J Walking

J Walking

Help… U2 lyrics… do not understand

Two new songs on U2’s latest compilation of singles. One is called Smile. It is haunting and heavenly, but the lyrics are confusing. Any thoughts?

Gravity, is not pulling me
I won’t be a picture with no sign
Decaying, I’m praying
You are my air but
I need the ground to kneel upon
And love can’t be a song
I don’t want to see you smile

I’m breaking it, taking it
I’m breaking it slowly in mind
I’m seeing it, freeing it
I know love is in this soul of mine
It’s not in your eyes
I don’t want…
I don’t want to see you smile

I started, light-hearted
It won’t be easy like you said
I’m going, flowing
I’m leaving on the day of the dead
I will live again
You will live again
I don’t want to see you smile

God knows it, knows me
Knows me, knows me
You sing, hear me love
Say it again, burnt out blind
The smoke machine is yours not mine
I don’t want to see you smile

I will live again
You will live again
I just don’t want to see you smile

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posted November 28, 2006 at 7:32 am

I think the first question must be: Who is smiling?The first thing that comes to my mind are the children of poverty smiling out of posters and, if you go to where they live, in person. Their smiles are so real, full of life, and haunting. If you really see them (allow yourself to see them and not look away and forget) then you can’t forget them. You realize the tragedy hidden there. You may be moved to compassion and conclude you were meant for love, yet you may be confronted with the limits and failings of your love. I imagine Bono caught in this exciting and painful dilemma. At the same time, I think he’s singing to Jesus. He has read Matthew 25:31-46 and knows the potential to meet Jesus if he really allows himself to see/meet the poor. He’s drawn forward and pulls away; he’s known by God and falling to decay. It’s a very honest song full of tension that anyone can relate to who has really seen and tried to love the poorest of the poor. Maybe… That’s my stab at it, and I look forward to reading what others have to say. Maybe Bono will come by and straighten us all out. :)

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posted November 28, 2006 at 6:40 pm

Either or both about dying and being buried or breaking up with a woman, which is a kind of death.

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posted November 28, 2006 at 8:43 pm

I think it could be about breaking up, it may be about children in poverty but not much to indicate that. Even downunder (upside down?)in Sydney Australia it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Like Billy Joel said “I don’t want clever conversation, I never want to work that hard”. Jo

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Bill Love

posted November 30, 2006 at 5:21 am

Confusing, I agree. My offering A person coming to self awareness after following/being influenced by another person, a leader perhaps. Realization that the other person is not worth following, and finds a foundation in “the ground to kneel upon.” the other person’s act of misleading, “smoke machine”, is represented by his/her “smile”

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Kevin Young

posted December 2, 2006 at 5:43 am

To everything there is a season. Bono is very aware of the current political tapestry. And all free people posess the responsibility to be likewise as aware.Horrible things are happening right now, our own nation is paving the way to world war 3. Human-kind is smothering it’s planet through relentless polution. Depression is rampant, and yet there are many ways to counteract the “illness” of depression. Many ways to make us smile, when we have no business smiling. We are killing our planet.We are medicated, or distracted into letting go of the great burdensome weight that is the ugly reality that many smiling people still refuse to acknowledge. There is a great horror ahead, but yet beyond that day of judgement lies a new kingdom and the renewal of life. To everything there is a season. But this is not the season to smile.

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posted January 8, 2007 at 7:42 am

I believe it concerns an old flame who has come back into the life of the singer after many years of absence. Seeing her again powerfully evokes passions the singer hasn’t felt since youth. The singer, however, wants to avoid falling in love with her again, in part perhaps because he or she (or both) are already committed to someone else. “I don’t want to see you smile” = I can’t stand to see you smile because it will draw me to you again.”It started, lighthearted, it won’t be easy like you said”: A common beginning to a reconnection with a former lover is the claim that “we’ll just be friends again.” The singer, however, already feels the magnetic pull of a force other than gravity (i.e., romantic desire) and warns his old flame that it will be difficult to maintain an innocent friendship. “I will live again, you will live again.”: I think the lines have a dual meaning. One, the singer is rebuffing, gently, his former lover’s advances by assuring her (and himself) that they don’t need to be together again in order to feel the youthful passion they once felt. They can feel alive apart from one another.Two, it may include a reference to reincarnation. Passionate lost loves who are driven to reunite by a heart connection that never waned over the years may wonder if they were lovers in previous lives. Such a history would explain the intensity and duration of their passion in this life. The singer may be counseling his old lover that, while circumstances may have separated them in this life, they may be able to try again in their next lives. “God knows it, knows me, knows me, knows me”: “God knows me” is something you say when you refer one of your personality traits, particularly to one that is a character flaw. We’ve reached an emotional crescendo at this point in the song. It is the sound of a person struggling to control themselves, to control a darker side of themselves. “Save it again, burnt out blind, the smoke machine is yours not mine” – obviously smoke machine refers to some kind of deception. The specific deception here is self-deception. The old flame is lying to herself if she thinks she can reconnect with the singer and not be swept away by the ensuing passions. I was inclined to view the lyrics through a “lost lover” lens because of previous songs with lyrics written by Bono that document an obsessive love affair that ultimately ended. I suspect that these songs, along with Smile, are highly autobiographical. I speculate that they reflect an affair Bono may have had with a women (not his wife) in the mid 80’s (reflected in “With or Without You”, Joshua Tree; “All I want is you”, Rattle and Hum; and “Night and Day” a song featuring an extremely dark, intense, obsessive love affair). The end of this illicit relationship is ruminated on in Achtung Baby’s “Who’s going to ride your wild horses” and “So Cruel.” Bono reminisces about her in “Wild Honey” (which also has a reincarnation theme). And finally, in “Smile”, he is confronted with her when she attempts to reconnect with him again.

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