Author Topic: Analyzing "Sunday Bloody Sunday"  (Read 20069 times)

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Offline JoshB.

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Analyzing "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
« on: May 30, 2009, 06:40:14 PM »
For a school project, I have to analyze a song. I chose Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2. I'm having a little trouble finding the meaning of some of these lines. Maybe someone here can help me...

"Broken bottles under children's feet"
Not really sure what this means. (Bad environments for the children, or perhaps some kind of metaphor?)

But I won't heed the battle call.
I was thinking something along the lines of not fighting violence with violence (if someone could reword this it would be greatly appreciated!)

It puts my back up against the wall.
Another metaphor maybe?...

"Wipe your tears from your eyes..." Verse
Can't think of a way to rephrase this verse!

"And it's true we are immune/When fact is fiction and TV reality"
Very difficult for me analyze this. It may be something personal for The Edge.

The real battle just begun/To claim the victory Jesus won

Thanks to anyone that can help!
« Last Edit: May 30, 2009, 06:45:48 PM by JoshB. »



Vonobox

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Re: Analyzing "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2009, 01:01:41 PM »
This song is not a rebel song, this song is Sunday Bloody Sunday.   

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Offline the Edge Gotto

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Re: Analyzing "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2009, 01:36:05 PM »
"Broken bottles under children's feet": I think this means that the city and towns are destroyed and wrecked. Windows and other things are probably broken because of riots and glass bottles might be broken and children are sometimes standing on these broken glass bottles.

"But I won't heed the battle call": Just means that Bono won't fight and won't answer the call for soldiers. It's him saying that he is refusing to fight.

"It puts my back up against the wall": I think this just means that Bono may have taken some grief for his choice not to fight. Back then he was a young Irish man who was probably told he should fight. He was probably in a difficult situation.

"Wipe your tears from your eyes..." verse: Just Bono doesn't want to see anybody crying. He is trying to comfort the people.

"And it's true we are immune/ When fact is fiction and TV reality" I think he's just saying that "True; we are use to this. Fact has turned into fiction and TV has turned to reality."

"The real battle just begun/To claim the victory Jesus won" This war was mostly a religious one.

I hope this helps. It's mostly just my take on this but I think it's probably pretty accurate.   

Offline JoshB.

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Re: Analyzing "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2009, 09:53:39 PM »
Wow, thanks a lot for the help!  ;D

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"Broken bottles under children's feet": I think this means that the city and towns are destroyed and wrecked. Windows and other things are probably broken because of riots and glass bottles might be broken and children are sometimes standing on these broken glass bottles.

"But I won't heed the battle call": Just means that Bono won't fight and won't answer the call for soldiers. It's him saying that he is refusing to fight.

"It puts my back up against the wall": I think this just means that Bono may have taken some grief for his choice not to fight. Back then he was a young Irish man who was probably told he should fight. He was probably in a difficult situation.

"Wipe your tears from your eyes..." verse: Just Bono doesn't want to see anybody crying. He is trying to comfort the people.

"And it's true we are immune/ When fact is fiction and TV reality" I think he's just saying that "True; we are use to this. Fact has turned into fiction and TV has turned to reality."

"The real battle just begun/To claim the victory Jesus won" This war was mostly a religious one.

I hope this helps. It's mostly just my take on this but I think it's probably pretty accurate.   

Offline the Edge Gotto

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Re: Analyzing "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2009, 09:54:58 PM »
No problem. I performed Sunday Bloody Sunday for a school concert on Saturday so I have memorized the entire song basically.

Offline cathalmc

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Re: Analyzing "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2009, 02:15:48 PM »

There have been two Bloody Sundays in Ireland. In each the British Army killed 14 civilians. The second one was in Derry in 1972, during a riot when many petrol bombs in glass bottles were thrown by youths at the soldiers. Many people volunteered to join the IRA afterwards. The British embassy in Dublin was attacked and burned down. It was a very polarised tense time. There's certainly a strong historical and political aspect to it - but, as with most of Bono's lyrics, they can't be take at face value. There's also his own religious convictions bundled up in there too.

