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Old 03-08-2009, 11:40 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Dreadsox View Post
No - I was not implying anything. Good to see you!

There have been in the past people on both sides of the aisle who would like to feel that Bono is in line with their way of thinking. That was my point PERIOD

Are you trying to say that ONLY conservatives are guilty of such things? Is it wrong to point out that it happens on both sides of the aisle?

Again, so very nice to see you

I do believe that this is one of the most openly religious albums other than maybe October that the band has produced. I think that I see it because of my religious background, and I love the fact that I can identify with the religious themes within the album.

My brother in law does not see the album that way. He does not see the religious themes nor does he agree with me that Magnificent is almost Psalm like in its lyrics. He sees a self absorbed Bono.......:O)

I guess my point - people see what they want - but not just what they like for those of us who hold this band to our hearts - like any hero - we want to identify with them...so we see what we want - no matter what our ideology.


yes, it's quite true that it's easy to make the case that Bono is saying what onfe wants him to say.

however, politically, the liberals have a much, much better case to make. Bono is a liberal. Bono is thoughtful and complex and has in recent years decided to focus on points of commonality between different sides and use those to forge agreements on certain issues that he believes transcends politics.

however, again, if you're going to go issue by issue, point by point, the liberals are going to have a much easier time making the case that Bono is one of them than the conservative are going to be able to do. likewise, i have several times made the point that Boy is loaded with homoerotic imagery and tension. this upsets some people on here. but i can make my case, and make it very well. this doesn't mean that i'm right, per se, but it means that i can make an argument. i bet a liberal could give 1441 reasons why Bono was against the Iraq War, but can a conservative honestly claim that their plea for intervention against Milosovic is the same as the 2003 invasion? likely not.

likewise, for those, like the Baptist review that has been posted in WTHAN, who want Bono to be a very conservative Christian, of course they can go about making that point. there's not much in Magnificent to dispel the notion that he's talking about Christ if you want him to be talking about Christ. i'd argue that what he means by "magnify[ing] the magnificent" is not about showering praise unto Christ, or even God, but by celebrating the bond forged between individuals, perhaps through music, and it's that point of commonality that is Magnificent. i recently heard an NPR piece about a former clergyman who had rejected the divinity of Christ and instead focused on Christ as a revolutionary philosopher who argued that proximity to God was achieved not through fear or obedience, but through our very human relationships to one another.

that's what i think Magnificent is about. i don't think it's a worship Christ song. i think it's about the relationship between the singer and the audience,

but with lyrics so intentionally vague, i'm sure there's lots to be read into it. i think we can agree that it's about love. perhaps God? he does say later in SUC that "God is love" and that seems to buttress the point that it's about human love, and perhaps human love is the best means of accessing the Magnificent, the "vision over visibility."

there's certainly something beyond the senses at work in NLOTH, there's something beyond human comprehension that these characters are scratching at and trying to get towards, but i don't think Bono ever goes so far as to name what that is. looking at White As Snow, it seems the lyrics say "lamb" but it sounds like "land," and several lyric sites online say "land." the important point is that the whiteness of snow seems to be a point of purity, of something beyond what is actually real, of something imagined or sensed rather than seen or felt. and "only a heart could be as white as snow" -- i take that to mean that only love, again, is capable of forgiveness. certainly not human beings.

however, the life of Bono betrays any sort of exclusive, evangelical interpretation. there's absolutely the supernatural at work in NLOTH. but it's not named, and it's not exclusive.

i wish you'd drop the sarcasm. i'm not much for FYM anymore, and that's one of the reasons why. i just don't have the energy for the fight these days.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:55 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
yes, it's quite true that it's easy to make the case that Bono is saying what onfe wants him to say.

however, politically, the liberals have a much, much better case to make. Bono is a liberal. Bono is thoughtful and complex and has in recent years decided to focus on points of commonality between different sides and use those to forge agreements on certain issues that he believes transcends politics.

however, again, if you're going to go issue by issue, point by point, the liberals are going to have a much easier time making the case that Bono is one of them than the conservative are going to be able to do. likewise, i have several times made the point that Boy is loaded with homoerotic imagery and tension. this upsets some people on here. but i can make my case, and make it very well. this doesn't mean that i'm right, per se, but it means that i can make an argument. i bet a liberal could give 1441 reasons why Bono was against the Iraq War, but can a conservative honestly claim that their plea for intervention against Milosovic is the same as the 2003 invasion? likely not.

