If you watch this video from Horsens, Denmark, around the 6:27 mark in the video is where he starts. It’s hard to hear so I went back to when they performed on Saturday Night Live to fill in the blanks.
Here’s the lyrics to his rap:
So life is short
The longest thing you’ll ever do
The worst, the curse was that your dreams came true
God is a mirror in which each man sees himself
Hell is a place where you don’t need anyone’s help
When I first met you your face was like snow
Wherever I went is where you wanted to go
Your face, your grace, your can of mace
In a case that you put your face down
Age 17, on the ground
Your faith in the clown
Don’t leave me now, don’t leave me now
Don’t leave me now alone in the song
Don’t leave me alone in the song
Pretty powerful stuff, particularly in the context of the entire song.
When they did SNL I focused specifically of the ‘mirror’ and the ‘hell’ lines. You can read that post called God, U2 and a Moment
I want to focus more on the whole thing today, though the sentiments are pretty much the same. I just felt the whole thing needed to be seen and thought about.
The really brilliant part of this is how he uses opposites to make his plea clear. Life is short, the longest thing you’ll do. The worst thing, your dreams come true. God/hell. And the brilliant face like snow/face put in a case.
All of this is taking a stab at how alone we are, how much we lie to ourselves and each other and practically begging not to be abandoned in the end. We are so afraid to be honest. Not just in the faces we present to each other but also in how we look at ourselves.
This world has been reduced to celebrity, money and the quick hit. Do I really need to know what cologne George Clooney wears or what diamond encrusted crap Paris Hilton put on her dog this week? Do I give a crap about Lyndsay Lohen’s complete inability to function in society? Well, yes, only because I think it’s a sad statement on life. But people want to see the famous destroyed because they think it’s fun. Mel Gibson rants are all the rage! But do you see what you are doing? You enjoy the pain of others. All I see is sadness and a pathetic detachment from what’s important. So much emptiness.
And that is what it is. Emptiness. We live in a disposable world, electronically alone. Our food is disposable. Our jobs are disposable. The companies we work for think we are disposable. And our friends, in many ways, are also disposable. I look at my kids Facebook page and they have 350 ‘friends’??? What’s missing? The close friends. The people you go through life with. Where are they? You see less and less of that as we sit at home, texting, twitting and FBing.
I can’t help that I have days where I feel ready to toss it in. I don’t get the point of this age we are in. I feel alone in the battle much of the time. I get angry at the political bullshit, the financial manipulation, the environmental destruction. I am confounded by the listless society that can’t be bothered. Can’t be bothered to fight back. Can’t be bothered to figure out what’s real. Can’t be bothered to care. I rail against it all (as I sit here alone, typing, asking myself if I’m even real these days) and then I feel empty. Almost comatose and sick of asking ‘why’?
But then I have those inspired days. people actually getting out and protesting. People attending charity events. People putting themselves out there for the poor and the desperate. And while the sheer volume of need around the world is enough to crush the spirit, there are people who are standing up and trying to do what’s right. They don’t spend their lives alone, huddled in a corner, shimmering in the artificial glow of electronica.
Bono is a prime example of getting out there. This rap is a testament to both the frustration of the today’s world as well as the fact that we can still do something about.
I hear that plea, echoing in my brain and around my consciousness. Don’t leave me know.