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Old 04-20-2003, 10:30 AM   #1
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Strange feeling of U2's spiritual connection

Last Thursday was Holy Thursday...which is the last "Mass" that is had for Catholics before Easter Sunday. For lots of reasons, I haven't been much of a Catholic for quite a while. But recently, I met a very unusual pastor, and I was just telling him all my questions and doubts, and he was pretty cool with that. He told me if nothing else, try to come to church during the week leading up to Easter. He actually thanked me for talking to him with a good, healthy skepticism. His house was filled with Beatles memorbilia...one generation older than me. It was a weird day.

Bono's spirituality has long been an integral part of my following U2. The lyrics and the music of so many songs have kind of kept me interested in God and the big questions, for years. I read the book "Walk On: The Spiritual Journey of U2" with some interest. It was OK, but I actually see a lot more spiritual references in U2 than the author did. Anyway, I'll get to my point.

Like I said, lately, I've been drawn back to something...to my faith, I guess. I decided to go to church on Thursday. I was listening to Bono's "Falling at your feet" on the way over...not unusual for me. I was listening to the service, but not that intently. Then, after the first reading, the pastor starts with the responsorial psalm saying "What can we give back to God for the Blessings he's poured down on us?"

Ok, that was a weird moment. I was actually singing BD in my head, and THOSE words got spoken. I think Bono's actual word's at the concert I attended in 2001 - one of three where I could actually hear them - where "What can I give back to God for the Blessing he's poured out on me?" He went on to finish the psalm, saying the first part twice, and then "I lift high the cup of salvation; a toast to God; I sing to be in the presence of God; to follow through on a promise a made to him long ago; to get their together, with his people". That was a chilling prayer as U2 launced into Streets. It was very similar to what was said on other nights, especially the Boston DVD. He didn't read it this time...I suppose that's why it was a little different than the other accounts, or perhaps he didn't need to anymore. Anyway, for whatever reason, I've always remembered that moment.

Back to Church. The psalm finished in very parallel words to Bono's prayer. That got me really paying attention to the service. Not too many minutes later, the Psalm 40 was sung. I've known for years that the song was one of U2's most direct pleas to God. I also knew that Bono was reading or praying during the Elevation tour - it was just weird that to find out it was Psalm 116, and it's a part of the Holy Thursday celebration.

I guess these two things aren't that big of a coincidence, but then a reading was given that started out with "Love will grow despite the infertile lands, and even though men may close their doors to this Love, it will grow stronger still and light up the skies." As the reading went on, I went back to Beautiful Day. I really like that song, and yeah, I know their are some Biblical messages in it - "see the bird with the leaf in her mouth, after the flood all the colors came out" - but this first sentence from the scripture reading has to be the same as the first sentence of Beautiful Day. I missed that one. I went through the whole song, and really started to wonder if was still about a "man who realizes he's lost everything, but he's still happy, and it's a beautiful day". That was a close quote to what Bono once said the song was about. But, was that man Jesus?

I stayed after the service, scouring psalms and readings from scripture for more lyric parallels. There are way more out there than I ever thought, and some are very clever or subtle. Like I said, this was no new discovery...it's common knowledge to lots of U2 diehard fans. It was just, like I said, a weird night. I went back on Friday, and I'm going back to church on Sunday. I know Bono is skeptical of "Religion", and he's got many good reasons. I thought I did, too. Maybe I still do. But there's more faith in some of U2's lyrics than in many of the churches I've been too. There's also a lot of doubt, angst, anger, humility, sorrow, redemption, starting over...that's why I've always been such a U2 fan. Maybe they helped fill a void in my life that I wouldn't fill on my own. After the other night, I'm going to try to fill that void on my own. I don't know if I should thank U2, Bono, or if it's all just a big coincidence. But something changed last Thursday. I'll keep you posted.

If the band ever did read the posts from this website, I hope they read mine. I guess everyone says that or wishes that, but I guess their music is a fine way to hear from U2, too. Happy Easter.
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Old 04-20-2003, 11:33 AM   #2
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I'm not sure that I have anything of value to say in reply to your post, but I just wanted to say thank-you for posting that and I think it's wonderful that U2 had such an influence on you.