likewise, for those, like the Baptist review that has been posted in WTHAN, who want Bono to be a very conservative Christian, of course they can go about making that point. there's not much in Magnificent to dispel the notion that he's talking about Christ if you want him to be talking about Christ. i'd argue that what he means by "magnify[ing] the magnificent" is not about showering praise unto Christ, or even God, but by celebrating the bond forged between individuals, perhaps through music, and it's that point of commonality that is Magnificent. i recently heard an NPR piece about a former clergyman who had rejected the divinity of Christ and instead focused on Christ as a revolutionary philosopher who argued that proximity to God was achieved not through fear or obedience, but through our very human relationships to one another.

that's what i think Magnificent is about. i don't think it's a worship Christ song. i think it's about the relationship between the singer and the audience,

but with lyrics so intentionally vague, i'm sure there's lots to be read into it. i think we can agree that it's about love. perhaps God? he does say later in SUC that "God is love" and that seems to buttress the point that it's about human love, and perhaps human love is the best means of accessing the Magnificent, the "vision over visibility."

there's certainly something beyond the senses at work in NLOTH, there's something beyond human comprehension that these characters are scratching at and trying to get towards, but i don't think Bono ever goes so far as to name what that is. looking at White As Snow, it seems the lyrics say "lamb" but it sounds like "land," and several lyric sites online say "land." the important point is that the whiteness of snow seems to be a point of purity, of something beyond what is actually real, of something imagined or sensed rather than seen or felt. and "only a heart could be as white as snow" -- i take that to mean that only love, again, is capable of forgiveness. certainly not human beings.

however, the life of Bono betrays any sort of exclusive, evangelical interpretation. there's absolutely the supernatural at work in NLOTH. but it's not named, and it's not exclusive.

i wish you'd drop the sarcasm. i'm not much for FYM anymore, and that's one of the reasons why. i just don't have the energy for the fight these days.

Your interpretation of "Magnificent" is interesting. I personally see very clear signs that it's a worship song, but I know Bono weaves multiple meanings into songs, so I could be off.

To me, this is how I read it:

Magnificent
Magnificent

I was born
I was born to be with you
In this space and time
After that and ever after I haven't had a clue
Only to break rhyme
This foolishness can leave a heart black and blue
(To me, I interpret the "break rhyme" as sin - to fall out of God's order. This leaves the heart "black and blue." Then you go into the chorus.)

Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love can heal such a scar

I was born
I was born to sing for you
I didn’t have a choice but to lift you up
And sing whatever song you wanted me to
I give you back my voice
From the womb my first cry, it was a joyful noise…
(It could be a secular use, but "lift you up" sounds like like Christian speak to me. And I give you back my voice sounds very much like he's giving it back to God. The only other source of his voice that would fit here is his parents, but I don't see "I was born to sing for you" as directed to them. I don't see it as the audience (at least in the complete sense) because he follows up "I give you back my voice" with a line that, to me, points to what God gave him and the fact he's had it since he was born. Plus, "joyful noise" is very much from the Psalms.)

Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love can heal such a scar

Justified till we die, you and I will magnify
The Magnificent
Magnificent
(Here's the kicker for me, "Justified till we die." Very Biblical. Plus, the Magnificent - a term that, to me, sounds like it's refering to God. Plus, Bono said he listened to the "Magnificat."
One of the Enligsh translations of the "Magnificat" has this as its first line: "My soul doth magnify the Lord.")

Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love unites our hearts

Justified till we die, you and I will magnify
The Magnificent
Magnificent
Magnificent


That's just my interpretation though. It's just as good as the next person's.

Also, as far as "White as Snow," the lyrics included in the deluxe edition say "lamb," and the phrase "only the lamb as white as snow" is featured in the middle of a picture of some clouds next to the official lyrics.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:02 AM   #63
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It's a very interesting post Irvine, sorry you don't feel up for debating or discussing the point more.

I don't think all those months of near-total fixation on the American election did anyone's patience or tempers around here any favors; a lot of regulars got burnt out over that, if for various reasons. At least the range of topics under discussion seems to be slowly diversifying again.
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:29 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
i'm not much for FYM anymore, and that's one of the reasons why. i just don't have the energy for the fight these days.


