U2: Kindergarten Achtung Baby – Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses

As many of you are aware, the 20th anniversary box sets for Achtung Baby were released recently. There was a disc included in the Uber box called the Kindergarten Achtung Baby. This disc is track for track match to the original album but the tracks are preliminary versions that did not end up as the final product. This was the one piece of the most expensive box that caught my attention.

I have been lucky enough to listen to this disc several times. Over the next little while I will try to do a direct comparison of each track. The fifth track is Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses. Here is the audio for the ‘Baby’ version:

Your innocence
Of experience
The windows of my room
All look over you

Now the night has turned the different
And blue
Yes turn
As you walk away
Black
Was I asking you to stay?

I’m a Syrian
You’re the holy child
But your secret heart is a savage
Scratching at my door

And your lips of blood
Have me screaming out
For more and more

You cried
I came for you
I lied
You made it true

Who’s gonna ride your wild horses?
Who’s gonna drown in your blue sea?
Who’s gonna ride your wild horses?
Who will take
The place of me?

Take a drive in the dirty rain
Onto a place
Where the wind calls her name
Under the trees
The river laughin’
She turns away
At the car door slammin’

When you bite
Scratch
Tear off
Every leaf for love

And you beg
Steal
Lie
Like a thief for love
She said come on now love
Don’t you look back

Time
To love
Who’s gonna ride your wild horses?
Who’s gonna ride your wild horses?
Who’s gonna fall at the foot of me?

Oh yeah
I want you now
Where are you now?

The days empty
And the nights turn mean
They’re talking to me

Was it someone else?
Who could hear you better
When you cried for me
Who heard what you need
Not what you said
Follow you right
To the end

Baby
Don’t turn around
Don’t turn around again
Don’t turn around
Your gypsy heart

Don’t turn around
Don’t turn around on me
Don’t turn around
And don’t look back

Come on now love
Don’t you look back
Time
For love
Who’s gonna ride your wild horses?

I don’t know about you but the only words that came to mind when I first heard this version was ‘HOLY SHIT’!!  There’s so much here that I think it best to cover a couple of highlights and you can pass (and share if you like) your own judgements.

Frankly, there are parts of this I think are better than what ended up as the final cut.  You can blast me for it but there is really something going on here.  It is truly a completely different song despite the similarities.

The vocal hook around ‘Was I asking you to stay’ really grabbed me for some reason.  I think the wording there as well.  It wasn’t an obvious line and I love that surprise.  The ‘lips of blood’ section was another great surprise that really connected.

I found that I really liked the whole ‘time for love’ section in the chorus.  That part was something else that I wished had been kept but I can see why they went where they did as well.  Incredible!

I loved this particular version as well because it is early both musically and lyrically.  Not so much radical changes in the music but you can hear they still had a ways to go.  Of everything I’ve posted on this Kindergarten disc, this is by far my favourite.  Curious what you think.  Let me know in the comments!!

And have no fear, there’s much more to come as my journey through each track continues!!  Stay tuned!

You’re dangerous ’cause you’re honest
You’re dangerous, you don’t know what you want
Well you left my heart empty as a vacant lot
For any spirit to haunt

Hey hey sha la la
Hey hey

You’re an accident waiting to happen
You’re a piece of glass left there on the beach
Well you tell me things I know you’re not supposed to
Then you leave me just out of reach

Hey hey sha la la
Hey hey sha la la

Who’s gonna ride your wild horses
Who’s gonna drown in your blue sea
Who’s gonna ride your wild horses
Who’s gonna fall at the foot of thee

Well you stole it ’cause I needed the cash
And you killed it ’cause I wanted revenge
Well you lied to me ’cause I asked you to
Baby, can we still be friends

Hey hey sha la la
Hey hey sha la la

Who’s gonna ride your wild horses
Who’s gonna drown in your blue sea
Who’s gonna ride your wild horses
Who’s gonna fall at the foot of thee

Oh, the deeper I spin
Oh, the hunter will sin for your ivory skin
Took a drive in the dirty rain
To a place where the wind calls your name
Under the trees the river laughing at you and me
Hallelujah, heavens white rose
The doors you open
I just can’t close

Don’t turn around, don’t turn around again
Don’t turn around, your gypsy heart
Don’t turn around, don’t turn around again
Don’t turn around, and don’t look back
Come on now love, don’t you look back

Who’s gonna ride your wild horses
Who’s gonna drown in your blue sea
Who’s gonna taste your salt water kisses
Who’s gonna take the place of me

Who’s gonna ride your wild horses
Who’s gonna tame the heart of thee

This entry was posted in Music, Song Analysis and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to U2: Kindergarten Achtung Baby – Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses

  1. Elizabeth Horne says:

    Your lyrics are incorrect for the kindergarten version. It’s

    You’re innocence
    I’m experience
    The windows of my room
    All look over you
    Now the night has turned a different kind of blue
    The winds turn as you walk away
    Black, was I asking you to stay?

