Question about "In God's Country" - U2 Feedback

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Old 10-16-2001, 12:14 PM   #1
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Question about "In God's Country"

I was wondering what the lyrics at the end of the song mean whenit says:
"I stand with sons of Cain, burned by the fire of love, burned by the fire of love".
Any ideas?
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Old 10-16-2001, 01:02 PM   #2
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All I know is that its a Biblical reference. Cain was a son of Adam & Eve, and I think Cain's children did some wrong things or something. Wow thats pretty vague huh? Thats what 11 years of Catholic School does to you.
Well thats my 2 cents.

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Old 10-16-2001, 02:37 PM   #3
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In short...

The first book of the Bible has just been opened when Adamís sons, Cain and Abel, competing for their fatherís favor, engage in a fight that leads to the worldís first murder. Establishing a pattern that is repeated constantly in the Biblical text, and most famously in the case of Esau and Jacob, the offering of the younger son, Abel, is preferred to that of his elder brother, Cain.

The text itself does not tell us why Abelís offering of the firstlings of his flock is more palatable to the Lord than Cainís gift of fruit from the soil. We do learn that Cain is distraught, as the Almighty, speaking as intimately as a parent, counsels him, and suggests: "Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shall it not be lifted up? and if thou doest not well, sin coucheth at the door; and unto thee is its desire, but thou mayest rule over it."

Apparently Cain cannot control his terrestrial desires and his violent temper, adding another dimension of human frailty to Godís crown of creation. He seems, even at this earliest stage of human existence, preternaturally cynical. This characteristic is alluded to in the Midrash cited above. Cain feels bereft of Godís benevolence. He feels cheated, unrewarded for his labors, and jealously confronts his favored brother. Abel retorts: "There is no favoritism in Divine judgment. It is because my deeds are better than yours that my offering has been accepted." It is the bare honesty of Abelís statment that strips Cain of his inner defenses. No longer able to believe in the goodness and justice of the world, he commits the greatest sin since the creation of the world, and like his parents who were exiled from the Garden of Eden, but even more similar to the narrative of Ishmael, becomes an outcast, an untouchable, disqualified from the genealogical tree of Adam and Eve.

Indeed, Cain is marked by God with a "sign," as he settles East of Eden in the land of Nod. The first child of the first couple receives the Lordís harshest penalties. Cain is to earn his livelihood from the blood-soaked ground, which the Lord will not fertilize, and remain throughout his earthly existence both a fugitive and a wanderer. In this case, and in many Biblical accounts to follow, Cainís guilt and punishment literally fit the crime.

As an aside...
U2's music (particularily Bono's lyrics) are filled with biblical/Christian imagery. They have and continue to proclaim their faith through both overt and vague references. It is really quite impressive that they not only have these belief, but also the backbone to make these statements; something many artists would never consider doing.

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Old 10-16-2001, 06:47 PM   #4
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I can't really add to that but I remember that story.Don't remember how long ago it was I read it though.
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Old 10-17-2001, 05:38 PM   #5
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I know the story of Cain. But I was wondering what "Burned by the fire of love" means. I asked several other people and one guy said he believes that the "mark" God put on Cain was black skin and a flat nose. In other words he said Cain was the first Black man. I've never heard this. Have any of you? He said that's what "burned by the fire of love" means. I then asked about the Flood? He said that one of Noah's sons married a decendant of Cain...I can't remember her name. Have any of you ever heard this?
Bono's lyrics are so amazing and full of deep meaning so I try to interpret as much as I can....That's what I get for not having a life
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Old 10-18-2001, 01:53 AM   #6
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my 2c:
This could mean that the singer is also "marked" by the fire of love, by the emotional devastations love can cause, so he is suffering as Cain did.

But, if you follow New Testament imagry, the fire is often used to denote a cleansing force, and love itself is the working of God in our lives. So "burned by the fire of love" means saved by grace.
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Old 10-18-2001, 02:04 AM   #7
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all i can say is its one nasty tune. especially live, and on the rattle and hum tape i have. great drumming larry!

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