Was This Sinead O'Connor Song Really Written About Bono And His Mother? - U2 Feedback

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Old 05-02-2002, 06:52 PM   #1
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Was This Sinead O'Connor Song Really Written About Bono And His Mother?

What Doesn't Belong To Me, the haunting and beautiful song off her latest album (Faith and Courage), really seems to be depicting Bono. I would have to say it's about him, as there are too many similarities, I'd think. Here are some lines that seem to indicate it is (besides the obvious, "The woman named Iris gave birth to..." line):

"I'm Irish, I'm English, I'm Moslem, I'm Jewish..."

Bono has always been so difficult to pin down, even in spiritual and religious terms. He's come from a Protestant and Catholic background, and has always been torn into a myriad of directions. This has made him (and U2) a universal spiritual outlet for many fans around the world. But I digress...

"I'm a girl, I'm a boy"

Bono has often delved into the feminine, musically and spiritually. In Flannagan's book, he says that he often imagines God as a female, and this image of femininity comes through in U2's music, throughout. One of the funniest quotes I've heard from Bono is that he believes he's a "lesbian trapped in a man's body." This would actually make perfect sense! Anyway, I'm barely scratching the surface here, but hopefully I've started some things we can all "slide down".

So does anyone know, for sure, if this song is about Bono and his relationship with his mother? Here are the lyrics:

What Doesn't Belong To Me

The woman named Iris gave birth to the goddess
In her son who can't say his name
Because of all the pain
I miss you, but I'm glad you're gone
I want you but I'm not alone
I'm haunted by you
But I'll get you gone if it takes me all my life long
Take back the pain you gave me
Take back what doesn't belong to me
Take back the shame you gave me
Take back what doesn't belong to me
I'm Irish, I'm English, I'm Moslem, I'm Jewish,
I'm a girl, I'm a boy
And the goddess meant for me only joy
And real love requires you, give up those loves
Whom you think you love best
Love puts you through the test
And only loyal love will bring me happiness

Take back the rage you gave me
Take back the hatred you gave me for me
Take back the anger that nearly killed me
Take back what doesn't belong to me

And real love requires you
Give up those loves
That you think you love best
Love puts you through the test
And only loyal love will bring you happiness

Take back the pain you gave me
Take back what doesn't belong to me
Take back the blame you gave me
Take back what doesn't belong to me
Take back what doesn't belong to me
Take back what doesn't belong to me


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[This message has been edited by Michael Griffiths (edited 05-02-2002).]
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Old 05-02-2002, 07:07 PM   #2
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I don't know for sure, but knowing a little bit about Sinead's relationship with her mother (abusive) and her attempts to reconcile how a "supposed to be nurturing" mother abuses a child, it sounds more like a slight reveal to Bono and a more direct move to her own experience.

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Old 05-02-2002, 07:58 PM   #3
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The song definitely sounds like it could apply to Bono, but it probably is about Sinead's relationshop to her own mother like drumkeeran said. The lines below sound a bit too harsh to be about Bono's mom- I really hope she didn't give him rage, hatred, or anger (although I suppose he could have felt those things about her death).

Quote:
Take back the rage you gave me
Take back the hatred you gave me for me
Take back the anger that nearly killed me
Take back what doesn't belong to me
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Old 05-02-2002, 10:22 PM   #4
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While I agree that the song is also autobiographical, that Sinead had herself in mind throughout the song no doubt, I still feel it is about Bono. I do remember hearing something about it when her album first came out, but I can't remember if it was verified or whether it was just rumour. However, she does use Bono's mother's name, and she explicitly says it is her (Iris's) son. I have a feeling that the song is encompassing both Sinead and possibly Bono. Sinead might have used Bono as a springboard to get into her own situation possibly. It's funny how when we begin to think of the situations of others, we really begin to think of ourselves.

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