Happy Easter!
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Old 04-20-2003, 12:46 PM   #3
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This is a great post--and I'm going to move it to The Goal Is Soul so it gets seen by people who might have more feedback for you.
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Old 04-21-2003, 09:49 AM   #4
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That's an absolutely beautiful post beLIEve

Best of luck w/ your voyage-every day you can discover new things about God and your relationship w/ him. For me, that's what Beautiful Day is all about. When everything seems to be falling apart around you, you can reach down deep w/ in yourself, and, with the help of God, find the true beauty.

I think it is such a hopeful song, and that's what God and my relationship w/ him is all about-hope. And love, of course.

Thanks for sharing that!
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Old 04-21-2003, 12:46 PM   #5
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You are describing one of the joys I find in U2's music. God uses the band to bring Spiritual nuggets to us. It is a wonderful joy when we find them.
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Old 04-21-2003, 10:37 PM   #6
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Re: Strange feeling of U2's spiritual connection

Maybe they helped fill a void in my life that I wouldn't fill on my own. After the other night, I'm going to try to fill that void on my own. I don't know if I should thank U2, Bono, or if it's all just a big coincidence.

No coincidence here, there is a spirit working that we just can't comprehend. I found this spirit after listening to the Joshua Tree lyrics and you could say, found what I was looking for. After I got my computer and discovered just how Bono, Ali and U2 are involved in things that really matter to me, I wasn't so dis- enfranchised or jaded as I had become with the charities I thought were worthy, only to find out they were collosal rip off. It was a profound experience, that set me off on my own research to understand what they are pursuing and how I can help. I also have learned alot about how to talk to other people about DATA, the Chernobyl fund and even building wells in Africa. Interference has been a huge wealth of information as well as fun. I thank God I found these sources. It has helped strenghten my Faith as well as enjoy and better understand the men and women who make up the U2 family to produce the music I love so well. Thanks to all who are apart of this.
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Old 04-28-2003, 02:19 PM   #7
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I don't really know what to write but I definitly want to say something about.
Your post moved me very much problably because I'm still searching for my faith.
I started listening to U2 music some years ago later I start thinking about their lyrics. As I got better in English (it's not my native language) I begun to analyze their lyrics and it just gave me so much. On the one it's so multifaceted on the other hand so detailed with so much love, strength, power and last but not least faith in it.
These lyrics very often pointed out my way to me and helped me on my search for faith.
Now I think I got very close to.
Very close...

But in one sentance I just wanted to tell you I know how you're feeling

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Old 04-28-2003, 07:10 PM   #8
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Freeyourmind,

Thank-you for those comments. It is always good for me to find out - in whatever way - that others are struggling with the same issues...we're one, but we're not the same...

It's like a roller coaster for me. But time is so precious, and I take it for granted. "Everyone has to die, but only some of us really get to live." I know that's a common quote, but it struck a nerve with me when I heard it while watching Braveheart this weekend.

At some point, when do the questions get answered? You can't ask forever, which is what I'm starting to realize. I've got to search for the answers now, not tomorrow. If I can't find the answers, then I have to make a decision...a leap of faith. I want that so bad. Lyrics like "a place that has to be believed, to be seen", and so many other U2 songs, have stuck with me for over 15 years now...and they are pushing me back to faith even today. They are just an amazing band. I've grown old with them - not really old - but it's like I've been there listening to them and following them for their entire career. If you look at U2's albums, they have been on a kinda roller coaster, too. You had the early work, which was pretty spiritual...and then doubts and questions crept in...with POP being the record closest to despair...and then along comes ATYCLB.

At two of the concerts I went to on the Elevation tour Bono said something like "it feels like a church in here", and it did. It really did. Even Adam admitted that he felt it some nights...that Bono said it was the Holy Spirit...and Adam said he couldn't quite get there, but he DEFINITELY felt something, too. During one of the POPMART shows, Bono said after MOFO something like "Welcome to the world's biggest hi-fi gospel hour...I give you POPMART!" It was so different with this last tour. And these hidden gems, like "Falling at Your feet" and "Grace"...I still listen to Elevation bootleg tour discs every single day, and I've made my own CD with 17 of the best U2 songs in terms of spiritual themes. The goal is soul after all these years. What an incredible band.
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Old 04-28-2003, 10:07 PM   #9
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Hi beLIEve! Have you heard this song?