As well as analysing it line by line, you could also research and describe responses to the song, especially when it was first released - just after the Hunger Strikes in Northern Ireland.

Offline Immy1992

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Re: Analyzing "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2009, 04:33:56 PM »
My personal understanding of the individual lines:
Broken bottle's under childrens feet - children were winessing violence and even taking part, and they were being brought up amongst all this.??
But i won't heed the battle calls - Bono refuses to take part in the violence??
It puts my back up against the wall - fear of getting hurt/'stabbed in the back' by 'fighters' who think hes unloyal as he doesnt want to be involved??
And it's true we are immune - the band have been taken away from it by the media/fame??
when fact is fiction and TV reality - It's different/worse in reality than portrayed in the media (on the new etc.)??
The real battle just begun... - The fight was over religon, protestant v catholics... not sure about the 'victory jesus won' though... maybe the 'winning side' were victorious in jesus' eyes?? maybe, jesus' victory was christianity, but their victory/loss will be which denomination (e.g. either protestant or catholic) wins...??

maybe researching the 'troubles' in northern ireland will give you some more insight.

Offline TheFly

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Re: Analyzing "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2009, 06:53:41 AM »
I think the line "when fact is fiction and TV reailty" is probably about seeing the atrocities on the news and any other TV show, when TV is supposed to be a place of escapism through fictitious shows.

Offline 1985

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Re: Analyzing "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2009, 07:03:58 AM »
My take is below. Hope your paper goes well. I hated those when I was young and miss them now!

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"Broken bottles under children's feet"
>>>>The nature of this type of terroristic warfare is particularly awful because it occurs right in city streets, not some far off battlefield. In these conflicts, children are drawn in as participants and subject to being easy victims simply because the fight is all around them. This line is used to heighten the outrage and sense of irresponsibility we feel about a "war" that many believed was a noble fight. The writer's point is that it was a most ignoble fight.

But I won't heed the battle call.
>>>>While many young Irish men were drawn to the conflict and chose side according to their religious denomination, the writer of this will not do as expected. He will not take sides.

It puts my back up against the wall.
>>>>Perhaps there's more than a little pressure to come out for one side or another. When you won't fight, when you won't even declare your interest, you are often called a coward by those fueled by the passions of the moment.

"Wipe your tears from your eyes..." Verse
>>>>The writer is putting the spotlight not on the so-called heroic participants in this on-going gang violence, but on the families suffering loss. They should be the object of our sympathy. There are no fighting heroes in this conflict, the writer wants us to know.

"And it's true we are immune/When fact is fiction and TV reality"
>>>>Think of this as a pre-cursor to the ZooTV theme. We are numb to real, felt pain because we experience these heart-breaking events in our living rooms largely, where our experience is shaped by misinformed journalists and well-equipped propagandists, all in a back-drop of short attention spans. (Think: "In Belfast, a bomb blast killed more than twenty on a street corner today. Now, turning to sports...") This line puts the spotlight on us, those apart from the conflict. Do we sit and watch on TV and say to ourselves, that's a shame...then forget about it? Or do we struggle for peace? Do we challenge ourselves to do something when people are dying unjustifiably? Think about other threads on this discussion board...is it sufficient for us to simply hear Bono dedicate a song to a political activist in a country most of us know nothing about (Myanmar)...or do we have a moral duty to do something more, to stand up for justice even through symbolic means and identifying with that activist and her plight.

The real battle just begun/To claim the victory Jesus won

>>>>The first point here is that the street gang violence between Protestant and Catholic is NOT the real battle. If you are a believer in Jesus, then inter-dominational tussles are quite beside the point. What exactly is the victory that Jesus won? I think there could be multiple takes on this, but based on other lyrics from the same writer, we can guess that transcendant LOVE has a lot to do with it. Think of the pleaing in another, more recent song about religious strife, Love and Peace: "Where is the love? Where's the love? LOOOOOOOVE..." The victory Jesus won places God's love for man and the goal of man's love for man above all other rules, all other codes of conduct, all of other systems or orders. And nothing could be further from that goal than the strife at the heart of Sunday Bloody Sunday.