Author Topic: Turn money into light to look for her  (Read 939 times)

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Offline Dali

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Re: Turn money into light to look for her
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2017, 05:03:43 PM »
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He really was writing great lyrics during the Achtung Baby/Zooropa period.  When he switched from the more poetic imagery of the Unforgettable Fire and The Joshua Tree and moved in a more personal direction, the floodgates just opened.  As an opinion question, do you think "Lemon" is too long?  Would it be more effective if it was shortened a little?  Sometimes I find my attention being drawn away while listening to it.  I agree that it is a very good song.

It is certainly not too long. I wish U2 would have made some more longer songs on their later albums. That would have been great.

Offline JFW

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Re: Turn money into light to look for her
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2017, 11:57:02 PM »
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He really was writing great lyrics during the Achtung Baby/Zooropa period.  When he switched from the more poetic imagery of the Unforgettable Fire and The Joshua Tree and moved in a more personal direction, the floodgates just opened.  As an opinion question, do you think "Lemon" is too long?  Would it be more effective if it was shortened a little?  Sometimes I find my attention being drawn away while listening to it.  I agree that it is a very good song.

It is certainly not too long. I wish U2 would have made some more longer songs on their later albums. That would have been great.
What about Sleep Like A Baby Tonight and Moment of Surrender?

Offline Chip

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Re: Turn money into light to look for her
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2017, 12:39:28 AM »
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I think the entire song, really, is about searching for something 'other'  in a world of confusion and, again, using resources, be it money, sand, videotape, etc., to find answers. As 'these are the days where our work ha come asunder ...' we are seeking order in the chaos and a plan in the random.

I think Bono just started riffing off the original idea of looking back through time thanks to the video to find his mother and went from there. His young life was thrown into chaos by his mother's death, and he's been trying to find order and reason since. The idea starts there, but it doesn't end there. The references to cars and banks brings the concept forward to adult life.

I also have always seen the search "for something other" to be the theme of the song. The home movies of Iris indeed inspired the song, but she is not the subject of the song. "Lemon" has always seemed to me to be a poetic recasting of "Ecclesiastes," painting the picture of a world where life is so much drudgery ("our work is torn asunder") that human beings seek to escape their daily lives ("look for something other"). It's only when the day is over that it seems that enjoyable life can begin ("Midnight is where the day begins"). The quest for more (and for meaning) is seen in many things human beings create: movies, architecture, banks, cathedrals, cars and roads, et al. Our creations sometimes are also means of escape, as we dream to run away from it all ("of leaving") in a search for "her." Who is she? "She's imagination" -- imagination promises a way out of the dreariness of everyday life. Still, "a man dreams of leaving but he always stays behind" -- we need stability no matter how much we desire to (or actually do) wander. With all of this depth, "Lemon" indeed is profound. It fits well on Zooropa, which takes Achtung Baby's personal concerns and moves them to a societal level.

Offline Canadanne

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Re: Turn money into light to look for her
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2017, 11:04:15 AM »
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I think the entire song, really, is about searching for something 'other'  in a world of confusion and, again, using resources, be it money, sand, videotape, etc., to find answers. As 'these are the days where our work ha come asunder ...' we are seeking order in the chaos and a plan in the random.

I think Bono just started riffing off the original idea of looking back through time thanks to the video to find his mother and went from there. His young life was thrown into chaos by his mother's death, and he's been trying to find order and reason since. The idea starts there, but it doesn't end there. The references to cars and banks brings the concept forward to adult life.

I also have always seen the search "for something other" to be the theme of the song. The home movies of Iris indeed inspired the song, but she is not the subject of the song. "Lemon" has always seemed to me to be a poetic recasting of "Ecclesiastes," painting the picture of a world where life is so much drudgery ("our work is torn asunder") that human beings seek to escape their daily lives ("look for something other"). It's only when the day is over that it seems that enjoyable life can begin ("Midnight is where the day begins"). The quest for more (and for meaning) is seen in many things human beings create: movies, architecture, banks, cathedrals, cars and roads, et al. Our creations sometimes are also means of escape, as we dream to run away from it all ("of leaving") in a search for "her." Who is she? "She's imagination" -- imagination promises a way out of the dreariness of everyday life. Still, "a man dreams of leaving but he always stays behind" -- we need stability no matter how much we desire to (or actually do) wander. With all of this depth, "Lemon" indeed is profound. It fits well on Zooropa, which takes Achtung Baby's personal concerns and moves them to a societal level.

This is an excellent post.

Offline WookieeWarrior10

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Re: Turn money into light to look for her
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2017, 11:31:28 AM »
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...
He really was writing great lyrics during the Achtung Baby/Zooropa period.  When he switched from the more poetic imagery of the Unforgettable Fire and The Joshua Tree and moved in a more personal direction, the floodgates just opened.  As an opinion question, do you think "Lemon" is too long?  Would it be more effective if it was shortened a little?  Sometimes I find my attention being drawn away while listening to it.  I agree that it is a very good song.

It is certainly not too long. I wish U2 would have made some more longer songs on their later albums. That would have been great.
What about Sleep Like A Baby Tonight and Moment of Surrender?
That's just two examples representing four albums of work. Crunching songs down to <4 minutes is a side-effect of making your songs radio-friendly.