Oh, I hope you'll stay around, Irvine. You've been one my favorite voices here.
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:29 AM   #65
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Irvine, I agree with you. I'm not one to read into things, or to need to know what a song is "about" in order to appreciate and understand it. Even as a Christian myself, it really really really bugs me when people (in general, not people here but certain people "IRL") cling to a phrase here or there and then wave it in front of everyone else, twisting Bono/U2 to meet their own agenda, as if the song is exclusively about this or that and somehow justifies their own beliefs. But I find these same people only care for Bono/U2's message as it suits them. Someone in my family is like this. I have been a U2 fan bordering on obsession for how long....and this person one day asks me to sit down and watch a video of Bill Huybels and Bono. But she won't actually listen to U2, she doesn't actually care for the bigger picture of Bono's message. Nope, only the bits and pieces here or there that in her mind justify how she feels.

To me, one's religion, faith, spirituality, worship....all those things are very personal and not something I am comfortable parading around or being in the company of others that do. So for me it's very uncomfortable to make interpretations about this song or that song being about worship or how Bono feels about God or whatever. I guess I can't make those connections unless I hear it explicitly from him (Bono).
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:20 AM   #66
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It is what it is and that's whatever you want it to be, whatever it means for you. The day that it becomes some spoon fed overt message would be the day I lose what interest I have left.

I think the most important religious message of the whole thing is stop helping God across the road like a little old lady. That's pretty overt but it's still so powerful and still left up to you to think about.

I don't see where anyone's trying to "fight" here, maybe I need to read again
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:58 PM   #67
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Your interpretation of "Magnificent" is interesting. I personally see very clear signs that it's a worship song,



and i think you can make a good argument that it is a worship song. and i think that's what you just did. to me, that seems like a "good" interpretation because it's well-argued and well-supported. thus, it's not so much that it's the "right" interpretation, and more that it's a "good" or "valid" interpretation.

all i'm saying, and what i tried to say, was the logical leaps that specifically that Baptist News review of the album seemed to make about Bono's personal theology and the mission and intention of NLOTH.

here's an example. i listen to and read the lyrics to "Twilight," and to me it describes at least a sexual(ized) encounter (perhaps unfulfilled) between the late teenage narrator and a somewhat older man. i find the lyrics highly charged with sexuality, uncertainty, and that they're trying to say something without actually saying it. i can defend that interpretation.

however, what i cannot defend would be if i were to take a leap and say, "it's clear that Bono is writing about the time when he hooked up with a guy when he was 17."

that's all.
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Old 03-09-2009, 02:03 PM   #68
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Oh, I hope you'll stay around, Irvine. You've been one my favorite voices here.


i just need some time off. the big stuff in the news right now is all economics, and while i have a passing interest and i'm as concerned as anyone else, i don't feel as if i have the knowledge base to contribute constructively to any sort of debate.

i'll still lurk and toss in a post from time to time, but for now, i'm much happier messing around in some of those "fun" threads in Interference.
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:53 AM   #69
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Lanois on Magnificent: "And then I was involved in the lyrical process on that, because we wanted to talk about sacrifice that one makes for one's medium or one's art. I thought it had for a setting New York in the 50s; looking out a small bedroom window. Maybe a Charlie Parker kind of figure. That's what we started with. We placed ourselves in Charlie Parker's body."

So, Irvine had this pretty much correct.
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:42 AM   #70
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Lanois on Magnificent: "And then I was involved in the lyrical process on that, because we wanted to talk about sacrifice that one makes for one's medium or one's art. I thought it had for a setting New York in the 50s; looking out a small bedroom window. Maybe a Charlie Parker kind of figure. That's what we started with. We placed ourselves in Charlie Parker's body."

So, Irvine had this pretty much correct.
Yet, in Rolling Stone Bono talks about the inspiration being the Magnificat from Luke and the song being a clear reference to God. So apparently, the songs can even mean multiple things to the band (or their producers) themselves, which is awesome.
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:52 PM   #71
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:54 PM   #72
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:07 PM   #73
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NNLOH - 8/10 - Solid U2 Song.
M - 8/10 - Solid Song
MOS -9/10 I think I underrated this one.
UC - 6/10 - YUCK - The Choral Lyrics Suck - the other lyrics are good.
IGCIIDGCT- 9/10 - Abba Look Out - THis is a HIT - Thanks to Will.i.am
GOYB-7/10 - Prefectly placed to break up this intense album
SUC-9/10 - Look Out Led Zep - its clear who the Edge was hanging with. I LOVE this song.
FEZ - 4/10 Yuck times 2. It seems every one of my U2 friends LOVES this one.
WAS - 10/10 - May be some of the most beautiful lyrics ever. I love hearing this song again and again.
B - 7/10 - Solid But I downgraded it.
COL - 8/10 - Another song with some intesnes lyrics. As always, a religious song ending a U2 album.

