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Cleaning Up renewal

by | Jan 2, 2022 | Cleaning Up, renew, U2

🖋 One problem I have with Cleaning Up is there is always more to do. This week is no exception – I planned to “finish” U2 off with this week, and realized by Tuesday that I was going to need many more weeks to really do the band justice. It was renewing this week to let the music do the talking and less Cleaning Up my own stories.  And it was very renewing to hear again these amazing songs and albums full of the barely hidden Gospel…

🎵 In March 2000, U2 was awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin at a ceremony where Burmese academic Aung San Suu Kyi was honored but absent. The band had never heard of Suu Kyi prior to that. This song, he said later, was about “nobility and personal sacrifice, about doing what’s right, even if your heart is telling you otherwise.” In explaining the lyrics, he recalled a Biblical passage in Corinthians that used the image of a house fire to impart the lesson that only eternal things can survive. To Bono, these things were family and friendships, rather than anything that someone could concretely make.

Accordingly, it concludes with lyrics describing a “litany of ambitions and achievements” that are expendable, with lines such as “You’ve got to leave it behind / All that you fashion / All that you make / All that you build / All that you break”. Bono described this section as: “a mantra, really, a bonfire of vanities, and you can throw anything you want on the fire. Whatever you want more than love, it has to go.” The album’s title was derived from the song’s lyrics “The only baggage you can bring is all that you can’t leave behind.

Towards the end of the album’s recording sessions, the band’s long-time producer Steve Lillywhite was hired to make some final touches to the songs. After he completed “Beautiful Day“, the band played him 2 different songs. Lillywhite told them that today’s track had a “fantastic chorus” and “Home” a “great verse”; the band subsequently informed him that they used to be the same song. Ultimately, under Lillywhite’s guidance, he renewed the separate songs back together as one. Most of the guitar tone on “Walk On” was achieved by The Edge’s playing white Gibson Les Paul through his Vox AC30 amplifier, while the guitar solo was performed on his Gibson Explorer, all go-to for renewing his original call into music…

“When it gets to that stage of making a record, people are looking for songs that the record company can proudly go to radio with. And the ultimate version comes along with a bang, you know. The Edge sounds amazing and it holds so much promise in its first 30 seconds that it’s hard to say no to. But the version that I preferred did not have such a slam-bam beginning. So that one got welded and bolted together” It won for Record of the Year, marking the first time an artist had won the award for songs from the same album in consecutive years; the prior year, U2’s song “Beautiful Day” had won the award. In 2017, the song took on new meaning after Suu Kyi’s silence on the genocide of Rohingya Muslims. Bono has stated that he has been “nauseated” by Suu Kyi’s stance on the issue. The band issued a release condemning her actions, and following performances have instead dedicated the song to Rohingya Muslims.

The premise of this blog is I believe music renews and transforms your thinking… without thinking about it. I add some words here to distract you, and many of you are captured by the thoughts and logic that might be present. And… really, music always says it way better than I can. As I progressed through their catalog, you hear it throughout – the joy that U2 they have in just being together still after all these ins and outs, together. There is a great book about their faith journey, but again, more words…

Today’s Gospel track has again the perfect spirit to challenge and renew us in the New Year ahead of us after exiting the year behind us. Much may be wrong with religion and faith, but today, I will be with friends and family in the Church that has guided us through this – together. Oh and not surprisingly I am running the sound. I renew by doing, like this daily blog, particularly for those I love.  Listen today to Bono’s prayer for us .. the Good News for all …You too –  And if the darkness is to keep us apart// And if the daylight feels like it’s a long way off// And if your glass heart should crack//And for a second you turn back//Oh no, be strong//Walk on. Walk On.

And love is not the easy thing
The only baggage that you can bring…
And love is not the easy thing
The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can’t leave behind

And if the darkness is to keep us apart
And if the daylight feels like it’s a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back
Oh no, be strong

Walk on, walk on
What you got they can’t steal it
No, they can’t even feel it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight
Y

ou’re packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been
A place that has to be believed to be seen
You could have flown away
A singing bird in an open cage
Who will only fly, only fly for freedom

Walk on, walk on
What you’ve got they can’t deny it
Can’t sell it, or buy it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight

And I know it aches
And your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on
walk on

Home, hard to know what it is if you’ve never had one
Home, I can’t say where it is but I know I’m going home
That’s where the hurt is

And I know it aches
And your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much

Walk on
Leave it behind
You’ve got to leave it behind
All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you steal
All this you feel
All that you reason
All that you care (It’s only time)
And I’ll never fill up all my mind
All that you sense
All that you speak
All you dress up
And all that you scheme
All you create
All that you wreck
All that you hate

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