Does "Numb" = "In Cold Blood" - U2 Feedback

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Old 12-14-2004, 06:22 PM   #1
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Does "Numb" = "In Cold Blood"

I've heard from various sources that in the early 90s Bono wrote a lyric that was supposedly the angriest, most pissed off political anti-war type lyric he'd ever written, but that he/the band deemed it too much to release, so they put some of Edge's lyrics over it and it became "Numb". I know some of you know this story as well.

I also have come across this unreleased lyric of Bono's a few times:

I read a book once, called "In Cold Blood"
About a murder in the neighborhood
Pages of facts did me no good
I read it like a blind man, in cold blood
So the story of a three-year-old child
Raped by soldiers though she'd already died
Made the mother watch as they fucked her in the mud
I'm reading the story now in cold blood
More now coming off the wire
City surrounded, funeral pyre
Life is cheaper than talking about it
People choke on their politicians' vomit
On cable television I saw a woman weep
Live by satellite, from a flood-ridden street
Boy mistaken for a wastepaper bin
Body that a child used to live in
I saw plastic explosives and an alarm clock
And the wrong men sitting in the dock
Karma is a word I never understood
How God could take a four-year-old in cold blood
I live by a beach but it feels like New York
I hear about ten murders before I get to work
What's it going to be, Lord, fire or flood
An act of mercy or in cold blood?"

Are these the lyrics of the song that became "Numb"?

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Old 12-14-2004, 07:30 PM   #2
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I have a remix of Numb that includes the refrain "In Cold Blood", which seems to be sung by The Edge, also. I remember reading of a poem Bono wrote (which are the "lyrics" in question that you posted) that was going to be recited during the Zooropa shows, but I don't think it ever happened.

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Old 12-14-2004, 07:35 PM   #3
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In Flanagan's book, Bono was saying how he wanted to put on Zooropa, with just drums in the background. Flanagan told him, it would throw off the album so much that it wouldn't recover from it. Bono later said he might use it in concert. Book doesn't say whether or not it happened, though.
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Old 12-14-2004, 08:34 PM   #4
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Originally posted by AquariumDrinker
In Flanagan's book, Bono was saying how he wanted to put on Zooropa, with just drums in the background. Flanagan told him, it would throw off the album so much that it wouldn't recover from it. Bono later said he might use it in concert. Book doesn't say whether or not it happened, though.
Yeah that's the way I heard it, but never heard the Numb connection. Hmmm?
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Old 12-14-2004, 08:54 PM   #5
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Numb would've been the perfect music for an angry/political song... but ah well, I'll take Numb the way it is.
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Old 12-14-2004, 10:42 PM   #6
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Would've made a cool hidden track as a spoken-word piece over drums.

Better than the goddamn jackhammer-in-my-head thing they actually put at the end, at least.

I agree with Flanagan that it's much too much of a bummer to just toss in between "Numb" and "Lemon," though.
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Old 12-15-2004, 12:36 AM   #7
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That's an angry little ditty. What's the betting that parts of it were mumbled during Bullet the Blue Sky?
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Old 12-15-2004, 04:48 AM   #8
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Wow, this just might be Bono's most disturbing and angry political lyric ever.
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Old 12-15-2004, 07:44 AM   #9
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I dont know about the lyrics, but the music to the song and basic structure came from a song called "Down All The Days" from the Achtung Baby sessions. Bono was doing the vocals though.
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Old 12-15-2004, 08:27 AM   #10
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Here's how it went...

First came Down All The Days during the AB sessions.

During the Zooropa sessions Edge started working with the track some more and Bono experimented a little with it by reciting In Cold Blood to the beat.

The band decided the two put together just didn't work. Then Edge came up with the Numb lyrics, and the song developed from there.
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Old 01-09-2005, 03:00 AM   #11
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Space Boy

What's your source on this??
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Old 01-10-2005, 01:13 AM   #12
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Those are some scary, relevant lyrics. Wow.

"Mediocrity is never so dangerous as when it is dressed up as sincerity." - Søren Kierkegaard

Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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