BREATHE Appreciation - Discuss

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One of my favourite parts of the song and probably one of my favourite lyrics on the album too:

"The roar that lies on the other side of silence, the forest fire that is fear so deny it"

Love it!!!!:wink:
I think Bono stole that line from George Eliot's Middlemarch. What a literary bloke.

That element of tragedy which lies in the very fact of frequency, has not yet wrought itself into the coarse emotion of mankind; and perhaps our frames could hardly bear much of it. If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.

Edit: this had already been discussed, whoops--
In the Rolling Stone article, it says there are completely alternative lyrics to Breathe (I'm assuming its the part where Bono is "talking" about the salesman, Chinese stocks, etc.) that were written about Nelson Mandela. Bono and Edge debated and decided to go with those that are on the album (described as "more surreal and personal"). Knowing it was originally written about Madiba makes me love this song even more!! I would love to hear the alternate version of this song. :drool:

Still am loving this song the best on the album. Live it just plain kicks ass!!:love:

In daveyg's fan recording of Breathe from around 14th of July 2008 outside Hanover Quay we can hear that alternate version.
Here's my take on the early lyrics from the sheet that was donated to charity. The bold lines can be heard in that recording.

Upper-left corner:
Not fall/So far
?? ?? ??

??? the Nelson Mandela
All those who stood together now know this....
that real classic is not a scar on the land
but in the heart of every man, who began as a boy

Next to the fist:
not to resist
a knotted fist
now an open hand
an open face
an open page
And history might
re??ate it's rage

"We are people born of sound
the songs are in our eyes
gonna wear them like a crown"

Underneath the hand doing the V-sign:
a knotted fist
now an open hand
an open face
an open page

The salt in your eyes
tell a story and others
tell every heart
it's as free as is yours

Not good enough 4 the great man.

Apparently, there were about 80 takes of this song, I think Eno told Rolling Stone this in December. The beach clip from later on in 2008 had some nice Hendrix-like guitar parts, I suspect Lanois might've recorded those. Yet another version features The Edge using the E-bow (Adams "Toilet Break" clip on from November 22nd 2008). The above lyrics suggest that the song was supposed to be performed during the 90th Birthday Celebration of Nelson Mandela in London's Hyde Park in later that year. Instead only Bono and Edge appeared with a pre-recorded Happy Birthday cover by Stevie Wonder.
"Walk out into the streets, with your arms out, not knowing defeat" etc. together with the 16th of June references could be connected with the Soweto Uprising on the 16th of June in 1976.

EDIT: I just realized that I replied to a quite old post.:p
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