Okay, no question. I love this song. It’s an odd duck. It’s two small songs in one. I questioned the point of the structure many times. I came to some odd conclusions.
The song is both very literal and laced with other meanings. Hardly odd for U2. Though I have to say the literal side of U2 is not usually as pronounced. So how do you take this apart?
I started off thinking the Fez piece was distinct from the Being Born part. Today I have a different image. Today, I’m thinking that both pieces speak to each other’s meaning. I will try to explain.
The first part gives a mental image of a place. I think musically it is trying to relay a feeling of being in that place. Calm water, serene. The latter part is specifically referencing the physical place. The Atlantic, African sun.
And while the second verse in part two specifically references being born, I actually felt that the first part is a journey towards birth. It starts out floating along, ethereal music. And for whatever reason the ‘let me in the sound’ feels like the baby saying ‘c’mon, let’s go’! Then we transition into the birth sequence.
The lyrics speak to me as a sudden rush, a need, burning rubber, burning chrome, burning need to get home. But I think home in this case is getting back to who you are. The real you, without the mask, without the games we all have to play. Rebirth.
This is someone who has finally realized what life is, what life means. After an endless journey, I finally know. My eyes are open. My heart is ready. Ready to set sail. Even the description of the birth brings a different image to mind. I see a man, standing by the sea, sun beating down on a blurry, dark image of the man, bent by the weight. A roar begins deep within as he begins to straighten up, ripping away at the dark until he is standing clear, unfettered by his past and heart beating. Free.