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Old 04-18-2002, 07:15 PM   #1
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Arms Trying Throw To World The Your Around

Yeah, I dreamed that I saw Dali
With a supermarket trolley
He was trying to throw his arms around a girl
He took an open top beetle
Through the eye of a needle
He was tryin' to throw his arms around the world


I've never really understood what "Trying to throw your arms around the world" meant (literally. I don't understand the phrase!)

Plus, because of that, I don't really understand the song. Especially this verse. Anyone out there who could possibly give me the low down? The 411? An explanation even?
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Old 04-18-2002, 07:25 PM   #2
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I always thought the song was about trying to accomplish something you just can't.

That verse probably isn't about anything in perticular, it just sounds cool. They he uses those words and Dali, supermarket trolly, beetle, eye of the needle, it conjurs up some cool images in your head when listening to it, I think that was his ultimate goal when writing it.

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Old 04-18-2002, 07:37 PM   #3
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I've always thought it was about a man who is letting life on the road become more important than his family.

6 o'clock in the morning, you're the last to hear the warning says to me that he's the last guy to leave the party and doesn't want it to end.

How far are you gonna go before you lose your way back home...to me that describes a man realizing that he's about to lose it all.

Trying to throw your arms around the world could mean wanting everyone to like you but missing what's most important i.e. home and family?

I beleive this was written during a time when U2 and especially Bono were discovering a new lifestyle of excessive drinking and partying and it wasn't going over very well back home. I could be wrong but that's the way I've always interpreted it.

As far as Dali and supermarket trolley, I don't have a clue. I believe I've read somewhere that the beetle through the eye of a needle has a biblical meaning but I really don't know.
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Old 04-18-2002, 08:52 PM   #4
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this is what I was thinking of...

Quote:
"He took an open top Beetle/through the eye of a needle" -- Luke 18:24-25 -- "Jesus looked at him now sad and said, 'How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."
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Old 04-18-2002, 08:58 PM   #5
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I always pictured it as the reprise of The Fly. The ol' bastard is stubbling around hung over after his big night on the town. Sunrise like a nosebleed indeed.

~z~

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Old 04-18-2002, 10:34 PM   #6
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For me, "Tryin' to Throw Your Arms Around the World" means just that. It's like, the world is so big and you can't do EVERYTHING. It could apply to the guys trying to balance their home lives with being successful and being away a lot, or maybe just trying to do too much in general.

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Old 04-19-2002, 09:28 AM   #7
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I really fond of this song before, but after hearing live (on bootlegs), I started liking and was intrigued by it.

The band keeps saying it's about a hangover or an Irish drinking song or whatever, but I'm sure there's more to it than that. I agree with what the others say that it's about trying to accomplish something that you can't and attempting to please everyone. I've been trying to think of why Dali, a surrealist painter, was used in the song. If anybody has some insight on this, please post it. I would love to be enlightened. OTOH, it is in line with ONE of Achtung Baby's themes of the glorification of women as seen from the line And a woman needs a man, like a fish needs a bicycle. A fish doesn't have legs and does not need legs. It can move about freely without them. The song is kinda sarcastic about the women needing men. I also read somewhere that this is about male inadequacy. All the men out there, don't kill me! I'm just passing information that I've read.

I think this song is also a bit like "In A Little While", where the character, is a bit lost and caught up in the worldly things, but sees that he only can have the fulfillment he yearns for in his family.

Okay, I may be wrong and this is just my opinion. I think this should be in the Musical Journey forum.
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Old 04-19-2002, 09:32 AM   #8
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My brother is really good at art, and Dali is one of his favorite painters. His work is very surreal and unique, and, imho, very cool!

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Old 04-19-2002, 09:37 AM   #9
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Yeah, I've also seen Dali's artwork. I even have a Dali date and address book. I've just been trying to think what is it in him exactly that made Bono use him in this song.
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Old 04-19-2002, 09:40 AM   #10
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I'm thinking of this print of one of his paintings that my brother has in his room. It's really cool. Very abstract. It could be ANYTHING. Maybe that's why. The whole "anything and everything-ness" of it..

