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July 3rd, 2008

Song Lyric Over-Analyzation @ 12:54 pm

fluidwhispers:
Current Location: 29201
I'm currently feelin: cheerful cheerful
I'm currently hearin: "Run" - Snow Patrol

So I do this occasionally in my own lj, and I thought it might be fun to do it with the whole U2 community. Here's the idea: I'll post a U2 song, and then I'll over-analyze it. Simple, right? It's kind of like English class, where you have to pick apart a poem, only this is more fun because it's a U2 song instead.

Everyone is welcome to add their own over-analyzations; in fact, it is encouraged. You can go as crazy or as realistic as you'd like. (Ex: Bono's singing about ham sandwiches, his love for the guitar, or some kind of spiritual crisis are all perfectly valid arguments to make.) Really, I'm just trying to get us to all start talking about the songs in depth again.

So...let me kick this off...

Song Lyric Over-Analyzation - "New York"

In New York freedom looks like too many choices
In New York I found a friend to drown out the other voices
Voices on the cell phone
Voices from home


Yes, he probably means New York is the friend...but what if he means it more literally...like that he really found a friend? Or a "friend"? The point is, this friend or "friend" is causing him to ignore phone calls and his family at home. And he's suddenly got all this freedom and a ton of things to choose to do with his time. (My guess is the "friend".)

In New York, I just got a place in New York
New York, New York In New York you can forget, forget how to sit still
Tell yourself you will stay in
But it's down to Alphaville


Again, what's he forgetting? I know he means that he's out clubbing and drinking and being a social rock star, but what if that's how he met his "friend"?

Living happily not like me and you
That's where I lost you... New York


The 'you' could be Ali, his wife. Or it could be this unknown "friend". Either he's not living happily with Ali because he's in NY being irresponsible while she's in Ireland with the kids, or he's not living happily because he's having an affair and knows it's wrong.

In New York I lost it all to you and your vices
Still I'm staying on to figure out my mid life crisis
I hit an iceberg in my life
You know I'm still afloat
You lose your balance, lose your wife
In the queue for the lifeboat
You got to put the women and children first
But you've got an unquenchable thirst for New York


I think this is definitely about his "friend", if we're ignoring the fact that the friend is still probably the actual city, not a real person. But the 'lose your wife' is the interesting part, if we go back to my "friend" theory. And the 'you gotta put the women and children first'...what if it was actually 'woman' he meant? The wife and kids? Yet he's got an 'unquenchable thirst for "New York"'. Hehe.

Get it? Now it's your turn! :)

 
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From:needleandspoon
Date:July 4th, 2008 01:22 am (UTC)
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I think it's important to remember that in first person POV songs, as in first person POV everything, the 'I' is not necessarily the singer/writer themselves.
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From:fluidwhispers
Date:July 4th, 2008 06:49 am (UTC)
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Well yeah. No kidding. That's why I said it was "Over-analyzation." You could interpret this song as being about alien abduction for all I care, as long as you try to prove the point to me using the song lyrics. It's all in fun.

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From:fadedgalaxia
Date:July 4th, 2008 03:17 am (UTC)
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LOL.
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From:fluidwhispers
Date:July 4th, 2008 06:50 am (UTC)
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Glad I made you laugh! :D

Care to offer your own over-analyzation? I'd love to hear it!
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From:boriel
Date:July 4th, 2008 03:59 am (UTC)
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i cant overanalyze it sorry. but i think that he just bought an apartment that day, went out for a walk and met his neighborhood :)
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From:fluidwhispers
Date:July 4th, 2008 06:51 am (UTC)
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Well, when it comes down to it, I think that's basically what the song is about too. Still, I had to have fun with it. :)
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From:reecord2
Date:July 4th, 2008 06:22 am (UTC)
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In some live versions, he sings "mid-wife crisis".

okay, ready??

It's a song about a lurid love affair with Andrea Coor in New York. Probably not... but juuuust sayin.

Kidding or not aside, I just don't feel like this is one of his character romps, I think he's singing as himself in this one.
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From:fluidwhispers
Date:July 4th, 2008 06:56 am (UTC)
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You know, a lot of people have speculated about the Andrea Corr affair, and whether or not it's true, it's still interesting to think about. Was she in NY around 1999 or 2000? Hmm... And she does look an awful lot like Ali....

:D

I'm inclined to agree with you on the singing as himself thing. It feels so much like a stream of consciousness thing in parts, like with the "Irish, Italians, Jews and Hispanics, religious nuts, political fanatics in the stew" section.

Thanks for over-analyzing with me!!
From:christycorr
Date:July 4th, 2008 07:41 am (UTC)
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(Corrs fan here.) Right, 1999-2002 was a busy time for The Corrs, but the band spent a lot of 2000 in an Irish studio recording an album released in September that same year. (Their mother also died that year; Bono attended the funeral and everything.) Bono's professional involvement with the band kicked off in 2002, I believe, when they recorded a couple of tracks together for VH1.

Regardless of this, I do think it's insane to point at Andrea Corr. Even if Bono did cheat on Ali with Andrea, and if this song is about someone specific in his life, there's absolutely no reason to infer that it's her :)

That being said, the iceberg metaphor is brilliant and I fall in love with it all over again every time I listen to New York.
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From:sapphires13
Date:July 11th, 2008 05:47 am (UTC)
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Bono rented Titanic on VHS (remember, this is 2000, before DVDs became as widespread as they are now) during a trip to New York, and drank a bit of wine, and this song was born. Seriously, that's the only explanation I can come up with.

I can see it now:

In New York freedom looks like too many choices
In New York I found a friend to drown out the other voices


Bono's in the Blockbuster, but there are too many choices. Finally he picks Titanic, a movie just epic enough to drown out the city noise.

Later:

In New York I lost it all to you and your vices
Still I'm staying on to figure out my mid life crisis


The movie is so damn long and gripping, that he just stays in all day watching it, because he has to know the ending!


XD XD XD

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