Miss Sarajevo

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Oct 6, 2000
Gaithersburg, MD, US
What do you guys interpret from this song? I love it, but I have no idea where to start to interpret it because I know nothing about Sarajevo or Passenger for that matter...

"Well if you dream then dream out loud...Always"
Don't know much about it... but that hasn't stopped mw from commenting before!

I remember a reference to how even in the middle of all the death and destruction... A "Miss Sarajevo" beauty contest would still be held.
People is sad denial? or people trying to survive, and not go insane, and trying to have a bit of "normalcy" in their incredibley difficult lives.
I believe the images in the video are of actual said contest.

But.. I could be wrong.


You broke the bonds and you loosed the chains. Carried the cross and all my shame. You know I believe it.
"is there a time for keeping your distance?
A time to turn your eyes away?...

the first time I listened to Miss Sarajevo from the beginning to the end was after one of my friends from Bosnia gave me a tape where he had recorded it. The lyrics just seemed to speak about what I had been thinking of for a long time after I met those dear friends. I found in those lines the feeling I got while looking into my friends' eyes...where I saw nothing but seventeen-year-old kids, just as me, and while looking at them and while listening to their stories they needed me to listen to I was beginning to realize that nothing, just nothing is ever as far from us as we think it is...and while suffering with them for what they had been through I understood we all have to care about what happens around us. Because actually it happens inside of us, we are all involved!!!! There is never a time for keeping our distance, there's never a time to turn our eyes away just because we think "it's not me" or "it's so far"...they're just excuses for keeping on with our day, just as we were blind!!!!
Before all that pain occurred in their lives my friends used to have it "normal", girls went shopping like every girl in the world, they liked to make up like every girl in the world, some of them used to turn to Mecca, some of them had first communion, but all of them liked going shopping and looking beautiful, everyone used to have the same life style as everywhere else in the world. Then something happened and nothing was as before: the song tells about this very moment but above all about how the world used to look at this, making up one of those "distances" only mind and fear can create.
Trash Can, I completely agree with your interpretation. You said it all about this; there was a "Miss Sarajevo" who was just trying to tell the world, we're here, we're not far from you and please don't turn your eyes away from us don't pretend it's not your business!!!! Just trying to survive, surreal in that terrible contest.

Four years have passed since I first met those friends from Sarajevo and other places. Now, for me their name aren't that hard to spell anymore, since after I realized all those things, I did my best to learn the language and to learn something about their culture. Not in order to understandbecause I think that such things, such pain just can't be understood. I did it because I wanted them to feel me close, I wanted to erase those made up "distances" and I wanted to keep on looking into their eyes, without turning mine away.
And still Miss Sarajevo is one of the dearest songs to me. If not the dearest ever.

"Dici che il fiume trova la via al mare
e come il fiume tu giungerai a me
oltre i confini e le tere assetate
Dici che come il fiume
Come il fiume...L'AMOR
E non so pi? pregare
E nell'amore non so pi? sperare
E quell'amore non so pi? aspettare..."

These lines mean
"you say that the river finds a way to the sea
And just like the river you will reach me
Beyond the borders and the thirsty lands
you say that like the river...
just like the river...LOVE
Will come...LOVE!!!
And I cannot pray anymore
And I cannot hope in love anymore
And I cannot wait for that love anymore"

Those kids seemed to say just those same words even only through that look in their eyes.

So that's my story...
this was just my personal interpretation to this song according to my experience...

Ciao a tutti
Bye everyone


Svirati u Sarajevu
je vas poklon nama...

Bono - Sarajevo 23.09.97
Then one fine mornin' she puts on a New York station

She don't believe what she heard at all

She started dancin' to that fine fine music

You know her life was saved by Rock n' Roll...

Thats an amazing story, Sjajana, and i'm glad you are with us on this forum. Your interpretation cannot be questioned by anyone, as it affects you in a personal way.

This song is overlooked, but shouldn't be because Bono's lyrics are some of the best he's ever written. They clearly question the logic that if there isn't time for peace in this world then how is there time for the artificial things in life? Thats just how i've viewed it but everyone will see things differently; its like a group of people admiring a jewel, everyone can see a different side or facet of it.

Grazie mysteriousspirit,
yours is a wonderful view about all this. I find that so sweet and brilliant at the same time... and true!

It's great to be here

Svirati u Sarajevu
je vas poklon nama...

Bono - Sarajevo 23.09.97
Then one fine mornin' she puts on a New York station

She don't believe what she heard at all

She started dancin' to that fine fine music

You know her life was saved by Rock n' Roll...

OH MYYYY...if you haven't picked up the Passengers CD yet, get it, it'll blow you away!!! It's so unlike U2, but yet such a cool CD...I got mine this weekend and it's all I've been listening to! Miss Sarajevo is about the people of that city [back in the 80s] trying to continue to have some semblance of a 'normal' life while all around war and destruction reign. One of those 'normal' things was a beauty pageant, and in Bono's words "here she comes...beauty plays the clown...surreal in her crown..." because the whole thought of a beauty pageant in a war zone was just completely surreal. The words in the italian opera verses [translated] are also very deep and moving... really a great song and CD.
Wow you guys, you have blown me away with your answers, specially Sjajana... That's an amazing story... Thanks for letting me know that point of view... That was basically what I was looking for. Thanks!

"Well if you dream then dream out loud...Always"
Great sharing it
with you all

[This message has been edited by Sjajana (edited 05-31-2001).]
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