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U2 => General U2 Discussion => Topic started by: andyt on February 06, 2009, 03:03:21 AM

Title: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: andyt on February 06, 2009, 03:03:21 AM

I was listening to 'Mercy' on youtube and have come to the conclusion Bono has become one of the worst lyricists in popular music:

'I know Iím weed killer, honey, and youíre sugar
If youíre the prosecution I get away with murder
If you were ice, Iím water
And with your telescope I can see further
Weíre binary code, a one and a zero'

Or try

'I want the lot of what you got
And I want nothing that you're not'

from Original of the Species.

And this is from a man who can write beautiful words like:

'And I could never take a chance
Of losing love to find romance
In the mysterious distance between a man and a woman

For love and faith and sex and fear
And all the things that keep us here
In the mysterious distance between a man and a woman'

Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: Bono in Bonolands on February 06, 2009, 03:05:08 AM
Bliss
Title: Reconnecting with PRIDE! (or maybe u have another)wh
Post by: Anthony02 on February 06, 2009, 03:07:56 AM
Do I dare comment?
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: andyt on February 06, 2009, 03:09:06 AM

Please do comment
Title: Reconnecting with PRIDE! (or maybe u have another)wh
Post by: Anthony02 on February 06, 2009, 03:15:23 AM
I need to get to bed. I will later today. :)
Title: Reconnecting with PRIDE! (or maybe u have another)wh
Post by: Anthony02 on February 06, 2009, 03:19:56 AM
And I read your other post. Im not here to throw my toys at you. But I think you want other people too. Hope that doesnt get me detention. Just my opinion.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: andyt on February 06, 2009, 03:30:10 AM

You're right up to a point. The herd mentality in never something that's appealed to me  - and U2 fans are rather like sheep.

That said, U2 used to be my favourite band. I went all over the world to see them. But, I think they've lost a lot of what made them special.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: TheFlyingLemon on February 06, 2009, 03:35:04 AM
*throws hammer at author*

But still, Bono at his songwriting worst is still better than Chris Martins/Coldplays or Brandon Flowers'/Killers songwriting, but I won't go too far into that.

I'm hopeful that Bono is returning to his songwriting best, from what i've read on some album reviews the lyrics they have mentioned have been terrific.  :)
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: andyt on February 06, 2009, 03:42:42 AM

I'm with you on the Coldplay and Killers angle.

To be fair, Bono has written some glorious lyrics - but not recently.

As far as the new album is concerned, I'm not as hopeful as you...
Title: Reconnecting with PRIDE! (or maybe u have another)wh
Post by: Anthony02 on February 06, 2009, 03:48:40 AM
I hear what your sayin Andy. I encourage negative comments. Nothing wrong with a opinion. Ill probably get beat down, but Ive never been a big fan of Mercy. It sounds like an unfinished song. But I do like the lyrics to Original Of The Species.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: andyt on February 06, 2009, 03:53:23 AM

Yeah, I love Original too. But Bono always seems to blow it:

'Baby slow down
The end is not as fun as the start
Please stay a child somewhere in your heart'

is great!

but then he blunders:

'I want the lot of what you got
And I want nothing that you're not'

which doesn't really make sense. But set to an amazing melody
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: Lesmo on February 06, 2009, 04:14:18 AM
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I was listening to 'Mercy' on youtube and have come to the conclusion Bono has become one of the worst lyricists in popular music:

'I know Iím weed killer, honey, and youíre sugar
If youíre the prosecution I get away with murder
If you were ice, Iím water
And with your telescope I can see further
Weíre binary code, a one and a zero'

Or try

'I want the lot of what you got
And I want nothing that you're not'

from Original of the Species.

And this is from a man who can write beautiful words like:

'And I could never take a chance
Of losing love to find romance
In the mysterious distance between a man and a woman

For love and faith and sex and fear
And all the things that keep us here
In the mysterious distance between a man and a woman'



That's why I didn't want to comment on Mercy....
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: andyt on February 06, 2009, 04:17:28 AM

Yes, although to be fair, even Bono has admitted that the words to 'Where the streets have no name' don't mean anything and don't make sense...
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: andyt on February 06, 2009, 04:24:20 AM

And let's not forget Martin Luther King wasn't shot (from 'Pride')

'early morning, April 4th'

more

'late aftrenoon, April 4th'

Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: spanner on February 06, 2009, 06:05:34 AM
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And let's not forget Martin Luther King wasn't shot (from 'Pride')

'early morning, April 4th'

more

'late aftrenoon, April 4th'


don't you know the lyrics don't mean sh*t its all about the drums  ;D
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: CiscoJP on February 06, 2009, 06:12:00 AM
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You're right up to a point. The herd mentality in never something that's appealed to me  - and U2 fans are rather like sheep.

That said, U2 used to be my favourite band. I went all over the world to see them. But, I think they've lost a lot of what made them special.

Anthony02 is right, someone at some point is going to throw their toys at you, to borrow his phrase. Not because you're posting negative opinions, but because you seem to be here mainly to post coments that will get people here riled up. You obviously don't like U2 anymore, and that's fine. But it's going to make a lot of people wonder why you come into the U2 forums to post things such as "Pride is rubbish" and "U2 fans are rather like sheep." Broad, inflammatory statements like that will not get you respect. It just comes off as bullying and annoying for the sake of being annoying. So be prepared...

That being said, I tend to agree that Mercy, as a song, is quite overrated. I kept hearing people talk about it like it was the greatest song U2 had ever recorded, and when I finally heard it, I was a bit disappointed. It's kind of mediocre. Not a horrible song, but not the gift from heaven most fans made it out to be, either.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: U2#1-War on February 06, 2009, 06:15:02 AM
Its a shame they let people like you on these fourms
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: andyt on February 06, 2009, 06:48:31 AM
Ok, but I'm allowed to fight my corner.

I'm not sure who 'people like me' are but:

I have the opinions for a reason - I have always felt that U2 were a big contradiction in some repsects. I also think they among the great music they've made is also some really poor music. And for all the good work Bono might do I think he is often way off the mark.

The reason I use phrases like 'throw your toys out of the pram' is because that's exactly what people do here when you say anything negative.

I remeber Bono himself once saying 'somewhere within contradiction is the truth'. It is possible to argue from polar opposites and much as I love some of their music, they really are deeply frustrating too.

'People like me' are allowed on here because I like U2 - check out what else I've said. There's plently positive. Here's somehting I posted in the music thread.

'Give me a break - I'm not trying to be contraversial.

Pride is a dreadful lumbering song full of embarrasing bluster.

The rest of the LP is genius.'

Maybe 'People like you' should take a balanced view of things.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: DGordon1 on February 06, 2009, 06:54:41 AM
There's far too much disrespect of fellow fans on this forum. Some people generally do like pretty much everything U2 does, that doesn't make them "sheep". Also, some people like some of their work but not others. That doesn't make them non-fans. We all have different tastes, and as long as nobody's saying ignorant or inflammatory things, there's no need to argue.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: kubokuk on February 06, 2009, 06:59:27 AM
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Yeah, I love Original too. But Bono always seems to blow it:

'Baby slow down
The end is not as fun as the start
Please stay a child somewhere in your heart'

is great!

but then he blunders:

'I want the lot of what you got
And I want nothing that you're not'

which doesn't really make sense. But set to an amazing melody

I really don't get you - what's wrong with these lyrics? song is, in some ways, about just being yourself, so Bono wants that person to be real, he wants what she's/he's got, what she/he is. That person doesn't have to play someone else (I want nothing that you're not).
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: DGordon1 on February 06, 2009, 07:03:29 AM
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Yeah, I love Original too. But Bono always seems to blow it:

'Baby slow down
The end is not as fun as the start
Please stay a child somewhere in your heart'

is great!

but then he blunders:

'I want the lot of what you got
And I want nothing that you're not'

which doesn't really make sense. But set to an amazing melody

I really don't get you - what's wrong with these lyrics? song is, in some ways, about just being yourself, so Bono wants that person to be real, he wants what she's/he's got, what she/he is. That person doesn't have to play someone else (I want nothing that you're not).


I agree, it's just a different lyrical style. You don't need to fill a song with abstract metaphors to call it good lyrically. And HTDAAB, like ATYCLB, was about getting rid of all complications and being honest. Joshua Tree style lyricism wouldn't have fit with the last two albums.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: andyt on February 06, 2009, 07:07:07 AM

Oh well - I just felt the line 'I want nothing that you're not' doesn't make sense. It's a double negative.

But please, everyone else, I've said I love this:

'Baby slow down
The end is not as fun as the start
Please stay a child somewhere in your heart'

SO STOP CALLING ME NEGATIVE!!!  :)
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: kubokuk on February 06, 2009, 07:11:32 AM
I never called you negative;)

About double negative - maybe I'm wrong, but i think that is how language works (not only english)
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: andyt on February 06, 2009, 07:13:53 AM
Sorry, I didn't mean you in particular.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: Mr. BonorFLYd on February 06, 2009, 07:14:10 AM
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I was listening to 'Mercy' on youtube and have come to the conclusion Bono has become one of the worst lyricists in popular music:

'I know Iím weed killer, honey, and youíre sugar
If youíre the prosecution I get away with murder
If you were ice, Iím water
And with your telescope I can see further
Weíre binary code, a one and a zero'

Or try

'I want the lot of what you got
And I want nothing that you're not'

from Original of the Species.

And this is from a man who can write beautiful words like:

'And I could never take a chance
Of losing love to find romance
In the mysterious distance between a man and a woman

For love and faith and sex and fear
And all the things that keep us here
In the mysterious distance between a man and a woman'



He fumbles once in a while. But, for the most part he's still brilliant. I think he often tries to say common things with a fresh approach. Sometimes it works and other times it raises eyebrows. I do think Bono's style has changed a lot. Joshua Tree was very poetic with a lot of visual words ex: Running To Stand Still. Achtung Baby used words Bono Never used before such as well.."Baby". And made the most use of double entendres where a word could have a sexual or spiritual reference perhaps. A lot of sexual references actually. I think ATYCLB & HTDAAB are much more personal. In someways more direct. Not as Romantic sounding. And doesn't Bono say something like "I'm tired of romance" in Miracle Drug? I actually think there are some good lines on Mercy (though perhaps you're mostly right on the verse you supplied here). There's a reference to Nero (the insane Roman emperor) that's brilliant.

Actually what you picked out on OOTS I don't have a problem with. But can someone tell me what " I'll give you everything you want
Except the thing that you want"
means???? I never quite understood it!

As for NLOTH - It seems already we will hear some differences. GOYB already has Dylanesque phrasing and a few lines (as Bono was even saying) that could be a T-shirt slogan i.e. I've got a submarine, You've got gasoline... catchy lines that are a bit tongue & cheek.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: CiscoJP on February 06, 2009, 07:19:20 AM
Double negatives are often used in lyrics. It's called artistic or poetic license.

Pink Floyd, anyone?
We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: DGordon1 on February 06, 2009, 07:44:43 AM
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Double negatives are often used in lyrics. It's called artistic or poetic license.

Pink Floyd, anyone?
We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control


Yeah but in that instance it's not meant to be taken as a double negative. And Bono used a very similar line to that OOTS line on So Cruel, so it's not a new thing for him to do. Even in a calssic song like Bad, he says "I'm Wide Awake, I'm not sleeping". For me that's actually worse lyricism than the example from OOTS. Still an amazing song though.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: andyt on February 06, 2009, 07:51:41 AM
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Double negatives are often used in lyrics. It's called artistic or poetic license.

Pink Floyd, anyone?
We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control


That's not the kind of double negative I'm talking about. In fact, it's not a double negative at all
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: CiscoJP on February 06, 2009, 07:53:57 AM
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Double negatives are often used in lyrics. It's called artistic or poetic license.

Pink Floyd, anyone?
We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control


Yeah but in that instance it's not meant to be taken as a double negative. And Bono used a very similar line to that OOTS line on So Cruel, so it's not a new thing for him to do. Even in a calssic song like Bad, he says "I'm Wide Awake, I'm not sleeping". For me that's actually worse lyricism than the example from OOTS. Still an amazing song though.

I know, I was just pointing out that double negatives are often used in lyrics :) A double negative would be "I don't want nothing..." or something along those lines...
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: U2#1-War on February 06, 2009, 07:56:12 AM
Yea its simple, Ill give you everything you want  except the thning you want..... meaning ( his daughter wants to go off and live her own life but bono, and Edge are not ready to lose there daughters that way) you have to think out of the box a tad
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: CiscoJP on February 06, 2009, 07:56:36 AM
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Oh well - I just felt the line 'I want nothing that you're not' doesn't make sense. It's a double negative.


???
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: JuniorEmblem on February 06, 2009, 07:59:48 AM
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You're right up to a point. The herd mentality in never something that's appealed to me  - and U2 fans are rather like sheep.

That said, U2 used to be my favourite band. I went all over the world to see them. But, I think they've lost a lot of what made them special.

Anthony02 is right, someone at some point is going to throw their toys at you, to borrow his phrase. Not because you're posting negative opinions, but because you seem to be here mainly to post coments that will get people here riled up. You obviously don't like U2 anymore, and that's fine. But it's going to make a lot of people wonder why you come into the U2 forums to post things such as "Pride is rubbish" and "U2 fans are rather like sheep." Broad, inflammatory statements like that will not get you respect. It just comes off as bullying and annoying for the sake of being annoying. So be prepared...

That being said, I tend to agree that Mercy, as a song, is quite overrated. I kept hearing people talk about it like it was the greatest song U2 had ever recorded, and when I finally heard it, I was a bit disappointed. It's kind of mediocre. Not a horrible song, but not the gift from heaven most fans made it out to be, either.

I look at mercy in the context of htdaab, it's better than almost anything on there.

Context is a great thing.....

Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: andyt on February 06, 2009, 08:02:28 AM

Maybe musically but really:

'I know i'm weedkiller honey... and you're sugar
If you're the prosecution... i get away with murder
If you were ice... i'm water'

'I know i'm weedkiller honey... and you're sugar' - why would a gorwn man write that?
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: JuniorEmblem on February 06, 2009, 08:02:58 AM
there will always be Bono lyrical clunkers even on the greatest of albums ("your salt water kisses" ????wtf????)

However, the last album to have consistently great lyrics with minimal clunkers was Pop.


Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: JuniorEmblem on February 06, 2009, 08:05:29 AM
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Maybe musically but really:

'I know i'm weedkiller honey... and you're sugar
If you're the prosecution... i get away with murder
If you were ice... i'm water'

'I know i'm weedkiller honey... and you're sugar' - why would a gorwn man write that?

I know, but it's about par for the course for that album (romance / distance ???)

And the submarine/gasoline thing has me a wee bit worried going forward but like everyone else let's wait and see



Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: jick on February 06, 2009, 08:09:04 AM
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I was listening to 'Mercy' on youtube and have come to the conclusion Bono has become one of the worst lyricists in popular music:

'I know Iím weed killer, honey, and youíre sugar
If youíre the prosecution I get away with murder
If you were ice, Iím water
And with your telescope I can see further
Weíre binary code, a one and a zero'

Or try

'I want the lot of what you got
And I want nothing that you're not'

from Original of the Species.

And this is from a man who can write beautiful words like:

'And I could never take a chance
Of losing love to find romance
In the mysterious distance between a man and a woman

For love and faith and sex and fear
And all the things that keep us here
In the mysterious distance between a man and a woman'



Do not be too harsh on Mercy.  That was never ever released for crying out loud.  That is not counted in the U2 cannon.  There are definitely reasons why it never saw the light of day and the lyrics maybe be among them.

Cheers,

J
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: U2#1-War on February 06, 2009, 08:10:21 AM
Yall are having a cow over a song that was a throw away......
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: andyt on February 06, 2009, 08:13:33 AM

We are using it as an example young man.

There are plently of other songs with brilliant lines and truly awful ones...

'Tough
You think you've got the stuff
You're telling me and anyone you're hard enough
You don't have to put up a fight
You don't have to always be right
Let me take some of the punches for you tonight' - genius

'Freedom has a scent like the top of a newborn baby's head' - what?
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: CiscoJP on February 06, 2009, 08:18:12 AM
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We are using it as an example young man.

There are plently of other songs with brilliant lines and truly awful ones...

'Tough
You think you've got the stuff
You're telling me and anyone you're hard enough
You don't have to put up a fight
You don't have to always be right
Let me take some of the punches for you tonight' - genius

'Freedom has a scent like the top of a newborn baby's head' - what?

I actually like "Miracle Drug" quite a lot. And I like the analogy there. I think he was just equating freedom with being pure and simple and something that can't really be bad. I don't think it's a bad lyric at all...
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: andyt on February 06, 2009, 08:26:39 AM

Yeah, it's a great song but that lyric makes me cringe.

Let's hope the new LP is better although I read a review on here (which has subsequently been taken off (another case on no one being allowed to say anything negative)) which quoted some lyrics about finding some oranges in a tank.

Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: U2#1-War on February 06, 2009, 08:29:53 AM
just b/c people dont understand lyrics does not make them bad
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: andyt on February 06, 2009, 08:31:46 AM

Thanks for that pearl of wisdom.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: DGordon1 on February 06, 2009, 08:32:46 AM
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We are using it as an example young man.

There are plently of other songs with brilliant lines and truly awful ones...

'Tough
You think you've got the stuff
You're telling me and anyone you're hard enough
You don't have to put up a fight
You don't have to always be right
Let me take some of the punches for you tonight' - genius

'Freedom has a scent like the top of a newborn baby's head' - what?

I actually like "Miracle Drug" quite a lot. And I like the analogy there. I think he was just equating freedom with being pure and simple and something that can't really be bad. I don't think it's a bad lyric at all...

Me neither. I think there's a lot of bandwagon jumping when it comes to that lyric.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: kubokuk on February 06, 2009, 09:00:08 AM
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just b/c people dont understand lyrics does not make them bad

agreed,
there is that thing called poetry, and lines like 'Freedom has a scent like the top of a newborn baby's head' are some kind of poetry. In my opinion poetry is a ability to look deeper and feel in a different way and when you think about it that way, you can realise that sometimes freedom can indeed smell, and sometimes that smell can be like a top of a newborn baby's head.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: xtrmntr on February 06, 2009, 10:39:59 AM
I like U2 and had not heard Mercy until reading another board.  I went to youtube and listened to the song.  My God, those are some bad lyrics.  Right up there with Miracle Drug and Original of the Species.  Lyrics only stick out when they're really bad.  I mean, I don't have a problem with Numb, Some Days, or Playboy Mansion.  But when you try for some real emotion (ie miracle drug, mercy, all because of you) and miss terribly with awful lyrics, it just sounds bad, really bad.  I hate to pile it on since I like the group, but the lyrics have been getting worse.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: Mr. BonorFLYd on February 06, 2009, 11:22:26 AM
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just b/c people dont understand lyrics does not make them bad

agreed,
there is that thing called poetry, and lines like 'Freedom has a scent like the top of a newborn baby's head' are some kind of poetry. In my opinion poetry is a ability to look deeper and feel in a different way and when you think about it that way, you can realise that sometimes freedom can indeed smell, and sometimes that smell can be like a top of a newborn baby's head.

yep. freedom definitely has a smell. And if it's like the smell of a Baby's head, then what we've smelled over the past 8 years has been a soiled rank diaper. And that smell is still wafting through: It was just announced that the Bush Administration OVERPAID 'FOR THE BAILOUT' BY $78 BILLION. $40 MILLION OF THAT WENT TO AIG!! WTF!!!!!The level of corruption is disgusting. We've been lied to so many times.  >:(
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: ian ryan on February 06, 2009, 12:33:10 PM
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I was listening to 'Mercy' on youtube and have come to the conclusion Bono has become one of the worst lyricists in popular music:

'I know Iím weed killer, honey, and youíre sugar
If youíre the prosecution I get away with murder
If you were ice, Iím water
And with your telescope I can see further
Weíre binary code, a one and a zero'

Or try

'I want the lot of what you got
And I want nothing that you're not'

from Original of the Species.

And this is from a man who can write beautiful words like:

'And I could never take a chance
Of losing love to find romance
In the mysterious distance between a man and a woman

For love and faith and sex and fear
And all the things that keep us here
In the mysterious distance between a man and a woman'



I think those Mercy lyrics are some of his best in ages.  I mean, "We're binary code:  a one and a zero.  You wanted violins and you got Nero," that's just brilliant.  OOTS has some simple lyrics in places but when it gets it right, it knocks it out of the park. 
Do I think Bono's lyrics have changed?  Yeah.  I think he writes about himself too much, as opposed to what he observes in the world around him.  His lyrics aren't meant to inspire his life so much as reflect his life.  I do think this lessens their effect a bit.  However, I'm hard pressed to think of a current lyricist who can compare to him for the sheer romance, intensity, and poetry of a lot of what he does.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: Mr. BonorFLYd on February 06, 2009, 03:05:54 PM
Definitely agree. Violins & Nero Line is great. And, whether you love his lyrics or cringe at spots...he gets your attention! I can't really think of too many singers that get people to really tune in these days like Bono. Perhaps that's why the H8ters write just as much about Bono as U2 fans. That level of interest sometimes means that something is worth talking about.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: Bono in Bonolands on February 06, 2009, 03:14:12 PM
Still not as ad as "a mole, digging in a hole, digging up my soul..."
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: B on February 06, 2009, 04:41:03 PM
it's the Ben Harper Syndrome of playing on opposites ... which is cliche and an easy way out. Bono can do better.

Don't get me wrong-- I LOVE THE SONG. Really. But there is something 'demo' about some of the lyrics.

Still, why they wouldn't refine the song and release it kills me.