I think this album has a lot of self realization. I get a feeling that the album as a whole has a lot to do with the realization that man/humankind cannot save itself and that there is a higher power out there. In some of the songs I get a feeling that there is a struggle between time, destiny, and being free from that destiny.

No Line on the Horizon

"I know a girl with a hole in her heart
She said infinity’s a great place to start
Oh

“Time is irrelevant, it’s not linear”
Then she put her tongue in my ear
Oh, oh"

and

Magnificent

"I was born
I was born to be with you
In this space and time
After that and ever after
I haven't had a clue

Only to break rhyme
This foolishness can leave a heart
Black and blue"

and

"I was born
I was born to sing for you
I didn’t have a choice
But to lift you up
And sing whatever song you wanted me to
I give you back my voice
From the womb my first cry
It was a joyful noise
Oh, oh"

I swear the above verse reminds me of PSALMS.

Then the album moves to Moment of Surrender - A dark song that to me represents a moment of realization that we do not have control over things. I think it brings me to the conflict between our human nature and God's vision.

"At the moment of surrender
I folded to my knees
I did not notice the passers-by
And they did not notice me

I’ve been in every black hole
At the altar of the dark star
My body’s now a begging bowl
That’s begging to get back
Begging to get back to my heart
To the rhythm of my soul
To the rhythm of my unconsciousness
To the rhythm that yearns
To be released from control

I was punching in the numbers
At the ATM machine
I could see in the reflection
A face staring back at me
At the moment of surrender
Of vision over visibility
I did not notice the passers-by
And they did not notice me

I was speeding on the subway
Through the stations of the cross
Every eye looking every other way
Counting down ’til the pain will stop"

This beings me back to No Line On the Horizon where the human desires are represented in the Lyric -

"Every night I have the same dream
I’m hatching some plot, scheming some scheme
Oh yeah
Oh "

Unknown Caller - not my favorite - BUT - I think it may be part of that realization that occurs at the Moment of Surrender - I think the Unkown Caller is GOD. This may redeem the song for me (ANNE)

"Go, shout it out, rise up
Oh, oh
Escape yourself and gravity
Hear me, cease to speak that I may speak
Shush now
Oh, oh"

I do believe it is representative of God saying be quite and listen to me. Shush is a word that may be assiated with a child being told to quiet down and listen.

"I was right there at the top of the bottom
On the edge of the known universe
Where I wanted to be
I had driven to the scene of the accident
And I sat there waiting for me

Restart and re-boot yourself
You’re free to go
Oh, oh
Shout for joy if you get the chance
Password, you, enter here, right now"

I think when you realize that people are here not for their own selfish desires - it is like a rebooting...a new beginning....and most people, when they begin to operate from that perspective, may see points in their lives where they hit bottom. That bottom, for many, is the place of rebirth - rebooting.

I'll Go Crazy if I Don't Go Crazy Tonight

"Everybody needs to cry or needs to spit
Every sweet tooth needs just a little hit
Every beauty needs to go out with an idiot
How can you stand next to the truth and not see it
Oh, a change of heart comes slow

It’s not a hill, it’s a mountain
As you start out the climb
Do you believe me or are you doubting
We’re gonna make it all the way to the light
But I know I’ll go crazy if I don’t go crazy tonight"

I think this may have been from the Vertigo Album and it did not make the cut. It fits in with the themes from City of Blinding Lights - Crumbs from your table. I think this song moves from the self to the community as a whole. I do believe that Bono is speaking to America and like the good salesman he is, like many other artists have done in the past he hides it subtly. I believe Bush is the idiot. I believe the truth is in the fact that America has a long way to go with spreading the wealth and helping others. This change is slow. I think the hill and mountain make reference to MLK and the election of Obama.

