Who invented the double entrendre for praying and oral sex: Madonna or Bono? - U2 Feedback

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Old 12-08-2004, 02:55 PM   #1
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Who invented the double entrendre for praying and oral sex: Madonna or Bono?

I think most U2 fans have picked up on the fact that Bono's lyrics often use prayer as a double entendre for oral sex ("If you want to kiss the sky/ better learn how to kneel", and "I kneel / 'cos I want you some more", etc.). I was pointing this out to a friend, who says that Bono ripped this off from Madonna, who first did it in her song "Like a Prayer," where she sang, "In the midnight hour/ I can feel your power/ I'm down on my knees/ I want to take you there/ just like a prayer."

I thought it was a great point. Anyone else ever notice this?
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Old 12-08-2004, 03:01 PM   #2
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Re: Who invented the double entrendre for praying and oral sex: Madonna or Bono?

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Originally posted by LyricalDrug
I think most U2 fans have picked up on the fact that Bono's lyrics often use prayer as a double entendre for oral sex ("If you want to kiss the sky/ better learn how to kneel", and "I kneel / 'cos I want you some more", etc.). I was pointing this out to a friend, who says that Bono ripped this off from Madonna, who first did it in her song "Like a Prayer," where she sang, "In the midnight hour/ I can feel your power/ I'm down on my knees/ I want to take you there/ just like a prayer."

I thought it was a great point. Anyone else ever notice this?

There is nothing new under the sun....
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Old 12-08-2004, 03:09 PM   #3
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I have to say that I have a strong reaction to this thought. Just because we can imagine lyrics mean oral sex doesn't mean that they do. It's what used to be known as "having your mind in the gutter." Not that there aren't some obvious references, the Madonna lyrics sound more likely than the quoted U2 lyrics. But the whole discussion reminds me of when the song "Louie, Louie" was banned because people decided it was about sex or drugs or whatever it was. Just because a lyric includes the words kneeling or looking down? ....I think that would be reaching.
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Old 12-08-2004, 04:00 PM   #4
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I think the ones in Mysterious Ways are definitely deliberate. The song is about sex and God, and Bono has said he sees sex and music as the two ways we touch (is this a bad word choice?) the divine.
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Old 12-08-2004, 04:03 PM   #5
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Re: Who invented the double entrendre for praying and oral sex: Madonna or Bono?

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Originally posted by LyricalDrug
I think most U2 fans have picked up on the fact that Bono's lyrics often use prayer as a double entendre for oral sex ("If you want to kiss the sky/ better learn how to kneel", and "I kneel / 'cos I want you some more", etc.).
I don't want to be a killjoy here, but that song (OOTS) is about his teenage daughter, and 'kneeling' is for praying, as in mentioned in other songs on the album (Vertigo, COBL) "I want you some more" is because he doesn't want her to grow up too soon ("please stay a child somewhere in your heart") and leave him ("you steal right under my door")

The MW reference is most likely a religious one, knowing Bono. The sky means Heaven, pray, go to Heaven. Sorry but I do believe that when Bono says "kneel" he means praying and not oral sex. I know it's not as much fun to some of you but it's more like Bono
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Old 12-08-2004, 04:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by MissMoo
I have to say that I have a strong reaction to this thought. Just because we can imagine lyrics mean oral sex doesn't mean that they do. It's what used to be known as "having your mind in the gutter." Not that there aren't some obvious references, the Madonna lyrics sound more likely than the quoted U2 lyrics. But the whole discussion reminds me of when the song "Louie, Louie" was banned because people decided it was about sex or drugs or whatever it was. Just because a lyric includes the words kneeling or looking down? ....I think that would be reaching.
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Old 12-08-2004, 04:45 PM   #7
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Re: Re: Who invented the double entrendre for praying and oral sex: Madonna or Bono?

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Originally posted by U2Kitten


I don't want to be a killjoy here, but that song (OOTS) is about his teenage daughter, and 'kneeling' is for praying, as in mentioned in other songs on the album (Vertigo, COBL) "I want you some more" is because he doesn't want her to grow up too soon ("please stay a child somewhere in your heart") and leave him ("you steal right under my door")

Actually I was informed (by a close source) that OOTS started out being written about Edge's daughter (Bono's goddaughter), but it morphed into something a bit more intimate. Did you see an article where he was quoted saying it was indeed about HIS daughter and that "you steal right under my door" is about her leaving home, etc... Or is that just your interpretation? Because if you did in fact read that quote, I'd love to see it.

Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten
I know it's not as much fun to some of you but it's more like Bono
Do you know him? because I work in the biz and have worked with them. Trust me, it could be either. He's not a sexless prude, I'm sure Ali could vouch for that!
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Old 12-08-2004, 04:48 PM   #8
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Does Lyrical fan know him? Can his friend read Bono's mind? We all have our own interpretations. I'm just saying, as a fan for 21 years reading everything I could ever find on him, I know that religion and praying plays a big part in his personality and mindset and frequently finds its way into his songwriting, often in abiguous ways. The religious messages are unmistakeable. Visit the "The Goal is Soul" forum here on this site for some deep discussions on this. It doesn't mean he's 'sexless.' There is plenty of sexual feeling in a lot of the songs. But these 'kneeling' references are more than likely praying. Sorry if that's not 'cool' enough for you and you'd rather think it was something dirty but I don't.
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:00 PM   #9
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Re: Re: Who invented the double entrendre for praying and oral sex: Madonna or Bono?

