I talked a bit about this one in my album synopsis which was a million years ago now it seems.
I was focused on the title itself for a long time. Some people might take a positive spin on it. Think of it as constantly reaching, pushing, striving for something. Reaching for something more.
Me? I am totally opposite on that. I think this is a very dark song. And the title to me signifies a hopeless desire for something more, something different, something completely unattainable. The line of the horizon is an illusion. You can never reach it. It isn’t even real since land and sea never touch the sky. It’ s a black, ridiculous hope and only a fool would even try.
The starts out with a bit of fuzzy guitar. I think the distortion is intentional and helps define the darker mood…of a man who can’t quite figure out his life. And Bono sings this in a desperate voice. Quite a departure for his voice if you ask me. He found a new way to speak vocally here and the song is a brilliant reward for it.
The girl at the beginning of the song is an enigma. Maybe she’s the problem for him? He can’t figure her out. She keeps changing. And then she tells him that maybe infinity is a great place to start. Is that someone asking for a commitment (as in forever)? But he describes her with a hole in her heart. Something’s missing. An alternate view of this might be that she is looking for God (infinity) and wants him to do the same but he sees her as not really convinced but really wants it to be real. That seems to jacknife us back to the title…something not real, not attainable. I think the comments on time are the same. And I find the ‘tongue in the ear’ line ridiculous, and maybe done with purpose. Talking about the universe and infinity and then mocking it with a semi-sexual reference.
The chorus is interesting. The repetition is normal. What’s interesting is when I listen I hear a word that isn’t there. I keep hearing it as ‘There’s no line on the horizon’. You can sing it in time of you don’t stretch the No like he does. –> time this with the music –>There’s. No line on the horizon. There’s no line. To me this whole thing is a cry of futility. I don’t get life. I don’t understand this woman I’m supposed to love. I don’t understand anything and I feel like everything I’m looking for is beyond my grasp. Permanently.
The next triplet of stanzas seems to reinforce the point. I’m listening to the songs in your head. You are holding me back. I keep trying to make it work, make sense of it but I can’t. Then I try and manipulate the situation, over and over, to no avail. And the traffic cop is the culmination. Surrounded by people going place. People with goals, destinations and hear I am in the middle, going nowhere. And all I want to do is scream and run.
There’s…no line on the horizon. There’s no line.
As always, comments, good or bad, always welcome. Alternate views would also be welcome. I do get tired of my own voice people. I don’t care if you thought it was a country ballad and full of love. Tell your story and why!! I want to hear it. We all do.