Author Topic: The Joshua Tree - Themes  (Read 5164 times)

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Offline Parsons

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Re: The Joshua Tree - Themes
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2015, 11:44:20 PM »
 
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TTYW.   Bono once said the song " Is about a mermaid we once met in America "


That was regarding its earlier incarnation as "Womanfish," right? I think TTYW speaks of a much bigger "fish."

Yes that's true it was " Womanfish " I stand corrected still there is a illusion of seduction is in TTYW as well.

The interview you refer to concerning IGC was with Dave Fanning and I believe Bono was trying to explain that the song was about an Irish ( immigrants ) view of America .

                        " she is Liberty she comes to rescue me "

Viewing the statue from the ship.

In the one I'm thinking of, he actually said IGC could have been about Ireland, and he couldn't decide for a while if he was writing/had written about Ireland or America. The way I read it, even though he chose America in the end, he felt that most of the song's sentiments also applied to Ireland.

Like you brilliantly explained Bono writes in layers or in duality, which gives their songs a universal appeal.

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Quote
I hope you mean deserts at the end there ;)

Sorry, didn't wanna compare African sweet dishes to American - was thinking about it and too lazy to look it up - it was late, when I typed this.

...

I was still thinking about the songs on The Joshua Tree - and sort of had the idea that ISHFWILF also fits in that theme very well. A lot of the ideas that the foundation of the US is based on stem from Christian faith. But having this knowledge and faith is not enough (for a nation as well as for an individual) ... you have to keep running and searching and looking for more.



" And yes I'm still running "

Nice one Lizard.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2015, 11:58:36 PM by Parsons »

Offline Lizard

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Re: The Joshua Tree - Themes
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2015, 04:46:54 AM »
Those "running" or "climbing" images show up several times in Bono's lyrics.
To me they all talk of a strive for more in the spiritual life.

I was just wondering, in which songs we can find them.

I can think of :
Streets ( I wanna run ...)
ISHFWILF ( I have climbed highest mountains, I have run to the sea ..... and yes, I'm still running)
RTSS (she runs through the streets...) where the person running sort lacks the real goal
I'll go crazy if I don't go crazy tonight (it's not a hill it's a mountain, as we start out the climb)

3 Songs from the Joshua Tree and one from NLOTH. Can anyone think of more?

Offline tom_b1807

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Re: The Joshua Tree - Themes
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2015, 05:10:10 AM »
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TTYW.   Bono once said the song " Is about a mermaid we once met in America "


That was regarding its earlier incarnation as "Womanfish," right? I think TTYW speaks of a much bigger "fish."


Yes that's true it was " Womanfish " I stand corrected still there is a illusion of seduction is in TTYW as well.

The interview you refer to concerning IGC was with Dave Fanning and I believe Bono was trying to explain that the song was about an Irish ( immigrants ) view of America .

                        " she is Liberty she comes to rescue me "

Viewing the statue from the ship on their way inn also the opening line

"Desert sky dream beneath a desert sky "

Clearly it's America Ireland has no desert.

The last line

"Naked flame she stands a naked flame "

Again the statue

"I stand with the sons of Cain burned by the fire of love "

Cain the one who murdered his brother again an illusion to The Troubles in Ireland Catholic/ Protestant conflict or perhaps the violent Norman / Viking history.

'We need new dreams tonight' could also maybe allude to that idea of Irish immigrants going to America.

Offline zimbo

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Re: The Joshua Tree - Themes
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2015, 04:49:02 PM »
Very odd that a record so renown is getting such very little response ?

Offline Parsons

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Re: The Joshua Tree - Themes
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2015, 05:00:30 PM »
It's funny How TJT is sometimes falsely tagged as radio friendly U2 but when the songs first came out they were nothing like the garbage main stream radio was playing at the time.
You could say TJT was one of the first successful albums to bring alternative / independent
music to the mainstream.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2015, 05:11:27 PM by Parsons »

Spidermike

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Re: The Joshua Tree - Themes
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2015, 06:07:45 PM »
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It's funny How TJT is sometimes falsely tagged as radio friendly U2 but when the songs first came out they were nothing like the garbage main stream radio was playing at the time.
You could say TJT was one of the first successful albums to bring alternative / independent
music to the mainstream.

Along with Document by REM which was released in March 87 also.

We used to hear Bullet the Blue Sky on the radio when JT was released. It wasn't a single and carried overt political themes. You just wouldn't get that today.

Spidermike

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Re: The Joshua Tree - Themes
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2015, 06:10:38 PM »
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It's funny How TJT is sometimes falsely tagged as radio friendly U2 but when the songs first came out they were nothing like the garbage main stream radio was playing at the time.
You could say TJT was one of the first successful albums to bring alternative / independent
music to the mainstream.

Along with Document by REM which was released in March 87 also.

We used to hear Bullet the Blue Sky on the radio when JT was released. It wasn't a single and carried overt political themes. You just wouldn't get that today.

That's mainstream rock radio, before alternative became a format.

Offline THRILLHO

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Re: The Joshua Tree - Themes
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2015, 08:52:59 PM »
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It's funny How TJT is sometimes falsely tagged as radio friendly U2 but when the songs first came out they were nothing like the garbage main stream radio was playing at the time.
You could say TJT was one of the first successful albums to bring alternative / independent
music to the mainstream.

Along with Document by REM which was released in March 87 also.

We used to hear Bullet the Blue Sky on the radio when JT was released. It wasn't a single and carried overt political themes. You just wouldn't get that today.

oh man i used to hear BTBS ALL the time on the radio in the 90s. AND the WAIA version of Bad.