Get On Your Boots is clearly a continuation of the changes necessary in society as a whole. The beginning is about taking care of the future because we have had enough war. We need to move towards:

Here’s where we gotta be
Love and community
Laughter is eternity
If joy is real

and

That’s someone’s stuff they’re blowing up
We’re into growing up
Women of the future
Hold the big revelations

I got a submarine
You got gasoline
I don’t want to talk about
Wars between nations

You don't know how, beautiful you are - back to the self realization - the purpose of the creation verses the human desires.


Fez Being Born - Confuses the heck out of me. I am not sure how it fits other than the lyrics remind me of All Because of You which I felt was a song about God saving a soul.

"Lights flash past
Like memories
A speeding head, a speeding heart
I’m being born, a bleeding start
The engines roar, blood-curdling wail
Head first, then foot
Then heart sets sail "

Again, it brings me back to the Moment of Surrender moment of turning oneself over to a higher purpose.

The next song - my favorite one - to me signifies the story of the footprints in the sand...for those who know it - this verse makes me think of this:

Once I knew there was a love divine
Then came a time I thought it knew me not
Who can forgive forgiveness where forgiveness is not
Only the lamb as white as snow

Even when we think God is not with us, God is there and the forgiveness for sins is there. The next verse is about baptism to me representative of the forgiveness we can all receive:

And the water, it was icy
As it washed over me
And the moon shone above me

Now here is the twist- The last verse of the song - represents that struggle, that conflict that we have when our human nature takes over - fear of another people - that they want to do us harm - and the balance of what it means to be a Christian in times of war and hate.

"To sleep the night shooting out the stars
Now the wolves are every passing stranger
Every face we cannot know
If only a heart could be as white as snow
If only a heart could be as white as snow "

Breathe - Begins with Jesus knocking at the door:

"16th of June, nine-oh-five, door bell rings
Man at the door says if I want to stay alive a bit longer
There’s a few things I need you to know
Three

Coming from a long line of
Traveling sales people on my mother’s side
I wasn’t gonna buy just anyone’s cockatoo
So why would I invite a complete stranger into my home
Would you"

This brings me back to whatever you do to the least of my brothers - you do to me.

"Every day I die again, and again I’m reborn
Every day I have to find the courage
To walk out into the street
With arms out
Got a love you can’t defeat
Neither down nor out
There’s nothing you have that I need
I can breathe
Breathe now"

When you are walking down main street and you are not interested in the material things the world is offering and you have had your Moment of Surrender....the material does not matter.

Finally the Cedars of Lebanon - wow. Michelle and I were talking about this one. The Cedars of Lebanon were used to build the Temple of Solomon:

"The Bible accredits Solomon as the builder of the First Temple in Jerusalem,[2] and portrays him as great in wisdom, wealth, and power, but ultimately as a king whose sin, including idolatry and turning away from God"

and

" Isaiah used the Lebanon Cedar as a metaphor for the pride of the world"

I am struggling with this, however, I will take a stab at it.

"Return the call to home"

We choose as human beings to answer Gods call. To answer the call of the man at the door from the song Breathe. When we choose not to answer the call at the door-

"Now I’ve got a head like a lit cigarette
Unholy clouds reflecting in a minaret"

To me this represents the hot head. THe person acting for their own self interest - I think of war in particular - with the smoke in the sky - unholy smoke. Chosing to separate oneself from God, chosing PRIDE over the vision of God.

"You’re so high above me, higher than everyone
Where are you in the cedars of Lebanon"

I think this is the recurring theme in much of their work - Where are you God? I think the theme is that many times we find people full of Pride looking for God in the church, when the work of God is to be among the poor, the down trodden. Where are you in the Cedars of Lebanon would represent looking for God in the church. When you answer the door to that person knocking, that stranger at the door - seeking help, assistance, charity - there you will find God.

"Choose your enemies carefully ‘cos they will define you
Make them interesting ‘cos in some ways they will mind you
They’re not there in the beginning but when your story ends
Gonna last with you longer than your friends "

Clearly this points back to the influence of choosing war verses Love and Cummunity from Get on Your Boots.........

I am done.....
My silly attempt at finding a theme....weeks ago....typos and all.
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:08 PM   #74
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I believe Breathe is better than I first gave it credit for....I am upgrading it to 9/10
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:37 PM   #75
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The first time I heard White As Snow....sounded like it stole the rhythm from the old Christmas song O Come, O Come Emmanuel.

I think the new release is top notch, B+. Rated just a little below ATYCLB for now, for their recent efforts. The back end of the album is very strong.
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