Author Topic: SOE pronoun questions  (Read 679 times)

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Online laoghaire

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SOE pronoun questions
« on: April 25, 2018, 02:44:57 PM »
LIAWHL
Who is "you"? "I wanted the world but you knew better."
Same "you" as "now you're at the other end of a telescope" or if that a different Bono singing to a different you?
And is She ("seven billion stars in her eyes") Iris?

LOH
Who is the "your" in "in your eyes alone I see the lights of home"?
Contenders I see are Iris and Jesus. Jesus is in the second person earlier ("oh Jesus if I'm still you friend") but Iris maybe has the stronger case given 1) a 37 year history of playing on her name with lyrics eg your eyes make a circle, B) she's dead, 14) he presumably just referenced her in the immediately preceding song, and 9) she's his mother and she is home.
However, Jesus was previously in the second person, and going home to Jesus/God is definitely a major cultural image.
Or, probably it's both. A dual meaning from Bono is not exactly unheard of.
Free yourself to be yourself, I assume is Iris talking to Bono again, which would add point Q) to the argument that it's in her eyes alone that he sees the lights of.

YTBTAM
We all know who You is here. My question is just, who sings the bridge? I'm hearing impaired and can't be sure whose falsetto that is. Either Edge is telling Bono that he can see what Bono can't see, or Elderly Bono is telling Young and Dumb Bono that.

TLTTGYA
"You're the only thing matters" - all along he's been talking to himself so this line sat a little strangely with me. The theme of the album is love for his family and other people. But when it came down to the big event, he was the only thing that mattered? Convince me, please, that I got it wrong.

LIBTAIIW
Everything I see written about it assumes it's to his son. The lyrics read more like he's adressing his younger self. Opinions?



Online laoghaire

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Re: SOE pronoun questions
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2018, 02:48:08 PM »
Sorry for typos. Don't feel like fixing. Gah.

Offline JFW

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Re: SOE pronoun questions
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2018, 04:47:09 AM »
Interesting post. The reason why I like SOE lyrically is that it plants a lot of questions about persons. I'll try, but beware.. it's all interpretation and that can be different.

Love is all we have left
The 'you' could be Iris. There are a lot references to Iris (Hold Me Close). The first verse of Iris has star references, which match with LIAWHL (the Telescope verse), LOH (Free yourself) and Blackout (darkness is where we learn to see / darkness lets us see, who we are).

Nevertheless, I think the you is old/and or young Bono. The autotune verse could be like grieving about his mother. The the older Bono joins his younger Bono; they're in harmony.

[I still don't know what the autotune pre chorus sings

Lights of Home
I think it's in all cases Jesus. It's like he sings like he was eye in eye with Jesus. 'In your eyes alone (or of Love, not sure) I see the lights of home'. The whole song is as a conversation with Jesus about insecurity and questions but also of hope. I don't understand the Free yourself part in it, though. Christianity is about 'you don't have to free yourself. Jesus did'. The 'you' in that part is the listener, I guess.

It could be both Jesus and Iris, of course. If in the chorus the 'you' is Iris, than that is heart breaking 'Hey  now. Do you [still] know my name'.

The Best Thing
It's Edge on the album and Edge live. For sure.

Little Things
From what I heard, The Little Things was first two different songs/tunes with working titles: The Little Things That Give You Away and Sometimes. That could explain the confusing 'you'. I think 'you' is in the sometimes part someone dear to Bono. (Probably Ali, could be anyone else).

Love Is Bigger
The 'you' is his son(s). The reason why you think he's adressing to himself, is because Bono assumes his son could think a bit in a same way. 'I know the rage in yiu is strong [like the rage was strong in me]'. 'If the moonlight caught you crying on Killiney Bay, [like I could cry when no one is around and nobody knows; I know you could be crying]'. In addition to the latest. It's were his family lives. So it's still possible for his son.

Online laoghaire

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Re: SOE pronoun questions
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2018, 02:25:38 PM »
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Love is all we have left
The 'you' could be Iris. There are a lot references to Iris (Hold Me Close). The first verse of Iris has star references, which match with LIAWHL (the Telescope verse), LOH (Free yourself) and Blackout (darkness is where we learn to see / darkness lets us see, who we are).

Nevertheless, I think the you is old/and or young Bono. The autotune verse could be like grieving about his mother. The the older Bono joins his younger Bono; they're in harmony.

