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Old 05-25-2005, 07:43 AM   #1
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Bono's Dedication on "Running to Stand Still"

I hope this is the right forum for this post - if not, I ask the mods' forgiveness and that they move it accordingly.

My coworker/friend and I were wondering, why does Bono dedicate "Running to Stand Still" to American troops? This song is about heroine addiction, so this dedication doesn't make a lot of sense to us.

Any comments?

P.S. If this topic has been already covered, please refer me to the thread. Thank you!
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Old 05-25-2005, 08:01 AM   #2
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Ok I'm going to try to interpret this song being dedicated to the troops as best as I can.

Running to Stand Still-Obviously we know that the troops are in Iraq and there's been a whole lot of bloodshed. The troops want to stand still but can't so they are running to stand still from the bloodshed that is happening.

I don't even know if this could be interpreted like this or not. I sound a bit dopey trying to explain it.
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Old 05-25-2005, 08:13 AM   #3
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I think its just the mood of the song. Very sad and a time of reflection for the crowd.
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Old 05-25-2005, 08:41 AM   #4
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well

I don't think it has much to do with the song. I think after all of the ranting he does during Bullet, he wants the U.S. audiences to know that while he may not agree with what's going on over there, he realizes the troops are putting their lives on the line for freedom. His dedication covers his arse from his rants being mistakenly perceived as anti-American. Just my .02 cents.
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Old 05-25-2005, 08:44 AM   #5
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Maybe... I interpreted it as Americans rushing in but making very little progress in the end, which is a far more political view than many of you seem to have thought. Hmm...
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Old 05-25-2005, 08:48 AM   #6
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Some has already posted this but here is an portion of Bill Flanagan's "At the End of the World" describing the dual inspirations for the song - there is more to this in the book - very powerful
- hope this helps

"...but Jerry also gave Bono the idea for one of the strongest parts of U2's concert: Bono performs "Bullet the Blue Sky" in the voice, attitude, and clothes of a U.S. Soldier leading a combat mission the Third World, and then stays in that persona for "Running to Stand Still," a song written about Dubliners who use heroin to escape their poverty. Bono is playing Jerry Mele when he performs those songs; it was knowing Jerry that made him understand that those two characters could be the same person. At the end of that sequence every night red and yellow smake flares go off and billow up around Bono. He took that from Jerry's stories about the chaos on the ground during a jungle firefight; one color meant it was safe for the rescue copter to comein a pick up the wounded, the other color meant ot stay away. The Vietcong figured out the code and started shooting up figured out the code and started shooting up flares of their own, luring pilots to their death or keeping rescue helicopters for landing."
page 290
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Old 05-25-2005, 08:49 AM   #7
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unfortunately i agree with you locomosquito.


i however hope this isn't true.
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Old 05-25-2005, 10:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by nurse chrissi
Some has already posted this but here is an portion of Bill Flanagan's "At the End of the World" describing the dual inspirations for the song - there is more to this in the book - very powerful
- hope this helps

"...but Jerry also gave Bono the idea for one of the strongest parts of U2's concert: Bono performs "Bullet the Blue Sky" in the voice, attitude, and clothes of a U.S. Soldier leading a combat mission the Third World, and then stays in that persona for "Running to Stand Still," a song written about Dubliners who use heroin to escape their poverty. Bono is playing Jerry Mele when he performs those songs; it was knowing Jerry that made him understand that those two characters could be the same person. At the end of that sequence every night red and yellow smake flares go off and billow up around Bono. He took that from Jerry's stories about the chaos on the ground during a jungle firefight; one color meant it was safe for the rescue copter to comein a pick up the wounded, the other color meant ot stay away. The Vietcong figured out the code and started shooting up figured out the code and started shooting up flares of their own, luring pilots to their death or keeping rescue helicopters for landing."
page 290

I think this is an interesting theory, but I don't know if I fully accept it.

I recall those ZOO TV shows. During the performance of RTSS, Bono would make a big deal out of rolling up his sleeve and then mock injecting himself with a needle (during the line, "she suffers the needle chill"). So while Bono may have been dressed as a soldier, he clearly made this song about drug addiction.