JOY (Goddess in the Doorway Album - Performed by Mick Jagger and Bono - Written by Mick Jagger)

“Oh joy, love you bring
Oh joy, make my heart my sing
And I drove across the desert
I was in my four wheel drive
I was looking for the Buddha
And I saw the Jesus Christ
He smiled and shrugged his shoulders
And lit a cigarette
Said jump for joy, make some noise
Remember what I said
Oh yeah!
My soul is like a ruby
And I threw it in the earth
But now my hands are bleeding
From scrabbling in the dirt
And I looked up to the heavens
And a light is on my face
I never never never
Thought I'd find a state of grace
Oh joy, love you bring
Oh joy, make my heart my sing
Oh joy, joy in everything
Joy, joy, joy, oh joy
Joy, joy, joy, oh joy
I was drowning in the darkness
As I drove down to the sea
Oh Joy, joy, joy, oh joy
And I looked up to the mountain
And the light
Burst over me
Joy, joy, joy / Yeah, hey
Oh joy / Oh joy ah
You make me sing
Oh joy, the love you bring / Joy, joy, joy
Oh joy / (Joy)
You make me sing
Oh joy, in everythang, in everythang, in everything / Joy,
joy, joy, oh joy
In everything / Jump for joy
Jump for joy
Exultai / Jump for joy, yeah
Mmh, jump for joy
Jump for joy
You make me sing / Jump for joy
Love we bring / Oh yeah, oh yeah
In everything / Uh huh
In everything”
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Old 04-29-2003, 04:56 PM   #10
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beLIEve

Life is a rollercoaster definitly and I like to ride it though. But it's not always easy.

Quote:
"Everyone has to die, but only some of us really get to live."
that's the next true quote. I'm constantly on the hunt for answers in every respect. My opinion is that it is crucial to gain knowledge as much as possible. I often have the impression that people don't want to hear or know things and they don't really want to think about it. Out of my point of view that's the false way.

Many people are not able to find there faith but they gave up the search for it like they did with the hunt for answers.

Quote:
I've got to search for the answers now, not tomorrow
so I agree with you on that too.

Pop it one of my favourite albums lyrically. There is so much in there so much power that's attracting me but a really misterious one.
For example: PLEASE
Take they lines

september
streets capsizing
spilling over down the drain
shards of glass splinters like rain
but you could only feel your own pain

extraordinary Bono wrote those lyrics around 1997
A very provoking example I know but just one of many others.

I do not really think about a traditional church if I reflect on faith. I think you can find you faith everywhere not necessarily in a church.

For me U2 is the most incredible band in the world for many reasons.

Greetings

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Old 04-29-2003, 09:16 PM   #11
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U2Soar,

I knew about the duet with Jagger, but I never checked out the song. Thanks for the tip - I ordered it today from Amazon.com for $2.45 (cracked case, disc guaranteed).

Freeyourmind,

Please is actually my favorite U2 song. I have bought the PopHeart EP twice now because I wasted the CD from playing it so much. I also liked POP, and I know many U2 fans did not. But that's really what I mean by the "roller coaster". I messed up when I said I've been following the band for 15 years...I still have the first tape I ever bought, and that was in 1982. So it's 21 years!

This goes back to what I was saying in my first post on this thread. For me, I'm 35 years old, and as most people would say, I've gone through phases - roller coasters - whatever, as I've gone through high school, college, good career with 2 great companies, just finished my Master's Degree, etc., and now here I am, still listening to U2, wrestling with the big questions. I agree with you - I enjoy the ride - most of the time.

What's unusual for me is that my spiritual phases are almost exactly in sync with my PERCEIVED spiritual phases that Bono, and maybe U2, have gone through in their lives. The timing of each album, the themes, the songs...seem to coincide with my circumstances almost all the time, from Boy to ATYCLB. So I wonder, is that a coincidence, or do I follow U2 so closely that I actually chose to go through the same phases they SEEMED to be going through with each album? I don't know, and I may be one step from the deep end, so I'll stop analyzing that one.

Life is just very good right now, even with my skepticism, doubts, baggage, etc. It's not good because of the career or degrees and the stuff I mentioned above, as I've been very blessed in terms of most people's view of success. It's good becasue of beginning again spiritually. And, U2 is doing pretty well now, too. In both respects, in my opinion.

I know the band will eventually come to an end, but that's the best thing about U2 - so many of their songs are timeless. AB sounded fresh this morning and afternoon as I played it all the way through, and then returned to one song a second time to hear Judas pleading to Jesus. Those lyrics with that song...that's what I love about the band.
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Old 04-30-2003, 06:48 PM   #12
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beLIEve,

Please is a phantastic song and one of my favourites as well. I'm younger than you so you have made so much more experiences than me though. I'm still stuck in some phases and happenings you might have already left behind. I can't wait to make some of them but I'd like to avoid the others but I'm as objective to know that I won't be able to.

I did not have the chance to follow U2 from their beginnings but when I started to get inerested in music they were the first band which was able to attract me. More than that the pure spirit the music captured me even though it was hard me (in some cases and to that time) to understand the lyrics. They just facinate me and give me something no other band can.

To follow someone is a good thing I think as long as you try to get the bottom of the whole subject. (try not to get manipulated by the media and so on). If you agree with them on a point I see no reason why you shouldn't follow them but as Bono said himself: "I'm an annying fan one that reads the sleeve notes and critisise the band"
A very important point: to be critical is never false.

Last but not least I don't hope that U2 will come to an end. I hope they'll stay with us for another 20 years.

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Old 05-09-2003, 05:40 PM   #13
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Joy!

Hi beLIEve! Have you heard this song?

JOY (Goddess in the Doorway Album - Performed by Mick Jagger and Bono - Written by Mick Jagger)

******************************************

U2Soar,

For 3 dollars, I couldn't resist. I have never been a big fan of Mick Jagger or the Stones, but I wanted to hear this song. I didn't take too well to it at first, but it has grown on me. It's infectious. Before ATYCLB came out, I remember a quote from Bono that was something like this: "It's easy to make records about your misery, but it's very hard to make an album filled with joy." He later said that they had fallen short of that ambition, but they did get to a certain lifeforce with a few of the songs.

This tune reminded me of that. It's also one of those hidden gems, like Falling at your Feet. If U2 had played "Falling", with Bono and Lanois on vocals, that song could have been a great fit on ATYCLB. "Joy" is a song I would expect out of Bono, but even he is usually not quite that direct. I never would have guessed Mick Jagger would right such a song.

The song has it's odd points - the funky guitar bridge - but overall, it's very good. I wanted to thank you for the tip. It's another one of those songs that had U2 worked on it and played the music, with Bono on lead vocals...it would have just helped make ATYCLB closer to what I wanted...which is a very selfish viewpoint, I know. It doesn't say who wrote the song, anyway.

Anyway, Joy made it onto the 17 best spiritual tunes CD that I'm making for the 3rd time. Another non-U2 song, "The coming back to life", by Pink Floyd, is going to be on this one, too. Maybe one more from that album, too, which would be unusual for me, since I am just now starting to listen to other music...I've been listening to U2 only since about 1993. Literally, my car is loaded with about 40 U2 CD's...some legal...and nothing else. That Joy song made me get back into my CD collection at the house...lots of forgotten music due to U2...but no regrets
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Old 05-11-2003, 03:15 AM   #14
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Good for you BeLIEve! I am Catholic also, and have found U2's music such a fantastic influence on my faith. A lot of people think I'm a bit hypocritical because they can't understand what U2 is actually on about. But I have been encouraged more listening to U2 than to "proper" Christian music, because U2 can emphasise the reality of life as a Christian ~ the struggle, that is ~ whereas most Christian bands just sing about God Himself, rather than how He relates to our own lives.

