Sunday, September 29, 2013


Before there was the Joshua Tree and Rattle and Hum, in 1981 U2 produced an album that would spawn only one recognizable song. October is one of my favorite U2 albums. The only recognizable song to many would be Gloria. The rest of the songs, gems if you ask me, are dreamy at times and are wrought with politics, religion, and young angst.

This is where our Bono becomes David, the King and Psalm writer and makes his debut of sorts. He mixes traditional Catholic Latin te domine (Glory, In You Lord) with a sort of power ballad to the father, son and Holy Ghost Himself. Statements like But only in you I'm complete make reference to the band's overall Christian beliefs. Add a catchy bass solo by Adam Clayton and the praise-filled song become a band favorite.

I Fall Down
I don't know who Julie and John are but it seems as if they are down on their luck. But Julie seems like a pretty positive person. And let's just say that The Edge really loves pianos on this album.

I Threw A Brick Through A Window
Adam has strong bass presence on this song, one of my favorites on the album. It could be a song about a typical male adolescent sibling argument; it could also be about the Troubles. And in this song, Bono is flirting with symbolism and allegory, his literary genius comes out in this song with lyrics such as No one is blinder, Than he who will not see, No one is blinder, Than me. Its definitely a song about conflict of some kind and it has a very haunting feeling to it.
Did you know how devout to Christianity Bono, The Edge and Larry were? Enough to not only write this song, but to write this song about Adam not carrying that same devout belief that the others did.
These are some extremely deep lyrics for 20 something kids to be writing Just tell me what am I supposed to say, I can't change the world, But I can change the world in me, If I rejoice, Rejoice...

Yup, if you haven't gotten the religious overtones of the album yet, this one might just do it. It even starts out with sort of a chant that you might hear in church. It's a very apocalyptic, fire and brimstone song. He also references going home in this song, and I don't think he meant anywhere near the River Liffey.
Such a beautiful, sad, haunting song about the Troubles. The pipes even add to the sorrow of this song. Won't you come back tomorrow, Won't you be back tomorrow, Will you be back tomorrow, Can I sleep tonight?It isn't about the person who died, but the song writer himself, telling a black funeral cab to return another day. It's also the cry for what  Christ stands for Open up, open up, To the lamb of God, To the love of he who made , The blind to see, He's coming back, He's coming back, I believe it, Jesus coming.
Ahh, the song I play each October 1st. The piano notes are like the first chilly nights of the month. Simple song about the month the album was released.

With A Shout
When a song contains references to Jerusalem, sides of the hill and messiah, you know where the band was coming from. It shocks so many that songs that sound like typical U2, Larry's Apprentice Boys sharpshooter drumming, Adam's bass and the perfect notes from The Edge, could really be about the crucifixion of Christ. Again, it was songs like this that almost drove the band apart since Adam was not devout like his band mates.

Stranger In A Strange Land
A song NEVER performed live that was inspired not my Northern Ireland like many think, but my an encounter with a soldier at a crossing in Germany. It was the beginning of Bono reflecting on politics and life around the world.

It has some future Passengers sounds, and some sounds that U2 don't reproduce until 2000. Chant worthy and very tribal.

Is That All
This song seems like a temper tantrum to me. Singing this song makes me angry ...  Singing this song makes me happy. This seems like a song to just get the album over but I could be wrong. Bono, if you're out there - help me out on this one
So there you have it. The religious undertones of a young U2, just mastering what would be their signature sound before The Joshua Tree. They would have been great, very energetic men of the religious word, but secretly, I am glad they found that maybe being in a band could also be a platform for preaching the word ...

Begin One Direction comments ... now!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

September 10th, 2001

May your strength give us strength
May your faith give us faith
May your hope give us hope
May your love give us love
Bruce Springsteen - Into the Fire

Sixteen years ago today, life was simple for us. Terrorism was in Israel, Northern Ireland and Colombia. Thirteen years ago today, we could look at an azure sky and enjoy it for what it was – pure, deep and inviting. People rode the subways, planes and buses without cause for concern. Washington D.C., Shanksville PA and New York City would never be mentioned in the same sentence on September 10, 2001.

Sixteen years ago today, we saw and spoke to friends and family members for the final time. We watched as firemen parked their cars at the firehouse for the night tour, hoping to watch the Giants-Broncos game between runs. Police officers stood at roll call for a quiet September night patrolling the city. Husbands, wives and flight attendants packed for their flights the next morning.

Sixteen years ago today, we said goodbye to our innocence as we woke to a new world. In 102 Minutes, our lives would be forever changed

Now, blue skies remind us of that day when they were blackened by smoke, when we heard the skies become silent and saw many act courageously in their final moments. Statements like, Let’s Roll and We're Three Truck and We’re Still Heading Up exemplify moments of bravery and final acts of humanity in a day filled with so much fear. Stories of the fire safety director who wouldn’t leave the Trade Center until he accounted for all of his employees, the equities trader with the red bandanna who saved 12 people, the final fight for their lives on board a hurdling plane, the firefighter running through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel in full gear to do his job, the police officer last seen as she helped victims to safety -- each one of these heroes gave their lives for others...this is what September 11th should be remembered as...selfless acts of courage.
Our September 10th heroes looked up to our September 11th heroes in the following days. 

Sixteen years ago on September 11th, our world changed and it will never go back to the way it was. Something always reminds you of that day – a song, a fire truck, a plane, dust on the sidewalk. Although we must move on – never forget the sacrifices, the unspoken hurt that still remains, the friend’s phone number still on the cell phone after ten years or the want of a memorial for those never recovered.

Future generations won't know what life was life before this day. They will hear about it in reminisced stories by survivors, witnesses , victims families, songs and TV. It is our job to keep the memories alive of  the almost 3,000 victims who perished that day, the first responders who are dying now as a result of their rescue and recovery work and our soldiers who fight to defend our country. Our future generations need to know more than we were attacked by terrorists. They need to know that we were attacked by terrorists and brave human beings from 90 countries - civilian and military and even a bomb sniffing dog, died  and many survived through brave acts by fellow human beings. They also need to know that day was hell -- it was terrifying to not know what was next, to watch humans perish in front of our eyes on live satellite television.  Life was extinguished and disappeared in an instant and we all experienced or watched it first hand.

Sixteen years on -- we have grieved, we are remembering, we are moving along but never forgetting.