Author Topic: Iris (Hold Me Close) Help Needed  (Read 3823 times)

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Offline WhyImFading

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Iris (Hold Me Close) Help Needed
« on: September 17, 2014, 04:48:59 PM »
Hi! I was wondering if anyone that is better at interpretation than me can help answer a few questions I have about the lyrics on this song. (the more I listen to it the more intrigued I am)  I want to preface this post by saying I don't read album reviews (I find them trivial and mundane) so perhaps I have missed an explanation on a few key points to this song.  I understand that this song is about Bono's mother, Iris Hewson and most of it is relatively clear.  Here are my questions:

"The stars are bright but do they know
The universe is beautiful but cold...
You took me by the hand
I thought that I was leading you
But it was you made me your man
Machine." 
What is the significance of "Machine"? Does this have some implication of Bono having difficulty with feelings after her death?

Secondly,
"Don't fear the world it isn't there"
Is this only pertaining to Bono's nightmares as a child or something much deeper? 

This song, especially a few moments in it, haunt me.  Thanks for your time!



Offline an tha

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Re: Iris (Hold Me Close) Help Needed
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2014, 05:00:22 PM »
Man Machine I think is a reference to kraftwerks album
« Last Edit: September 17, 2014, 05:02:18 PM by an tha »

Offline wraitii

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Re: Iris (Hold Me Close) Help Needed
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2014, 05:28:32 AM »
Which from what I've read was gifted to Bono by his mother.

Offline an tha

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Re: Iris (Hold Me Close) Help Needed
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2014, 05:32:34 AM »
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Which from what I've read was gifted to Bono by his mother.

Not sure about that - the album was released in 1978.

Didn't she die when Bono was 14 - so around 1974.

I think the album may have been bought for Bono by Ali....

Offline wraitii

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Re: Iris (Hold Me Close) Help Needed
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2014, 05:49:23 AM »
Ah, maybe, I might have confused Ali and Iris in reading.

Offline WhyImFading

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Re: Iris (Hold Me Close) Help Needed
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2014, 01:04:46 PM »
Thanks for the responses ya'll!!  :D  I just got confused by the lyrics...it is a beautiful song nonetheless.  Hopefully, some more information will come out on some of the nuances in the writing.  Some of these songs go very, very deep so it is fun to learn more about them. 

Offline miryclay

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Re: Iris (Hold Me Close) Help Needed
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2014, 07:51:59 AM »
A quote definitely exists of Bono saying he about a Kraftwerk album with his wife. Man Machine came out in 1978 so that is probably it. 

Offline Silver Lining

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Re: Iris (Hold Me Close) Help Needed
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2014, 03:18:50 AM »
"But it was you made me your man... machine."

It would make sense if this was a reference to the Kradftwork album, especially when you consider the lyrics to it's opening song "The Robot"

"We are programmed just to do, Anything you want us to" fits very well with the concept of a mother raising her son, who now realises as an adult that she was in charge even when he thought he was the one leading her.

And perhaps the line "We're functioning automatic, And we are dancing mechanic" would also resonate with the way Bono felt after her death?

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Secondly,
"Don't fear the world it isn't there"
Is this only pertaining to Bono's nightmares as a child or something much deeper?

The end of the song is Bono directly relating memories of his mother, so I think that will be something she said once while calming him down after a nigthmare.

Offline miryclay

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Re: Iris (Hold Me Close) Help Needed
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2014, 05:19:02 PM »
Bono confirmed on the Fanning broadcast about the Kraftwerk reference

surit87

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Re: Iris (Hold Me Close) Help Needed
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2014, 03:11:24 AM »
The chorus lyrics remind me of salome.

meximofo

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Re: Iris (Hold Me Close) Help Needed
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2014, 09:03:02 AM »
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The chorus lyrics remind me of salome.
Yes! Thank you! I always thought that "Hold me close and don't let me go" sounds a lot like "Baby please don't go"

surit87

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Re: Iris (Hold Me Close) Help Needed
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2014, 11:56:18 PM »
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The chorus lyrics remind me of salome.
Yes! Thank you! I always thought that "Hold me close and don't let me go" sounds a lot like "Baby please don't go"

That and then there are names of women (Iris and Salome) in the choruses.

Offline AllThoseThingsILove

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Re: Iris (Hold Me Close) Help Needed
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2014, 02:25:56 AM »
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Bono confirmed on the Fanning broadcast about the Kraftwerk reference

But why would he throw an Ali reference in a song about his mother?

Offline miryclay

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Re: Iris (Hold Me Close) Help Needed
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2014, 09:56:39 PM »
I honestly think he couldn't help just putting in that reference because it was so good a contributes to the background of the song. The references places the theme of a song in a period. Many Irish writers do wordplay without any consideration of meaning and just because. 

Offline Chip

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Re: Iris (Hold Me Close) Help Needed
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2014, 10:24:07 PM »
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Bono confirmed on the Fanning broadcast about the Kraftwerk reference

But why would he throw an Ali reference in a song about his mother?

It seems to me that Bono frequently switches "you" referents within a song. Maybe thoughts commonly lead him to other associations.