Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Good Friday "Bullet the Blue Sky" U2

"Bullet the Blue Sky" U2

In the howling wind comes a stinging rain
See it driving nails
Into the souls on the tree of pain
From the firefly, a red orange glow
See the face of fear
Running scared in the valley below

Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue
Bullet the blue

In the locust wind comes a rattle and hum
Jacob wrestled the angel
And the angel was overcome
You plant a demon seed
You raise a flower of fire
See them burning crosses
See the flames higher and higher

Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue
Bullet the blue

This guy comes up to me
His face red like a rose on a thorn bush
Like all the colors of a royal flush
And he's peeling off those dollar bills
Slapping them down
One hundred, two hundred
And I can see those fighter planes
And I can see those fighter planes
Across the mud huts where the children sleep
Through the alleys of a quiet city street
You take the staircase to the first floor
Turn the key and slowly unlock the door
As a man breathes into a saxophone
And through the walls you hear the city groan
Outside is America
Outside is America

Across the field you see the sky ripped open
See the rain through a gaping wound
Pounding on the women and children
Who run
Into the arms
Of America

   This is one of a number of U2 songs that ,when played live, can be and are changed lyrically or visually to reflect the key themes of that concert tour, city or current events. This has been written about more eloquently and theologically than I could..... thanks to Steve Taylor here

“Bullet the Blue Sky” is the fourth track on U2s 1987 album, The Joshua Tree. The song was originally written as a commentary on a highly particularized context, the involvement of the United States military in Central America during the 1980’s. Over time, this highly particularized political context has changed, yet the song has continued to be performed by U2.
Using commercially available concert footage, this chapter will explore the changes and development in the song’s performance, over a twenty year period, with a particular focus on concerts in Paris (1987), Slane Castle (2001) and Chicago (2005).
Following one song over an extended period allows an exploration of how a band can reframe and re-perform their music as the context and culture shifts. (Hint, hint, what churches are seeking to do every Sunday in relation to Bible and church tradition! Ed)"

MY own experience of this song was to hear it at the Sydney Ent Cent on the 'Lovetown' Tour where words about who was in the streets were changed to reflect Sydney's Kings Cross, politics and some current issues and the contrast of being inside this venue... then Bono sang "and outside is Sydney" twice and the crowd cheered wildly... I remember thinking how people just didn't get it...
   For me this song is on my Good Friday playlist because it's scenes of howling wind, a place ripped open, an absence of hope go along with the mood of the tune [it isn't always about the lyrics folks]...

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