    I’m a sinner
    You’re the holy child
    But your secret heart is a savage scratching at my door
    And your lips of blood have me screaming out for more and more
    You cried i came for you
    I lied you made it true

    Who’s Gonna Ride your wild horses
    Who’s gonna drown in your blue sea
    Who’s gonna Ride your wild horses
    Who will take the place of me?

    I took a drive in the dirty rain
    Out to a place where the wind calls your name
    Under the trees the river laughing
    As she turns away
    And the car door slams
    And you’re back you scratch you tear off
    Your relief for love
    And you beg steal lie like a thief for love
    She says
    Come on now love don’t you look back
    Child that you love

    Who’s gonna Ride your wild horses
    Who’s gonna Ride your wild horses
    Who’s gonna fall at the foot of thee?

    I want you now
    Where are you now
    Days unseen
    And the nights turned mean
    We’re you talking to me
    Was it someone else
    Who could hear you better
    When you cried for me
    But who was she with
    Not what she said
    I’ll follow you down
    To the end
    Baby

    Don’t turn around
    Don’t turn around again
    Don’t turn around your gypsy heart

    Don’t turn around
    Don’t turn around again
    Don’t turn around
    And don’t look back
    Come on now love
    Don’t you look back
    Child oh no
    Who’s gonna Ride your wild horses

  2. D Moebius says:

    Hi Larry

    I totally agree with how you felt when you first heard this. Achtung Baby was the soundtrack of my youth, and hearing it so much later in life when stuff started falling apart again for me really mixed up a flood of emotions… There’s just one thing, I am not sure your transcription of the lyrics I agree on… Here is what I hear

    Your innocence of experience
    The windows of my room all look over you
    Now the night has turned a different kind of blue
    And it’s too late, As you walk away
    Black.. Was I asking you to stay?

    I’m a sinner.. You’re the holy child
    But your secret heart is a savage
    Scratching at my door
    And your lips of blood
    Have me screaming out
    For more and more

    You cry, I came for you
    I lied; you made it true
    Who’s gonna ride your wild horses?
    Who’s gonna drown in your blue sea?
    Who’s gonna ride your wild horses?
    Who will take the place of me?

    Took a drive in the dirty rain out to a place where the wind calls your name
    Only the trees and river laughing as she turns away, and the car doors slam
    When you bite, scratch, Tear off every leaf for love

    And you beg
    Steal
    Lie
    Like a thief for love
    She said come on now love
    Don’t you look back

    Time
    To love
    Who’s gonna ride your wild horses?
    Who’s gonna ride your wild horses?
    Who’s gonna fall at the foot of thee?

    Oh yeah
    I want you now
    Where are you now?

    The days are empty
    And the nights turn mean
    They’re talking to me
    Was it someone else?
    Who could hear you better
    When you cried for thee?
    Who hears what you ask
    Not what you said
    then follow you back
    To the end

    Baby
    Don’t turn around
    Don’t turn around again
    Don’t turn around
    Your gypsy heart

    Don’t turn around
    Don’t turn around on me
    Don’t turn around
    And don’t look back

    Come on now love
    Don’t you look back
    Time
    For love
    Who’s gonna ride your wild horses?

    ****

  3. My favorite version of this song! That opening guitar chiming floored me and the lyrics are fantastic. I like the album version, but this is on another level

  4. Levi says:

    Maybe it’s just me but the Kindergarten version feels much sadder than the Album version.

    The Album version feels like a “We loved but it can’t stay like this, wasn’t the experience great, I’ll miss you”

    But the Chorus especially on the Kindergarten feels much more like a break up, like they know it’s the right thing but they’re really sad about it.