Offline Canadanne

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Re: Turn money into light to look for her
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2017, 04:22:24 PM »
I feel like there's quite a dark thread running through this song, too. Bono has said that 'I Will Follow' is about a boy wanting to follow his mother into the grave, and here is another song inspired by his mother, with mentions of heaven and lines such as:

And I feel like I'm slowly, slowly, slowly slipping under
And I feel like I'm holding onto nothing


And I feel like I'm drifting, drifting, drifting from the shore
And I feel like I'm swimming out to her


You're gonna meet her there
She's your destination
You gotta get to her
She's imagination


A man dreams of leaving
But he always stays behind


Even "Midnight is where the day begins" could be an afterlife reference - the end is really the beginning, kind of thing.

Offline JFW

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Re: Turn money into light to look for her
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2017, 05:44:16 AM »
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I feel like there's quite a dark thread running through this song, too. Bono has said that 'I Will Follow' is about a boy wanting to follow his mother into the grave, and here is another song inspired by his mother, with mentions of heaven and lines such as:

And I feel like I'm slowly, slowly, slowly slipping under
And I feel like I'm holding onto nothing


And I feel like I'm drifting, drifting, drifting from the shore
And I feel like I'm swimming out to her


You're gonna meet her there
She's your destination
You gotta get to her
She's imagination


A man dreams of leaving
But he always stays behind


Even "Midnight is where the day begins" could be an afterlife reference - the end is really the beginning, kind of thing.
Wow, thanks for mention it. I never realised that it was só heavy. But I think the 'midnight' section is some more positive like some a kind of mentioned before: at some point it could not get worse; only better.

Offline Chip

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Re: Turn money into light to look for her
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2017, 11:13:50 PM »
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I feel like there's quite a dark thread running through this song, too. Bono has said that 'I Will Follow' is about a boy wanting to follow his mother into the grave, and here is another song inspired by his mother, with mentions of heaven and lines such as:

And I feel like I'm slowly, slowly, slowly slipping under
And I feel like I'm holding onto nothing


And I feel like I'm drifting, drifting, drifting from the shore
And I feel like I'm swimming out to her


You're gonna meet her there
She's your destination
You gotta get to her
She's imagination


A man dreams of leaving
But he always stays behind


Even "Midnight is where the day begins" could be an afterlife reference - the end is really the beginning, kind of thing.

Although I think Iris is barely in the song, Canadanne, I think that there's a pervasive unusual mix of irony and sadness in the lyrical and vocal mix throughout -- perhaps pathos is a better term. "Lemon" is not a light track. On it and other album tracks, it seems to me that behind much of the irony, there's heartbreak for the societal trends depicted and humanity in general.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2017, 11:18:39 PM by Chip »

Offline briscoetheque

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Re: Turn money into light to look for her
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2017, 06:58:41 AM »
I think it's about God. Definitely.

Offline Canadanne

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Re: Turn money into light to look for her
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2017, 06:11:47 PM »
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I feel like there's quite a dark thread running through this song, too. Bono has said that 'I Will Follow' is about a boy wanting to follow his mother into the grave, and here is another song inspired by his mother, with mentions of heaven and lines such as:

And I feel like I'm slowly, slowly, slowly slipping under
And I feel like I'm holding onto nothing


And I feel like I'm drifting, drifting, drifting from the shore
And I feel like I'm swimming out to her


You're gonna meet her there
She's your destination
You gotta get to her
She's imagination


A man dreams of leaving
But he always stays behind


Even "Midnight is where the day begins" could be an afterlife reference - the end is really the beginning, kind of thing.

Although I think Iris is barely in the song, Canadanne, I think that there's a pervasive unusual mix of irony and sadness in the lyrical and vocal mix throughout -- perhaps pathos is a better term. "Lemon" is not a light track. On it and other album tracks, it seems to me that behind much of the irony, there's heartbreak for the societal trends depicted and humanity in general.

Bono describes the song in much the same way:

"I have very few memories of my mother because my father never talked about her after she died. So it was a very strange experience to receive, in the post, from a very distant relative, early Super 8 footage of my mother, aged 24, younger than me, playing a game of rounders in slow motion. This beautiful, young Irish girl, with a narrow waist, curvaceous figure, dark gypsy hair. The film was early colour and it looked extraordinary. It was a wedding, where she was the maid of honour in this beautiful lemon dress. I sang in my Fat Lady voice but there's a poignancy to the lyric. There were two things going on, memory and loss, a portrait of a girl in a shimmering lemon dress that kept it sexy and playful and the pathos of a man separated from the things he loves."

Their greatest masterpiece, in my opinion. (And I love that we got to see the inspirational footage when they played Iris live!)

Offline WookieeWarrior10

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Re: Turn money into light to look for her
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2017, 09:27:30 PM »
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I think it's about God. Definitely.
Bold prediction.

Offline pdk

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Re: Turn money into light to look for her
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2017, 03:25:03 PM »
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I understand a lot about Lemon. But the senctence 'He turns his money into light to look for her' is still a mystery to me.

I know that those lines sung by Edge having a personal view. But this I don't feel anything when I'm hearing this line: what means 'turning light into money'?

My interpretation:

An artist does not always have a vision and then expresses it.  Most often through the creative process or looking back at the completed work the artist then learns about his or the human condition (social &/or spiritual).

I see the artist in this song as a film maker who turns his resources (money) into means (light) to exercise (or exorcise) his creative process in pursuit of the rewards that motivate him.