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Originally posted by U2Kitten


Sorry but I do believe that when Bono says "kneel" he means praying and not oral sex. I know it's not as much fun to some of you but it's more like Bono
Kitten, I agree 100%.
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:01 PM   #10
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As to the original question, seriously, who cares?
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:07 PM   #11
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I remember in U2 Until the End of the World, Bill Flannagan asked Bono about the supposed oral sex references in Achtung Baby and he was kind of coy about it. That's fine with me, because I think it's nice to leave things ambigous. Who knows, maybe Bono wasn't consciously thinking about you-know-what when he wrote that particular lyric - maybe it was a Freudian slip. Or maybe we are the ones with the dirty minds.
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bono's shades
Who knows, maybe Bono wasn't consciously thinking about you-know-what when he wrote that particular lyric - maybe it was a Freudian slip. Or maybe we are the ones with the dirty minds.
I'm thinking it's the latter.
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:14 PM   #13
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You know, I love this place, but SOME of you have these guys on such a pedestal that it's a bit scary. I've heard Bono make some pretty crude remarks. (yes, in person) Funny, but crude. He's HUMAN, deal with it. You all would shit a cow if I told you what he said to Natalie Imbruglia... But I have been in the music business for 20 years, so it doesn't phase me. I was taken aback a tiny bit, but I never expected him to be a bible waving prude.

I have to laugh when U2kitten says "Sorry if that's not 'cool' enough for you and you'd rather think it was something dirty but I don't." What does COOL have to do with anything? I for one, think it's "cooler" that they'd be about God and praying, but that's just me. I guess when you said "it's more like Bono", you made it seem like you knew him and that he was incapable of uttering such unsavory lyrics

So if it was all a misunderstanding, sorry if I got defensive. It just bothers me when fans hold artists up to some kind of impossible standard. "Boys will be boys" and all that holds true.
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:17 PM   #14
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That's not true, 'you can swallow or you can spit' from Acrobat probably is something dirty. I am NOT saying he is perfect or incapable of doing anything bad. But the kneeling is praying, and religious references are a theme that has run through his writing for years and continue to do so very strongly on this new album. Please check out the Goal is Soul and you'll see.
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:19 PM   #15
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Re: Re: Re: Who invented the double entrendre for praying and oral sex: Madonna or Bono?

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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


Kitten, I agree 100%.
Thanks!
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:21 PM   #16
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What did Bono say to Natalie Imbruglia?


and how are we supposed to believe you are an "insider"?
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Kitten
religious references are a theme that has run through his writing for years and continue to do so very strongly on this new album.
I never denied that, and I agree with you. I was just asking if you had concrete facts about what you said regarding OOTS, because I heard something VERY different.
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:24 PM   #18
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Obviously any song lyric is open to interpretation, and every listener will have a different interpretation, but for people who think that Bono *doesn't* play around with the kneeling entendre, you're missing the boat and failing to appreciate the duality of those lyrics. This is well-known to any U2 fan who reads all the published reviews and literature on Bono's lyrics (i.e., John Waters' "Race of Angels," Bill Flanagan's "U2 at the End of the World," etc.)

From a broader perspective, throughout his entire career, Bono has toyed with the double meanings that stem from juxtaposing romantic/sexual love with religious/God's love. Bono figured out early on that a love song written to a second person audience-- i.e., to a vague, undefined "you"-- can be interpreted both as a love song to God, and a love song to a lover. That's why "With or Without You" works on two levels, as one obvious example.

Also, you're missing the boat if you think that when Bono says that "OOTS" was written for Edge's daughter, that he actually means that every line in the song is directed to her. That's a ridiculous idea, and leads to a perverse interpretation of the lyrics. He just means that the general idea for the song came from that direction. (Look at "Miracle Drug" -- Bono has said he was inspired by Christopher Nolan, as well as the AIDS crisis, when writing that one. He often has multiple muses.)

I think the Madonna connection is interesting, not from a "who-did-it-first" perspective, but to see how artists borrow ideas from one another. I had always thought that Bono's prayer/oral sex (and again, this is not my own, unique interpretation, for the "squeakies" out there, to use another term of Bono's--this is a popular, widespread interpretation) trick was his own, but I didn't see him use it until '91, and I think Madonna's song was released in the late '80s.
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:26 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by FullonEdge2
What did Bono say to Natalie Imbruglia?


and how are we supposed to believe you are an "insider"?

You can believe whatever you wish. Elvis knows who I am, I provided "proof". No way will I tell the NI story as that was, I'm sure, not for mass consumption.

I may work in music, but I'm still a fan and love coming here to post and read.
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:29 PM   #20
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PS: I am not a "U2 insider". I just happen to have worked with them a couple times because of what I do.
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