    I really like both versions and don’t feel they compete because of this difference, but I agree whole heartedly on it being the best track on the Kindergarten list

    • larrylootsteen says:

      That’s an interesting take on it. I can see what you mean. It is a great track without question and I’m glad we had a chance to hear it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I really appreciate it.

  5. Luis says:

    I totally agree with you Larry that this version of Wild Horses is the best on the album and I can’t stop listening to it as well…wasn’t sure of the lyrics while doing all the listening but that made it interesting as well…finally after a while I just had to look them (lyrics) up and found your blog…thanks for taking the time and great job!

  6. János says:

    Agreed. This is by far the best of all the kindergarten songs!
    I love the way the bridge leads back to the main theme in both versions. I mean the “I want you now… Baby” part.

  7. Pingback: U2: Kindergarten Achtung Baby – Full Album Audio | Larry Lootsteen's Blog

  8. Eric kreibohm says:

    Larry i really like your observation on this particular issue. To tell the truth I’m agree with you, I love this version of wild horses, and I cannot stop listen to it.
    I have a friend, Hugo, who said to me that this feeling that I’m having for this version is the natural consecuense of have been listening the traditional track of achtung baby since 1991. He says it’s logical and normal to think and to feel that this new lyric and music variation are even better than the original.
    I repeat to you: I love this version and I can’t believe what our irish guys have done! Awesome my friend!
    Thank you for this blog and the opportunity of express my point of view.
    Have a god life mate !!

    • larrylootsteen says:

      There is some truth to the idea that because it’s new, it sounds better. I would argue that when you hear most songs that you know well, as other versions, it is rare to connect to them. In my experience it is difficult to accept different versions much of the time. It happens but less often.

      I love that we get a view to how they work. I would really love to know how they make the final decision. Do they piece together the best bits? Or is it the best take of a song? Some combination. All very interesting.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate it!

      • Eric kreibohm says:

        Yes, i think I know what you mean. I don’t know why I’m thinking in a song called “mercy”. I loved this song from the beginning, when it was part of some unreleased or rare material; there was magic on that piece. But in the last 360 tour I heard a live performance of this song with a different lyric and I felt bad; almost frustrated and desilutioned.
        Sometimes the first version are better than the subsequents.
        Thanks again for your thoughts.

  9. Chad says:

    Agreed…this version is just amazing…But your secret heart is a savage
    Scratching at my door…kills me every time….

  10. Greg Cameron says:

    I think every song on this album is the equal of what finally got released. Very different to be sure, but every bit as amazing

    • larrylootsteen says:

      Not sure I’d go that far but I certainly know what you mean. We’re seeing so many ideas, layers here. And no question on one or two, they are as good or even better depending on your tastes…

      Thanks for sharing that!

  11. What about ” a different kind of blue” instead?

  12. stargift says:

    I think it might be –turns to red as you walk away.
    Also, savage instead of salvage.

    • larrylootsteen says:

      Definitely agree on the ‘savage’. Not sure on the other but I’ll give it a few more goes. I updated the one. Thanks for taking the time. I really appreciate it!!

  13. Adam says:

    Wow, this sounds so different. Thanks! I heard the Kindergarten version of “So Cruel” is pretty great too with more layers on it than the final version?

  14. Will says:

    Hi Larry,
    Thanks for sharing the lyrics and putting effort in it. The Kindergarten Version is my favorite track of the Kindergarten album. It’s so much further developed than the Achtung Baby outtakes, which I already liked a lot.
    I remember buying the bootleg double Vinyl LP back in the spring of ‘ 91. The ‘don’t turn around’-bit struck me by lightning. Loved it since. The complete Wild horses track on Achtung Baby later that year brought me to tears.. so beautiful..
    The same thrill of sensation came over me when I listened to the Kindergarten Version..
    Just wanting to share.
    Keep up the good work.
    Cheers
    Will

  15. Carol says:

    Hey, Larry. Thanks so much for doing this cut by cut analysis and opinion. This cut is by far my favorite on this Kindergarten CD. The Edge’s guitar is so joyful and it immediately lifts my spirits. The final version has a more wistful tone to it which I also like, but this just makes me smile. It really helps me see all the work that goes into these songs.

  16. Andy says:

    Couldn’t agree more. The baby version is superior to the final cut in many ways. I think Edge even said recently that the lyric is better than the album version. I can’t stop listening to it.

Leave a Reply to D Moebius Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s