format with the "great
ocean" bit at the end. If anyone were to be so kind as
to upload this, I would be forever in your debt. I am
also *dying* for a live mp3 of Tryin' To Throw Your Arms
Around the World from ZooTV (the DVD, or some other
show, esp. if you have a version without a TV
announcer talking at the end). Someone posted recently
how great the guitar is in the live version of that
(can't find the post), I completely agree and it
drives me crazy that I have to sit down and watch the
DVD in order to hear it.

Lastly, I was listening to the U2 marathon the other day,
and if anyone has "Are You Gonna Wait Forever" (B-side
to Vertigo) or "Don't Come Knockin'" (duet with Andrea
Corr for Wim Wenders flick) and wants to share, that would rock. :)
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[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 4th, 2007 06:08 am (UTC)
I think lyrically A Sort of Homecoming is really stunning. I'd have to stop and think of others, but off the top of my head that is definitely up there.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 4th, 2007 06:28 am (UTC)
You're so right! I think now that you mention it, that's my second favorite lyrically speaking.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 4th, 2007 06:49 am (UTC)
It's a tough choice, and one I'd probably want to think about for a while. But my first inclination was Love Is Blindness. "Love is clockworks and cold steel, fingers too numb to feel, squeeze the handle, blow out the candle, love is blindness" is probably my favourite singular U2 verse ever. It's dark, and it's abstract, but it definitely gets the message across.
Although I'm sure that if I took the time to ponder this question properly, I might come up with something else.

One Tree Hill and Exit, properly separated:


Also, here's Are You Gonna Wait Forever:

[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 4th, 2007 04:06 pm (UTC)
THANK YOU so much!!! :)
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 4th, 2007 07:24 am (UTC)
This is one of a really difficult question - U2 have so many songs with simply stunning lyrics. If I had to pick out one I'd feel bad immediately coz some other songs come to my mind just as urging. Anyway I think I like the lyrics of "Gone" most because they have a very intelligent "touch" of self-critique with a subsequent and hidden yearning for redemption of sorts on the one hand, and social awareness/critique on the other.

On the personal view it's about realizing how fame (in the case of Bono/U2) changed you and what you left behind or sacrificed in order to get there, and then you realize how some of your actions might have been of a greedy/hypocritical nature although you didn't want to admit it as such back then.
Additionally, to me, some of the lines also try to express the pain he still feels for the loss of his mother and how he wants to be re-united with her one day - and once dead he'd be up in the sun (=heaven) and leave behind the fame ("Goodbye, you can keep this suit of lights").
The lines
"And I'm already gone
Felt that way all along
Closer to you every day
Didn't want it that much anyway"
can be seen as either confessing this sort of ‘hypocrisy’ or greed, OR as realizing that he’s getting closer to die every day meaning he can be re-united with his mum. And although wanting it, he doesn’t want to die any time soon after all.

The lines
"then you discover...what you thought was freedom was just greed
goodbye... no emotional goodnight
we'll be up with the sun
are you still holding on
I'm not coming down
I'm not coming down”
Are pretty difficult to put meaning in, at least to me. On the one hand it symbolizes this step of self-awareness (stream of consciousness?) to me; it might be about realizing how what he just thought of (dieing, re-uniting with his mum, self-critique etc) was useless and that he wasn’t what he thought (greedy, a sell out...) and he and U2 would just keep true to themselves and not let others bring them down with their critique etc. Like saying “what the fuck, you cannot hurt me no matter what you do, I’m not coming down from my state of being/view on life/actions I do”.

(let me just copy a statement from songmeanings.net who just expresses what I also think):
In addition to the more personal interpretations, these lyrics are a critique of society, much like the rest of the album. It's about rising above the artificial needs society imposes on us and attempting to reconcile the conflicting impulses of being true to yourself and playing the game, so to speak.