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Old 04-19-2002, 09:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by wertsie:
I'm thinking of this print of one of his paintings that my brother has in his room. It's really cool. Very abstract. It could be ANYTHING. Maybe that's why. The whole "anything and everything-ness" of it..

It could be. And is it also because, Dali, in the bizarreness of his works and misunderstood by a lot, was trying to show everyone that he could be grasped by level of comprehension? The supermarket trolley could be a symbol of the everyday, mundane or regular things people do and see. Even if Dali was trying to be different in his time, underneath it all, he was probably wanting to please everyone.



[This message has been edited by dizzy (edited 04-19-2002).]
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Old 04-19-2002, 11:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by dizzy:

And a woman needs a man, like a fish needs a bicycle. A fish doesn't have legs and does not need legs. It can move about freely without them. The song is kinda sarcastic about the women needing men. I also read somewhere that this is about male inadequacy. All the men out there, don't kill me! I'm just passing information that I've read.


I think you're right on with this I think maybe Bono was alluding to the fact that Ali was getting along just fine without him and he always seems to need her more than she needs him. I think like most men, deep down he wishes that she didn't get by quite so well while he's gone
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Old 04-19-2002, 12:05 PM   #13
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Dali's my favourite artist. Unfortunately, I missed the big Dali exhibit when it was in DC when I was interning here. I have a great framed copy of "The Christ of St. John of the Cross." It's actually painted, not just a poster-y type thing. Really gorgeous. My favourite, though, is "The Happy Unicorn."




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Old 04-19-2002, 12:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by meegannie:
Dali's my favourite artist. Unfortunately, I missed the big Dali exhibit when it was in DC when I was interning here.
Eek! When was it? Guess I missed it too!

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Old 04-19-2002, 12:45 PM   #15
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Seeing Dali w/a shopping cart is simply a dream image of the far-out matched with the domestic. That's the song's conflict -- the surreal nightlife vs. the mundane home life.

"A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle" is a Gloria Steinam quote from the '70s.
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Old 04-19-2002, 01:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by dizzy:
Eek! When was it? Guess I missed it too!

It was in the summer of 2000. I could never find anyone to go with me, and when I finally decided to go by myself, it was gone. I want them to bring it back!!



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Old 04-19-2002, 01:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bono's American Wife:

I think like most men, deep down he wishes that she didn't get by quite so well while he's gone
You're right.


Hey, I love your screen name!




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Old 04-19-2002, 01:34 PM   #18
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I think you're all reading too much into the song.

I think it's a general song. It could be about Bono, but I prefer to think that it's about how we can't save the whole world.
and about that fuzzy place we can all run back to where it's nice and safe.

aaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...............
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Old 04-19-2002, 01:35 PM   #19
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In one of the U2 books I have, I remember somebody (possibly one of the band members....I dunno!) saying something about how Bono seems to need Ali more than she needs him, and when he comes home after being on tour, he's slightly dismayed at how well she runs the house without him.

Ali is somebody I would really like to meet. She sounds so AMAZING!

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Old 04-19-2002, 01:59 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by wertsie:
In one of the U2 books I have, I remember somebody (possibly one of the band members....I dunno!) saying something about how Bono seems to need Ali more than she needs him, and when he comes home after being on tour, he's slightly dismayed at how well she runs the house without him.
Yeah, I think that's mentioned in the Flanagan book. Anyway, I agree with most of what has been said. The phrase "trying to throw your arms around the world" always seemed to me like the idea of trying to do and experience everything on earth. Also, "how far are you gonna go before you lose your way back home" also echoes that idea in that the person is going all over the world, experiencing everything, and then eventually ends up back home by accident. If you're wandering all over the earth you'll eventually end up where you started from. I think that's where the "I'm going to run to you / Woman be still" line ties in. If Ali/the kids/home stay in one place Bono will eventually make it back to them.

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