Friday, January 28, 2005

Since U2 seems to be the topic of choice...

I'm providing the lyrics to four of U2's most explicitly religious songs, in the order they were written (courtesy of U2.com). Please take the time to absorb the words and meanings behind these songs.

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I Still Haven\'t Found What I\'m Looking For

I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you.

I have run, I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you.

But I still haven\'t found
What I\'m looking for.
But I still haven\'t found
What I\'m looking for.

I have kissed honey lips
Felt the healing in her finger tips
It burned like fire
(I was) burning inside her.

I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone.

But I still haven\'t found
What I\'m looking for.
But I still haven\'t found
What I\'m looking for.

I believe in the Kingdom Come
Then all the colours will bleed into one
Bleed into one.
But yes, I\'m still running.

You broke the bonds
And you loosed the chains
Carried the cross of my shame
Oh my shame, you know I believe it.

But I still haven\'t found
What I\'m looking for.
But I still haven\'t found
What I\'m looking for.

But I still haven\'t found
What I\'m looking for.
But I still haven\'t found
What I\'m looking for.

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The First Time

I have a lover, a lover like no other
She got soul, soul, soul, sweet soul
And she teach me how to sing.

Shows me colours when there\'s none to see
Gives me hope when I can\'t believe
That for the first time I feel love.

I have a brother, when I\'m a brother in need
I spend my whole time running
He spends his running after me.

I feel myself goin\' down
I just call and he comes around.
But for the first time I feel love.

My father is a rich man, he wears a rich man\'s cloak.
He gave me the keys to his kingdom (coming)
Gave me a cup of gold.

He said \"I have many mansions
And there are many rooms to see.\"
But I left by the back door
And I threw away the key
And I threw away the key.

For the first time, for the first time
For the first time, I feel love.

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Grace

Grace, she takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain
It could be her name

Grace, it\'s the name for a girl
It\'s also a thought that changed the world
And when she walks on the street
You can hear the strings
Grace finds goodness in everything

Grace, she\'s got the walk
Not on a ramp or on chalk
She\'s got the time to talk
She travels outside of karma
She travels outside of karma
When she goes to work
You can hear her strings
Grace finds beauty in everything

Grace, she carries a world on her hips
No champagne flute for her lips
No twirls or skips between her fingertips
She carries a pearl in perfect condition

What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because Grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things

Grace makes beauty out of ugly things

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Yahweh

Take these shoes
Click clacking down some dead end street
Take these shoes
And make them fit
Take this shirt
Polyester white trash made in nowhere
Take this shirt
And make it clean, clean
Take this soul
Stranded in some skin and bones
Take this soul
And make it sing

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, Yahweh
Still I’m waiting for the dawn

Take these hands
Teach them what to carry
Take these hands
Don’t make a fist
Take this mouth
So quick to criticise
Take this mouth
Give it a kiss

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahewh, Yahweh
Still I’m waiting for the dawn

Still waiting for the dawn, the sun is coming up
The sun is coming up on the ocean
This love is like a drop in the ocean
This love is like a drop in the ocean

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahweh, tell me now
Why the dark before the dawn?

Take this city
A city should be shining on a hill
Take this city
If it be your will
What no man can own, no man can take
Take this heart
Take this heart
Take this heart
And make it break

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To midnitcafe: I don't see "The First Time" necessarily as a rejection of faith but more as a rejection of the idea of God the Father as Santa Clause. A rejection of the idea that we come to God because of what we can get out of it (mansions, riches ect.), I think that Bono's looking for a relationship deeper than that. If viewed this way then this song would be an excellent companion to "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", (another song that is, addmitedly, open to interpretation). I could be way off base with these thoughts, but thank you, once again anyway for forcing me think.

5 comments:

penny lane said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
midnitcafe said...

I've always felt "The First Time" expressed a loss of faith. Or rather choosing to leave the faith. Your idea is very interesting. I'll have to chew on it a bit, but I'm not sure I'll buy it. The first two stansas of the song are about finding a "lover." Bono sings it sensually you would be hard pressed to prove that this "lover" is God. The next two stanzas are about his 'brother'. It is not a stretch to gather the religious imagery here. Often fellow Christians call themselves brother and sister. The brother in this song seems very much to be a helpful christian. He spends his time following the singer so that he can be there when he is called. But notice the imagery the singer uses about himself. "I spend my whole time running". And he says he has a brother "when I'm a brother in need." The stanza ends by him saying "he feels himself going down." The last stanza uses direct Biblical imagery. In John chapter 4 Jesus tells his followers that He is preparing many mansions for them in Heaven. Yet here the singer says that instead of viewing the rooms and taking the cup of gold he leaves and throws away the key. This line "threw away the key" is repeated several times to add emphasis. The song ends with the line that ends each stanza "For the first time. I feel love" If the singer is keeping his faith, then why is this love being felt for the first time? Why use direct biblical imagery and then walk away from it?

Just some thoughts. It continues to be an interesting experience really looking into U2's lyrics. Thanks for the lyrics to Grace and Yahweh. Very interesting indeed.

penny lane said...

my hair is orange!!!!!!!!!!!!

Queen of Arts and England said...

Since U2 is the topic of choice, I believe a congratulations is due our friends. They took three Grammy's, I think. 25 years and still they remain great!
Sorry I've been gone for so long from Blog land, I've been busy!

Queen of Arts and England said...

Oh! And I WILL read your archives and comment on the one's before my time.
Happy Valentine's Day!