A reader writes:
It is not my desire to defend all of Bono’s lyrics. I, too, have often wondered, “what the fuck?” when listening to the words of many a U2 song. However, to make the emphatic statement that their lyrics never make any sense seems, well, senseless.
How can someone who has written and spoken repeatedly about the important role of doubt fail to grasp the meaning of these words from “But I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”:
“I believe in the Kingdom Come
When all the colors will bleed into one, bleed into one
But, yes, I’m still running
You broke the bonds
And you loosed the chains
Carried the cross
And all my shame, all my shame
You know I believe it
But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”
Or, how about the haunting words of the singer to his tough, distant, and now-deceased father in “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own”?
“I know that we don’t talk I’m sick of it all
Can you hear me when I sing?
You’re the reason I sing.
You’re the reason why the opera’s in me
Well, hey now, still got to let you know
A house doesn’t make a home
Don’t leave me here alone”
These sentiments certainly make sense - as well as speak - to me.
I guess these extracts are intelligible. Put them into the totality of the songs and they tend to bleed into blarney. But I concede it isn't total nonsense. For those who enjoy Bono's music despite his insufferable smugness and opaque lyrics, the video after the jump is a treat: