Annie (canadanne) wrote in u2,
Annie
canadanne
u2

Song Of The Day

Evidently y'all didn't think much of Johnny Swallow!  It's been a quiet old week around here, hasn't it?

Anyway... this song's been in my head for days, and it's another of my favourites from the Million Dollar Hotel soundtrack, so it's about time it got the SOTD treatment.

Dancin' Shoes

Firstly, if you don't own this album, what are you waiting for? It's full of fabulous little gems like this. Bono's vocal performance on this particular song is, to use one of his own favourite words, extraordinary - you probably wouldn't even recognise him if you heard it somewhere without knowing what it was. I love it when he throws himself so convincingly into a whole other character. This is laidback, moody, jazzy, funny - all kinds of wonderful, and strangely underrated.


Bono recorded this track with the MDH Band (he also co-wrote the music and lyrics with Daniel Lanois and Nicholas Klein respectively), and he absolutely owns it. You know how sometimes a description of a song will stick in your head, and you think of it every time you listen to that song? With this one, I'm always reminded of the glowing review that Ceefax gave the M$H soundtrack, where they spoke of "the remarkable Dancin' Shoes - in which he adopts an eerie, Billie Holiday-style singing voice to powerful effect". There really is nothing better than Bono trying to sing like a black woman. :p  Someone on Amazon called it "a fantastically smoky, bluesy vocal performance", which is an equally nice summary.

Quite what possessed Bono to sing like this, I have no idea, but it's so completely WTF that it's brilliant. It's hard to even pick out highlights because I love the whole thing. I still remember a free period at school where my friend and I were playing the soundtrack album, and we were joined by a classmate who wasn't a U2 fan - she was totally bemused by this song, especially the part where he sings "I had a mama..." (she was like "No, really?!"). *g*  I think that's probably one of my favourite lines, the way he sings "She told me 'bout you, she said true love don't lie". And the chorus is so cool - I'm crap at describing it, but I love the sort of heavy, clumpy rhythm of it ("Now ya hurt, somewhere, they won't find a bruise / You've been learnin' to walk, in those dannncin' shoes!"). It's just so much fun. Bono's voice is so husky these days that it's sometimes kind of painful to listen to, but it's ideally suited to songs like this, where he doesn't have to strain it and you actually want that whispery, slightly broken quality.

The music is perfect too, giving it just the right atmosphere and not distracting you too much from the vocal. Great job all round, IMHO. I wouldn't change anything about it, although I wouldn't complain if it was a bit longer. :)


LYRICS

I know you're so sad
So sad you can't cry
But I know you let go
Although you can't remember why

Your lipstick don't fit, your strap's comin' loose
You're out in the hall, waltzin' the blues
Now you hurt somewhere they won't find a bruise
You've been learnin' to walk in those dancin' shoes

Oh yeah, baby... oohh

I had a mama
She told me 'bout you, she said true love don't lie
You touch that woman
And the smoke won't leave your eyes

You talk and you walk, 'cos you can't refuse
Learnin' to walk in those dancin' shoes
Now you hurt somewhere they won't find a bruise
Learnin' to walk in those dancin' shoes

Ohh... hey
Ohh... yeah
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