I enjoy Pop so much more now that I can understand the lyrics ~ Discoteque was one of the first U2 songs I heard when I was about 13, and I hated it! But now I realise it is about much more than those funky beats and weird sounds.

Thank you for sharing your experience!
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Old 05-11-2003, 05:30 PM   #15
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beLIEve, I don't think you chose to go through your spiritual phases just because Bono and U2 were singing about it. I feel you were able to just identify with it so closely that it could seem that way. There is nothing wrong with identifying and even being able to find answers through another's struggles. Spirituality is an on going process and everyone's struggles coincide on a regular basis. That's one of the reason's we can all help one another at different times in our growth. I've had persons come into my life to help me at times and I'm in the process of helping someone deal with a childs death and nearly the loss of her faith.
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Old 05-12-2003, 10:50 AM   #16
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Hi BeLIEve! I'm glad you enjoyed the song Joy. I agree that it's infectious and I am surprised too that Jagger wrote it! I wonder if Bono had his hand in it in someway. You probably know that U2 were going to release Stuck In A Moment with Jagger and one of his daughters on backing vocals. Maybe when they release their Career Box Set we'll get to hear that version. I find their B-Side Always to be uplifting. Would you place it on your "joyful" version of ATYCLB?

For a couple years I've been speaking very highly of Falling At Your Feet. And the idea of people making their own version of ATYCLB particularly noting how well I believe Falling would complement the song Grace. There is a new version of Falling on Daniel Lanois' new album Shine. A great and quite a "spiritual" album. The Canadian release has a bonus track called Red.
The album is streaming online here: http://www.anti.com/artist.php?id=86661
The bonus track can be listened here: http://music.sympatico.ca/fa/daniellanois/#)
I could send you the lyrics to the album?

On Lanois' first album he had a beautiful spiritual song called The Maker.

Oh, oh deep water, black and cold like the night
I stand with arms wide open,
I've run a twisted line
I'm a stranger in the eyes of the Maker

I could not see for the fog in my eyes
I could not feel for the fear in my life
And from across the great divide, In the distance I saw a light
Jean Baptiste's walking to me with the Maker

My body is bent and broken by long and dangerous sleep
I can't work the fields of Abraham and turn my head away
I'm not a stranger in the hands of the Maker

Brother John, have you seen the homeless daughters
Standing there with broken wings
I have seen the flaming swords
there over east of eden

Burning in the eyes of the Maker
Burning in the eyes of the Maker
Burning in the eyes of the Maker...

Oh, river rise from your sleep...

I agree with you that book Walk On: The Spiritual Journey Of U2 seemed like a brief introduction. Maybe - hopefully - in a couple of years Stockman will write a second edition with a much more detailed analysis (guided by the band) and an in-depth interview with the band = triple the size : - ) I'll check out the Pink Floyd song that you recommend. What is the track listing for your 17 Best Spiritual Tunes CD-R? I have always loved U2's song Scarlet. If they retire one day I wouldn't mind if they ended their last concert with a 12 minute version of Scarlet!
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Old 05-12-2003, 04:58 PM   #17
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Ideal U2 Spiritual CD + a little Pink Floyd

U2 Soar,

There are actually several songs from Pink Floyd's Division Bell CD that I really like, and none of them got any radio play, at least where I live they didn't. Take it back is good. Coming back to Life and Great Day for Freedom will probably make it onto my next "spiritual" CD - if not spiritual, then at least uplifting or even Euphoric. Joy makes the cut, too.

Here's the tracklisting to my most recent whim:

Always
Bad (live from EP)
If God will send his Angels (City of Angels soundtrack)
Summer Rain
The First Time
Pride (In the name of Love)
Promedade
Please (live from Popheart CD)
Streets (live from Popheart CD)
Falling at Your feet (MDH soundtrack)
Beautiful Day
MLK
Kite
Grace
Walk On (Live from "A tribute to heros" compilation)
One (Live with full orchestra)
40" (Live from Under a Blood Red Sky)

I've got several others, but this one is my favorite. Two songs from POP, and one song from the Joshua Tree. Can you believe it? Anyway, it's not a greatest hits package. This collection of songs is just perfect for me on a rainy day or a long drive.
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