Mh, I might have come to a point of over-analyzing the lyrics..so to keep it short: this song to me is about being in a stream of consciousness

Are You Gonna Wait Forever:

Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World (New York 1992; from the ZooTV-Bonus DVD):
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 4th, 2007 04:21 pm (UTC)
THANK YOU very much!! And Gone is a beautiful song, no question. I discovered U2 on the Elevation Tour, and I like the live version from that tour better than the album version. But lyrically it doesn't paint the images or sound as poetic, to me, as the other songs I and others have listed in this post.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 4th, 2007 07:51 am (UTC)
No, no no.
"Running to Stand Still". No wait pretty much all of The Joshua Tree and Love is Blindness and So Cruel and, what just ONE?
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 4th, 2007 03:54 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I was tempted to basically list every song on JT and AB. I love the lyrics to WOWY, SHFWILF, and definitely Love is Blindness. Ok here's my new list, in order:

One Tree Hill
A Sort of Homecoming
Love is Blindness
The Fly

If I keep going I won't stop! :)
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 4th, 2007 03:56 pm (UTC)
Hmm, but what about Ultraviolet? And Wild Horses, and Redhill and, let us not forget my all time favourite Hawkmoon269! :P
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 5th, 2007 06:27 am (UTC)
Ok: UTEOTW and Running to Stand Still are 6th and 7th,
then Sunday Bloody Sunday. Have to think about 9th and
10th...I'm not a big fan of Bullet, but I should give
it credit for its lyrics. I'm a HUGE fan of
Ultraviolet, but more for the peppiness of the guitar
than for the lyrics. Wild Horses has a great
middle-eight lyrically, and the refrain too, but the
verses aren't among their best. The song is the bomb
though. So is Red Hill, but again I wouldn't count it
among their very best lyrics. And my usernamesake,
while a kick-ass song, probably belongs among their
WORST lyrics I think! The all-time worst is Elevation
(again, a song I love), but I need your love "like a
suit stain"?? come on! I know he forgot "blindman's
cane", but he should've rerecorded that puppy! Plus
lyrically I'm not one for songs that rattle off lists
like that. I love that song for the harmonies and Bono
screaming out the last verse. What I would not have
given to see him sing that live back in the day...
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 5th, 2007 03:18 pm (UTC)
I think, in all honesty, I would sell my soul to be able to go back and see him sing that live, in the day.
Actually, I quite like his mad, frantic list songs. They are NEVER boring lists!
How about 'Trip Through Your Wires'? For 9 or 10. Or maybe Love Rescue Me (even if some of it is bastardised from the Bible).
Or may I nominate 'Shadows and Tall Trees' for the immortal line "Mrs Browns washing is always the same"? :P
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 4th, 2007 03:03 pm (UTC)
omfg. just ONE? no freaking fair!!

My first thought was "Lady With The Spinning Head"
Here she comes
Lady luck again
Figure of eight
Six and Nine again

It makes absolutely no sense, but the first time I heard it, I was hooked.

Of course, my all-time fave U2 song is "Mysterious Ways"...if I try to explain that one, I may end up setting some kind of comment-length record.

And of course, we also can mention Love Is Blindness, Exit, Miracle Drug, and about a dozen others. LOL...picking just ONE is impossible, sorry.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 4th, 2007 04:05 pm (UTC)
Mysterious Ways is definitely one of my 3 all-time favorite U2 songs (along with WOWY and Streets), and the lyrics are great, but the competition in the U2 catalogue is stiff and the lyrics aren't what grab me with that song. When I post a "Best U2 song: Guitar" or "Best U2 Song: Drums", that song will be higher on my radar than it is on the lyrics list.
[User Picture Icon]
Date:June 4th, 2007 09:45 pm (UTC)

Where's the Lemon love? That song is pure poetry.

She wore lemon
To colour in the cold grey night
She had heaven
And she held on so tight

A man captures colour
A man likes to stare
He turns his money into light
To look for her

A man melts the sand
So he can see the world outside

Midnight is where the day begins

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