Author Topic: Blake reference in the "The Blackout"  (Read 168 times)

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Offline NOLA Fly

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Blake reference in the "The Blackout"
« on: December 07, 2017, 01:26:23 PM »
I was reading the comments on Consequence of Sounds' review of SOE and learned something interesting. The commenter was responding to COS's criticism of Bono's "maddening attempt to force random names into the verses" of "The Blackout". The commenter pointed out that that was actually a reference to William Blakes' Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. I Google searched it and, sure enough, in "The Chimney-Sweeper" in Songs of Innocence there is a list of names including Ned and Jack. The poem also opens with the line "When my mother died I was very young," so I don't think this is just some coincidence. Knowing the reference and reading the poem deepened my appreciation of the song.

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Anyway, I love finding out things like this and thought I would pass it along.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 09:58:58 PM by NOLA Fly »



Offline ian ryan

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Re: Blake reference in the "The Blackout"
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2017, 02:35:20 PM »
Good find! I need to read SOI&E.

Offline Bundang Dave

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Re: Blake reference in the "The Blackout"
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2017, 09:04:45 PM »
Thanks for pointing that out. Those names had been bugging me.

When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry " 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!"
So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep.

There's little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head
That curled like a lamb's back, was shaved, so I said,
"Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head's bare,
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair."

And so he was quiet, & that very night,
As Tom was a-sleeping he had such a sight!
That thousands of sweepers, d**k, Joe, Ned, & Jack,
Were all of them locked up in coffins of black;

And by came an Angel who had a bright key,
And he opened the coffins & set them all free;
Then down a green plain, leaping, laughing they run,
And wash in a river and shine in the Sun.

Then naked & white, all their bags left behind,
They rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind.
And the Angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy,
He'd have God for his father & never want joy.

And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark
And got with our bags & our brushes to work.
Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm;
So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.




lol, sorry about the swear filter with the name that's a short for for Richard.

Offline fresno dave

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Re: Blake reference in the "The Blackout"
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2017, 01:50:57 PM »
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Thanks for pointing that out. Those names had been bugging me.

When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry " 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!"
So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep.

There's little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head
That curled like a lamb's back, was shaved, so I said,
"Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head's bare,
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair."

And so he was quiet, & that very night,
As Tom was a-sleeping he had such a sight!
That thousands of sweepers, d**k, Joe, Ned, & Jack,
Were all of them locked up in coffins of black;

And by came an Angel who had a bright key,
And he opened the coffins & set them all free;
Then down a green plain, leaping, laughing they run,
And wash in a river and shine in the Sun.

Then naked & white, all their bags left behind,
They rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind.
And the Angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy,
He'd have God for his father & never want joy.

And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark
And got with our bags & our brushes to work.
Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm;
So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.




lol, sorry about the swear filter with the name that's a short for for Richard.

Love that one of the names got censored.

Nola Fly: Thanks so much for finding this connection.

There may be more Blake-inspirations. Bono has been inspired by these books for a long time.
It does help me feel better about the names...even though it's a bit cheesy.

I'll be checking in with Blake.  TRainspotting and Blake-spotting is good discipline w/U2.
(One of the most helpful unrecognized connections id the checkmating reference in Vertigo
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