[I still don't know what the autotune pre chorus sings

Ah, that pre-chorus is also very interesting. According to the lyrics page here, it's:

Don't close your eyes

Which also fascinatingly seems to refer to Iris - the whole long history of eyes again, including right here in this song, and recalling of "Mother, am I still your son?" ... like, please recognize me (also Hey now, do you know my name? maybe).

But also that little snippet seems to be to himself, to not succumb to whatever almost killed him.

Would you say that snippet is sung by The Other Bono, the telescope Bono? Which Bono is which? I don't know which is Older and which is Younger but maybe the low pitched Bono is the guy going through his mortal event, and Telescope Bono is the guy outside of himself, possibly existing in the identical time, talking himself through this event. So maybe he's not older or younger but simply the one outside, observing, narrating, maybe encouraging.

Offline JFW

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Re: SOE pronoun questions
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2018, 02:37:42 PM »
Could be. But LIAWHL was already there between Bomb and No Line. And the Autotune voice was already heard in summer of 2016. According to a interview Bono went trhough his mortal phase between christmas 2016 and new year. So it isn't likely it was about that. (Unless the bike accident was his mortal phase)

Online laoghaire

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Re: SOE pronoun questions
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2018, 02:44:04 PM »
Oh, I didn't realize. I did not track the development of the album at all so I don't know what existed when.

Though one can still see cool stuff even after the fact. Like Kite turned out to be about his Dad.

I think the bike accident sucked for him but I see no sign he rated it as a mortality event, at least along the line of whatever happened Dec 2016.

Online laoghaire

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Re: SOE pronoun questions
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2018, 04:24:05 PM »
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Lights of Home
I think it's in all cases Jesus. It's like he sings like he was eye in eye with Jesus. 'In your eyes alone (or of Love, not sure) I see the lights of home'. The whole song is as a conversation with Jesus about insecurity and questions but also of hope. I don't understand the Free yourself part in it, though. Christianity is about 'you don't have to free yourself. Jesus did'. The 'you' in that part is the listener, I guess.

It could be both Jesus and Iris, of course. If in the chorus the 'you' is Iris, than that is heart breaking 'Hey  now. Do you [still] know my name'.

Ah, you're right, seems to be In your eyes of love, not In your eyes alone. I gotta study the lyrics more carefully.

I agree that the free yourself part is not a Christian lyric (I don't think it's opposed, but just not a concern of the teaching). It's thematically an afterthought but I like it anyway.

I think I agree it's Jesus (except the coda) but there are some compelling stuff in the idea of Iris, including as you said the Do you know my name. In addition to recalling Mother, am I still your son?, there's also Hold me close, like I'm someone who you might know.

From Bono's perspective, having lost her at age 14 makes somewhat of a stranger of her, which is one of the core tragedies of that loss. But as a mother myself, and he should know as a father himself, if Iris is in any way intact (spirit survived with memories), she will always know him (and hold him close). But the fear and uncertainty is not only understandable, it's to be expected.

Online laoghaire

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Re: SOE pronoun questions
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2018, 04:34:21 PM »
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The Best Thing
It's Edge on the album and Edge live. For sure.

Little Things
From what I heard, The Little Things was first two different songs/tunes with working titles: The Little Things That Give You Away and Sometimes. That could explain the confusing 'you'. I think 'you' is in the sometimes part someone dear to Bono. (Probably Ali, could be anyone else).

Ok, cool on Best Thing. I figured Edge would sing it live but knowing it's him on the album cut settles that question.

Also, very cool on Little Things. Your explanation makes perfect sense. I could already hear it was two songs stitched together, but didn't consider that when examining the Yous in the song. We don't know who that last You is, but we can comfortably assume Ali or the family (you can be plural).

Online laoghaire

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Re: SOE pronoun questions
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2018, 04:39:18 PM »
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Love Is Bigger
The 'you' is his son(s). The reason why you think he's adressing to himself, is because Bono assumes his son could think a bit in a same way. 'I know the rage in yiu is strong [like the rage was strong in me]'. 'If the moonlight caught you crying on Killiney Bay, [like I could cry when no one is around and nobody knows; I know you could be crying]'. In addition to the latest. It's were his family lives. So it's still possible for his son.

You're right, it's the Rage line that set off my sense that it was Bono. But I don't know a thing about his son(s), maybe they have similar personality characteristics there. And your right, the Killiney Bay part confirms it's not him. But the rest could easily be him. Even though it apparently isn't.