At least we have the demo.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: BeneathTheNoise on February 07, 2009, 01:38:17 AM
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And let's not forget Martin Luther King wasn't shot (from 'Pride')

'early morning, April 4th'

more

'late aftrenoon, April 4th'


don't you know the lyrics don't mean sh*t its all about the drums  ;D

No, you're ALL wrong!! It'S A MUSICAL JOURNEY!!!  :-*
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: andyt on February 07, 2009, 03:31:31 AM

If you can't even get some basic historical facts right...
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: Izzy on February 07, 2009, 06:52:36 AM
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there will always be Bono lyrical clunkers even on the greatest of albums ("your salt water kisses" ????wtf????)

However, the last album to have consistently great lyrics with minimal clunkers was Pop.




salt water kisses could refer to tears, but i read in a book about the meanings behind U2's lyrics its means something else salty that i don't want to post.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: JuniorEmblem on February 07, 2009, 09:36:35 AM
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there will always be Bono lyrical clunkers even on the greatest of albums ("your salt water kisses" ????wtf????)

However, the last album to have consistently great lyrics with minimal clunkers was Pop.




salt water kisses could refer to tears, but i read in a book about the meanings behind U2's lyrics its means something else salty that i don't want to post.

yeah i read that theory too........it was pretty lame........

Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: Mr. BonorFLYd on February 07, 2009, 11:53:29 AM
Achtung Baby was full of double entendres. and one of the themes was a mixing of spirituality and sexuality. "Did I disappoint you
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?" - umm..not that this line in particular is an example of spirituality, lol.   :P
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: andyt on February 07, 2009, 12:28:22 PM

I presume you're referring to oral s*x. Can I write the 's' word on here?

I don't think 'did i leave a bad taste in your mouth' is anything to do with it...
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: InThisHeartland on February 07, 2009, 12:39:49 PM
To go back to the "Killers have bad lyrics" idea, how bout:

"Are we human, or are we dancer?"

Even if it HAD correct grammar, that is a horrible lyric. Worse than "Grace, its a name for a girl". At least that one makes sense!
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: ian ryan on February 07, 2009, 12:55:32 PM
Achtung Baby was full of references to oral sex. 

"Figure of 8, 6 and 9 again"
"Surrounding me, going down on me"
As mentioned above, "Did I disappoint you, leave a bad taste in your mouth"
"You can swallow or you can spit"
"You better learn how to kneel, on your knees, boy"

As Bono has said, 69 is the most equal sexual position.

Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: Mr. BonorFLYd on February 07, 2009, 01:54:52 PM
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Achtung Baby was full of references to oral sex. 

"Figure of 8, 6 and 9 again"
"Surrounding me, going down on me"
As mentioned above, "Did I disappoint you, leave a bad taste in your mouth"
"You can swallow or you can spit"
"You better learn how to kneel, on your knees, boy"

As Bono has said, 69 is the most equal sexual position.


exactly! Well laid out! I was just trying to explain that there were several themes on this album and a lot of word play. It had me going "Did he just say...umm does he really mean this?". It kind of creeps into your conscious. It's a very suggestive album. And when the Tour came out their was a lot of emphasis on words and phrases on those screens. We absorbed some things that we didn't initially realize because they were flashing so quickly. I remember the big controversy on those screens too....because U2 claimed they were putting up words at random and not really controlling what words were combined, and yet one of the sentences displayed read "Bomb Japan Now" and that obviously was a VERY sensitive thing for our friends in Japan.  :-\

Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: Mr. BonorFLYd on February 07, 2009, 01:57:46 PM
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I presume you're referring to oral s*x. Can I write the 's' word on here?

I don't think 'did i leave a bad taste in your mouth' is anything to do with it...

'sex' isn't a bad word. it's how you got here  ;)
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: Izzy on February 09, 2009, 12:41:25 PM
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I presume you're referring to oral s*x. Can I write the 's' word on here?

I don't think 'did i leave a bad taste in your mouth' is anything to do with it...

'sex' isn't a bad word. it's how you got here  ;)

so the whole stork thing was bull??
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: Mr. BonorFLYd on February 09, 2009, 01:04:34 PM
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I presume you're referring to oral s*x. Can I write the 's' word on here?

I don't think 'did i leave a bad taste in your mouth' is anything to do with it...

'sex' isn't a bad word. it's how you got here  ;)

so the whole stork thing was bull??

lol..I didn't see that coming  ::)  ;D
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: joegtheog on February 09, 2009, 02:17:34 PM
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I presume you're referring to oral s*x. Can I write the 's' word on here?

I don't think 'did i leave a bad taste in your mouth' is anything to do with it...