Offline Parsons

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Re: The Joshua Tree - Themes
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2015, 10:44:02 PM »
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It's funny How TJT is sometimes falsely tagged as radio friendly U2 but when the songs first came out they were nothing like the garbage main stream radio was playing at the time.
You could say TJT was one of the first successful albums to bring alternative / independent
music to the mainstream.






Along with Document by REM which was released in March 87 also.

We used to hear Bullet the Blue Sky on the radio when JT was released. It wasn't a single and carried overt political themes. You just wouldn't get that today.

True REM' s The One I Love was on the radio a lot back then.
U2, REM, Cure (etc) changed the face of mainstream formula they were responsible for opening the door for all the trends that came down the pike in the 90's.
TJT was one of the first to brake the monsters back.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2015, 10:52:35 PM by Parsons »

Offline zimbo

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Re: The Joshua Tree - Themes
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2015, 11:05:18 PM »
If Echo would have kept it together they would have broke the U.S. , LIPS LIKE SUGAR was huge that year. Always loved how TJT and Echo's gray album covers looked similar courtesy of Anton Corijbn.

Spidermike

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Re: The Joshua Tree - Themes
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2015, 11:46:36 AM »
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Those "running" or "climbing" images show up several times in Bono's lyrics.
To me they all talk of a strive for more in the spiritual life.

I was just wondering, in which songs we can find them.

I can think of :
Streets ( I wanna run ...)
ISHFWILF ( I have climbed highest mountains, I have run to the sea ..... and yes, I'm still running)
RTSS (she runs through the streets...) where the person running sort lacks the real goal
I'll go crazy if I don't go crazy tonight (it's not a hill it's a mountain, as we start out the climb)

3 Songs from the Joshua Tree and one from NLOTH. Can anyone think of more?

Here's a few more from JT that may or may not have been already mentioned:

'She's running to stand still ...' -- RTSS
'See the face of fear running scared in the valley below...' -- Bullet the Blue Sky

And more river imagery...

'We run like a river runs to the sea...' -- One Tree Hill
'The rivers run but soon run dry ...' -- In God's Country

Also Red Hill Mining Town:

'From father to son/the blood runs thin'
'The glass is cut/the bottle run dry'
« Last Edit: May 08, 2015, 12:04:12 PM by Spidermike »

Offline Parsons

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Re: The Joshua Tree - Themes
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2015, 12:08:31 AM »
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Those "running" or "climbing" images show up several times in Bono's lyrics.
To me they all talk of a strive for more in the spiritual life.

I was just wondering, in which songs we can find them.

I can think of :
Streets ( I wanna run ...)
ISHFWILF ( I have climbed highest mountains, I have run to the sea ..... and yes, I'm still running)
RTSS (she runs through the streets...) where the person running sort lacks the real goal
I'll go crazy if I don't go crazy tonight (it's not a hill it's a mountain, as we start out the climb)

3 Songs from the Joshua Tree and one from NLOTH. Can anyone think of more?

Here's a few more from JT that may or may not have been already mentioned:

'She's running to stand still ...' -- RTSS
'See the face of fear running scared in the valley below...' -- Bullet the Blue Sky

And more river imagery...

'We run like a river runs to the sea...' -- One Tree Hill
'The rivers run but soon run dry ...' -- In God's Country

Also Red Hill Mining Town:

'From father to son/the blood runs thin'
'The glass is cut/the bottle run dry'

That's so cool thanks.

Noel Gallagher just voted TJT U2's best album.

Offline Chip

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Re: The Joshua Tree - Themes
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2015, 08:51:26 PM »
I've always thought that "Streets" encapsulates the album's themes in miniature. We're "building then burning down love" -- imagery echoed directly in "Exit" and a bit less directly in BTBS and IGC. "When I go there, I go there with you" -- imagery that makes a reappearance (although worded slightly differently) in ISHFWILF and WOWY, in particular. but also RHMT.   "Our love turns to rust" becomes "Our love runs cold in the caverns of the night" in RHMT. "Beaten and blown by the wind" finds its parallel in "the howling wind" of BTBS. The "poison rain" is also referenced in "Heartland," the first song recorded for the album, and finds close cousins in "the poison from the poison stream" in RTSS and "the stinging rain" of BTBS. The "place high on the desert plain" is similar to the "thunder on the mountain" (an image with an obvious biblical parallel) of TTYW and even "the highest mountains" of ISHFWILF. And there's more . . .

Spidermike

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Re: The Joshua Tree - Themes
« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2015, 12:24:22 PM »
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I've always thought that "Streets" encapsulates the album's themes in miniature. We're "building then burning down love" -- imagery echoed directly in "Exit" and a bit less directly in BTBS and IGC. "When I go there, I go there with you" -- imagery that makes a reappearance (although worded slightly differently) in ISHFWILF and WOWY, in particular. but also RHMT.   "Our love turns to rust" becomes "Our love runs cold in the caverns of the night" in RHMT. "Beaten and blown by the wind" finds its parallel in "the howling wind" of BTBS. The "poison rain" is also referenced in "Heartland," the first song recorded for the album, and finds close cousins in "the poison from the poison stream" in RTSS and "the stinging rain" of BTBS. The "place high on the desert plain" is similar to the "thunder on the mountain" (an image with an obvious biblical parallel) of TTYW and even "the highest mountains" of ISHFWILF. And there's more . . .

Good stuff Chip

Offline Yukona [The League of Extraordinary Bonopeople]

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Re: The Joshua Tree - Themes
« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2015, 11:17:25 AM »
Something which struck me about the way BTBS is played on this tour: "...outside is America".  In so many ways, there was no "outside" of America in 1987. The influence is global. As Wim Wenders said, America has colonized our subconscious, and as an Irishman playing rock and roll i think Bono was certainly acutely aware of that. Songs like Mothers and BTBS deal with that I think, about the consequences of American policy decisions on real, small lives all around the world.