Offline shineinthesummernight

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Re: SOE pronoun questions
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2018, 07:16:54 PM »
The You in U2 songs is usually a conflation of Jesus/Ali/the listener.  You can take it however works best for you.

Offline JFW

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Re: SOE pronoun questions
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2018, 03:32:08 PM »
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Love Is Bigger
The 'you' is his son(s). The reason why you think he's adressing to himself, is because Bono assumes his son could think a bit in a same way. 'I know the rage in yiu is strong [like the rage was strong in me]'. 'If the moonlight caught you crying on Killiney Bay, [like I could cry when no one is around and nobody knows; I know you could be crying]'. In addition to the latest. It's were his family lives. So it's still possible for his son.

You're right, it's the Rage line that set off my sense that it was Bono. But I don't know a thing about his son(s), maybe they have similar personality characteristics there. And your right, the Killiney Bay part confirms it's not him. But the rest could easily be him. Even though it apparently isn't.
I only know something about his daughter Eve, she's doing some acter-work. Maybe modelling. Elijah is on the cover and in a band (Inhaler, I thought. Or that's the song), he's is also on the cover of SOE.

I think it's just Bono reflecting the youth with himself. And seeking for similarities. The emotions are realy the same. I'm 21 years old, and started to listening to U2 when I was 16. I began listening tighter after one or two years. Boy was a discovering for me. So Bono is reflecting himself with the youth in Love Is Bigger with rights!

I'm tired, so I'm not able to give a response to the rest. I'll try later.

I want to say again: SOE is lyrically and themacally pretty intersting. AS, SOL, RFD aren't fitting imo.

Online laoghaire

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Re: SOE pronoun questions
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2018, 04:01:31 PM »
I think they fit well, actually. I understand this album to be, lyrically at least, Bono's letters. Perhaps what you are feeling is the shift from letters to his family to letters to America and Europe, but don't you think those topics are absolutely core to him? Wouldn't it be strange if he DIDN'T have letters for the refugees? This is the guy who brought us SBS, Bullet, the Refugee. It's close to his heart.

It starts in Get Out which moves from his daughters to America (and Europe), to encourage us to fight against the darkness. AS is the letter to America to remind us of our roots, inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty (who stands with a naked flame). Unity, community, refuge. SOL continues of that, probably directed more to Europe. Darkness is falling, we have one last chance to choose love. RFD is SBS Part Ii, different conflict, maybe less news, but the pain goes on.

I think it's very fitting and very smooth. Honestly the most themstically abrupt shift is Showman, which got stuck in the only possible place but doesn't flow so well.

Offline JFW

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Re: SOE pronoun questions
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2018, 09:51:46 PM »
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I think they fit well, actually. I understand this album to be, lyrically at least, Bono's letters. Perhaps what you are feeling is the shift from letters to his family to letters to America and Europe, but don't you think those topics are absolutely core to him? Wouldn't it be strange if he DIDN'T have letters for the refugees? This is the guy who brought us SBS, Bullet, the Refugee. It's close to his heart.

It starts in Get Out which moves from his daughters to America (and Europe), to encourage us to fight against the darkness. AS is the letter to America to remind us of our roots, inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty (who stands with a naked flame). Unity, community, refuge. SOL continues of that, probably directed more to Europe. Darkness is falling, we have one last chance to choose love. RFD is SBS Part Ii, different conflict, maybe less news, but the pain goes on.

I think it's very fitting and very smooth. Honestly the most themstically abrupt shift is Showman, which got stuck in the only possible place but doesn't flow so well.
Makes more sense the way you point it out.

I tead a review which made The Showman logic, too. It's with Little Things and maybe landlady selfreflection

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Re: SOE pronoun questions
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2018, 05:28:06 AM »
I'm very ok with showman > little things > landlady.

It's rfd > showman that takes a lurch for me. But not like an album ruining lurch or anything. And if showman starts side 2, then it's just fine. (I don't know where the album sides break).

Offline JFW

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Re: SOE pronoun questions
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2018, 01:11:56 AM »
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I'm very ok with showman > little things > landlady.

It's rfd > showman that takes a lurch for me. But not like an album ruining lurch or anything. And if showman starts side 2, then it's just fine. (I don't know where the album sides break).
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It don't. I agree with you ;)