'sex' isn't a bad word. it's how you got here  ;)

so the whole stork thing was bull??

lol..I didn't see that coming  ::)  ;D

I got here with oral???? LOL

To answer the original question, no.  Some of the most original and challenging lyrics come from this man.  He sure ain't perfect ("intellectual tortoise" "screaming flower") but Mercy in particular moves the hell out of me.

Love is where I lie
Love puts the blue back in my eye
Love has come again
I am gone again

Love has got to be with the weak
Only then love gets a chance to speak

And Original of the Species might be the best song on HTDAAB, IMHO.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: Mr. BonorFLYd on February 09, 2009, 04:08:54 PM
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I presume you're referring to oral s*x. Can I write the 's' word on here?

I don't think 'did i leave a bad taste in your mouth' is anything to do with it...

'sex' isn't a bad word. it's how you got here  ;)

so the whole stork thing was bull??

lol..I didn't see that coming  ::)  ;D

I got here with oral???? LOL

To answer the original question, no.  Some of the most original and challenging lyrics come from this man.  He sure ain't perfect ("intellectual tortoise" "screaming flower") but Mercy in particular moves the hell out of me.

Love is where I lie
Love puts the blue back in my eye
Love has come again
I am gone again

Love has got to be with the weak
Only then love gets a chance to speak

And Original of the Species might be the best song on HTDAAB, IMHO.

I agree. As for OOTS, what the heck does "I'll give you everything you want
Except the thing that you want" mean?
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: joegtheog on February 09, 2009, 04:13:26 PM
I think he's trying something along the lines of I can't live with or without you" in which there is an inherent contradiction in what he is trying to express     There's always one thing we can never do as a parent or a partner that can make our kids/other partner happy, so I think he's saying "I'll do what I can but I can't do that"     Meatloaf, anyone?  LOL
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: Bono in Bonolands on February 09, 2009, 04:28:48 PM
Bono can write what ever he wants and people will fawn.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: Mr. BonorFLYd on February 09, 2009, 04:37:52 PM
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Bono can write what ever he wants and people will fawn.

But, if you find his lyric a yawn...will Chris Martin "fix you"?   :P
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: joegtheog on February 09, 2009, 04:50:06 PM
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Bono can write what ever he wants and people will fawn.

And hardcore fans like me will also know when he's written some dumb lines, like the ones I pointed out earlier in the thread. ("My Mammy!!!") And the Playboy Mansions' lyrics about OJ and Michael Jackson are painfully dated now.  Doesn't mean he's not a great writer.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: ian ryan on February 09, 2009, 04:58:54 PM
But in both Miami and the Playboy Mansion, he's got some great lines as well.

We could make something beautiful, something that wouldn't be a problem.

Chance is a kind of religion where you're damned for playing hard luck

The banks, they're like cathedrals.  I guess casinos took their place.  Love, come on down.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: Mr. BonorFLYd on February 09, 2009, 05:32:36 PM
a lot of good stuff there! Also, Until The End of The World is one of my favorites. The way Bono became Judas in that song and talking about The Last Supper is BRILLIANT! THAT IS AMAZZZZZZING WRITING especially in a Pop/Rock song.

We ate the food, we drank the wine
Everybody having a good time
Except you
You were talking about the end of the world
I took the money
I spiked your drink
You miss too much these days if you stop to think
You lead me on with those innocent eyes
You know I love the element of surprise
In the garden I was playing the tart
I kissed your lips and broke your heart
You...you were acting like it was
The end of the world
................... Waves of regret and waves of joy
I reached out for the one I tried to destroy
You...you said you'd wait
'til the end of the world.

Not many Rock lyricists can do that!
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: Bono in Bonolands on February 09, 2009, 05:40:09 PM
The greatest problem with Bono Vox is the distance between his best and worst lyrics.

He truly writes some magnificent stuff but he also writes some stuff that he simply doesnít pay enough attention to.

Eno and Lanios used to be a good team mainly because they could tell Bono Vox when something wasnít up to standard. I am not sure if that relationship is the same now.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: Mr. BonorFLYd on February 09, 2009, 07:39:32 PM
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The greatest problem with Bono Vox is the distance between his best and worst lyrics.

He truly writes some magnificent stuff but he also writes some stuff that he simply doesnít pay enough attention to.

Eno and Lanios used to be a good team mainly because they could tell Bono Vox when something wasnít up to standard. I am not sure if that relationship is the same now.