As such, I'm having a hard time accepting this transition now, where he dedicates a song about drug abuse to soldiers in a war. Per your above definition, it's almost as if you are saying the two are one in the same, which we all know is wrong and horribly insulting.

As such, while I accept Bono's acknowledging U.S. soldiers (especially after the tirade of "Love & Peace", SBS and "Bullet"), surely there are far better songs he could dedicate to them than RTSS.
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Old 05-25-2005, 10:21 AM   #9
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this is confusing?

Many join the military to escape poverty. Even though current American troops joined the military of their own free will, for the most part, people go in expecting a free colllege education or at the very least, a stepping stone to a better place. Many enlisted never expect to actually do any fighting.

Patriotism and the desire for freedom play a role in joining the military, but let's face it, it's mostly the poor who enlist, because if you are rich, there are safer, more comfortable ways to show your patriotism/desire for freedom.

There are so many similarities in my mind, I can't even imagine why the confusion over the connection. Lonliness, a living hell, a sense of hopelessless being just a few connections with addiction and being in the midst of war.

Also, aviator pilots are given drugs in order to enable them to fly long missions and stay awake in the process. Even for the average foot soldier, I wouldn't be surprised if drugs are sometimes a way to take the edge off the trauma that is war.
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Old 05-25-2005, 10:29 AM   #10
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But look at all those similarities you mentioned - all of them are horribly negative!

If I'm dedicating something to someone, it's usually in a positive manner. With all those negative issues, it's like dedicating a movie about torture and death to your loving, doting mother!

So again, I question the dedication.
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Old 05-25-2005, 10:35 AM   #11
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The connection between soldiers and drug abusers is not too far of a stretch, IMO. I don't have the data, but have read that many soldiers coming home from Iraq suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and drug and alcohol abuse are not uncommon.
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Old 05-25-2005, 10:47 AM   #12
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My thought, much like locomosquito's was just the song's title, not its meaning was dedicated to the troops, because they've gone through a lot and haven't seemingly made lots of progress.
Just one man's interpretation.
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Old 05-25-2005, 10:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by MumblingBono
The connection between soldiers and drug abusers is not too far of a stretch, IMO. I don't have the data, but have read that many soldiers coming home from Iraq suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and drug and alcohol abuse are not uncommon.
I don't think that the significance of this occurrence is great enough to inspire Bono to dedicate the song to the troops. The current war isn't Vietnam.
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Old 05-25-2005, 11:06 AM   #14
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Dunno if I want to read too much into the "whys" - I just think it's a nice sentiment whatever his reasons.

Whether or not folks agree with the military involvement in Iraq (or elsewhere for that matter), they are our sons, daughters, fathers and mothers who are there because sadly, it's their job.

Given that there's been a lot of very negative press given to a very few "bad apples" in the military, it's all too easy to be critical of all those men and women who would certainly rather be home with their families. I guess Bono is just saying "Hey we're thinking about you and even if we're against the war, we're not against YOU".

As for RTSS itself, I imagine that those servicemen and women wake up on a daily basis just wanting to be out of that bad situation. Like the girl in the song.

It could really just be that simple I suppose.

S
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Old 05-25-2005, 11:11 AM   #15
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Here are the similarities and my interpretation of the brave young people of the U.S. Military to which this song is dedicated to.

I woke up one day and now I’m fighting a conflict. Not a personal conflict but an armed conflict. = (And so she woke up, woke up from where she was lying still
Said I got to do something about where we're going)

Regardless of my feelings for this armed conflict, there is only one way out. I signed up to support the United States of America and now I will go fight. = (I see 7 towers but I only see one way out.)

Every day I fight for survival in this armed conflict. So I’m fighting to live another day, in a sense “I’m Running to Stand Still” = (You know I took the poison from the poison stream).

And for those who have lost the battle with the enemy. - = (Bono offers his pray for those in a far out place away from here. Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Halle, Halle, Hallelujah.........)

Folks, This song in concert is brilliant, moving, & inspirational. I have listened to the Chicago IV tape and this one stands out for me from all other songs. Just listen to the audience appreciation and you will see what I’m talking about. Hidden gem of the tour in my opinion!
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