There definitely has been stylistic shifts. He used to read a lot of poetry I think. But, now it's more direct. Sometimes that's good and sometimes it's not. Eno used to come in with a chalkboard of what words were overly used/cliches and words that describe jumping off points. So, During AB they were aware of falling into cliches and using words like 'streets' or 'city'. Eno & Lanois have been a great team because they are different but what they bring to the table compliments the music. I guess we will see if that happens again this time! Surely, the fact that they were asked to also be writing partners must've had them pretty excited.  :D

Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: joegtheog on February 09, 2009, 08:00:06 PM
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But in both Miami and the Playboy Mansion, he's got some great lines as well.

We could make something beautiful, something that wouldn't be a problem.

Chance is a kind of religion where you're damned for playing hard luck

The banks, they're like cathedrals.  I guess casinos took their place.  Love, come on down.
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The greatest problem with Bono Vox is the distance between his best and worst lyrics.

He truly writes some magnificent stuff but he also writes some stuff that he simply doesn’t pay enough attention to.

Eno and Lanios used to be a good team mainly because they could tell Bono Vox when something wasn’t up to standard. I am not sure if that relationship is the same now.




I once told someone that I would rather watch U2 and Bono fall flat on their face with their efforts than a lot of other bands "succeed" with the same drivel they crank out time after time.  Bono has always been "a nice bunch of guys" and full of contradictions.  "Miami" is a great lightning rod song for this topic because of both of the points you two bring up. Its great and awful all at once, kind of like America. Bono and the boys are still drawn to the bright lights and the vicious underbelly of this country, as evidenced by GOYB. The Playboy Mansion also contains one of my favorite lyrics

Then will there be no time for sorrow
Then will there be no time for shame
And though I can't say why
I know I've got to believe

And the chorus on Original of the Species brings me goosebumps.

Everywhere you go you shout it
You don't have to be shy about it

Even on All Because of You, right after talking about being an "intellectual tortoise" we have an unabashed praise of God

Some people get squashed crossing the tracks
Some people got high rises on their backs
I'm not broke, but you can see the cracks
You can make me perfect again
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: jimyjazz on February 10, 2009, 10:44:51 AM
He's always been spotty.  When he's on he's one of the best, and when he's off he's terrible.  Same goes for the singing, and for their music.  Still, he's better than anything on the radio wasteland.
Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: Sydney_Mike on February 11, 2009, 04:12:42 AM
Sometimes you have to mine a lot of coal to find a few diamonds.

To be fair, there's no one out there who can consistently write brilliant lines for every verse, of every song on every album. There are going to be some lines that blow people's minds or resonate with them, and yet there will be others where you ask yourself, where the hell does the come from or what does it mean. I suspect some of us could do no better than "The sky is blue / I love you"

I agree with BIB that the distance between some of Bono's best and worst lyrics is quite a long way. I'm still not quite ready to forgive the use of "intellectual tortoise" and "busy intersection" on the last album. Yet I can marvel at the idea behind "I want to trip inside your head / Spend the day there / To hear the things you havenít said / And see what you might see" in Miracle Drug.

IMHO the quality of the lyrics on the last 2 albums was compromised by all his external activities. Hopefully, he's been more focussed this time around.

And just for the record, he knew exactly when MLK died but used poetic licence because 'early evening' didn't flow right.

Title: Re: Has Bono lost the plot lyrically?
Post by: andyt on February 11, 2009, 05:53:20 AM
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Sometimes you have to mine a lot of coal to find a few diamonds.

To be fair, there's no one out there who can consistently write brilliant lines for every verse, of every song on every album. There are going to be some lines that blow people's minds or resonate with them, and yet there will be others where you ask yourself, where the hell does the come from or what does it mean. I suspect some of us could do no better than "The sky is blue / I love you"

I agree with BIB that the distance between some of Bono's best and worst lyrics is quite a long way. I'm still not quite ready to forgive the use of "intellectual tortoise" and "busy intersection" on the last album. Yet I can marvel at the idea behind "I want to trip inside your head / Spend the day there / To hear the things you havenít said / And see what you might see" in Miracle Drug.

IMHO the quality of the lyrics on the last 2 albums was compromised by all his external activities. Hopefully, he's been more focussed this time around.

And just for the record, he knew exactly when MLK died but used poetic licence because 'early evening' didn't flow right.




I'm with you on his lyrics.

But really, putting 'early morning, April 4th, shot rings out in the Memphis Sky' is even more of a crime if he knew what time MLK was shot!

He could of gone for something like 'light fading, April 4th, shot rings out in the Memphis Sky'