Tuesday, October 30, 2012

sometimes you can't make it on your own

Sometimes you can't make it on your own. Boy, I'm feeling that right now. And I remembered this song this evening, and found it again.

Tough, you think you've got the stuff
You're telling me and anyone
You're hard enough

You don't have to put up a fight
You don't have to always be right
Let me take some of the punches
For you tonight

Bono wrote the song ... U2 wrote the song, for his dad's funeral. Apparently, his father had a big voice too ... raised Bono and his brother alone after Mrs. Bono's father's wife died.

Oh, the Irish. I know them. I can imagine the difficult? strained? tempestuous? ridiculous? sublime? relationship that he had with his father. It probably wasn't very different from what my own father and brother's was before he died.

And it's you when I look in the mirror
And it's you when I don't pick up the phone
Sometimes you can't make it on your own

We fight all the time
You and I... that's alright
We're the same soul
I don't need... I don't need to hear you say
That if we weren't so alike
You'd like me a whole lot more

But I am a girl. And girl's forgive their father of everything. And for as much as this is a song about a father and a son, I can make it mine as I am so like my father. And he did, indeed, put the opera in me. I channel him not much differently than Bono does his own father. I imagine that Bob, Bono's dad, and Bill, mine, are havin' a pint up at the pearly gates, still trying to figure out how the heck to get in to Heaven.

Can, you, hear, me, when, I, sing
You're the reason I sing
You're the reason why the opera is in me

When How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb was released, I saw U2 every night that they played in Chicago. My sister broke her clavicle bone ... and had surgery. We had the pit tickets (general admission ... best seats in the house for a U2 concert), and I told her that she would be fine in all of her clavicle gear ... I would make sure that she had a drink in each hand, and I would block anyone getting too close to her. It was a riot! And when the boys started to play Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own, we crushed close to the stage, clung to each other, and sobbed for our own dead father. Bono came very close to us, and I think that he recognized in us our pain. We connected to each other in the sultry air of the venue.

The video above is the 'official' version. I love it for the end as Bono walks into the theatre, takes off his coat, and sings the hell out of the song in his red shirt. The house where he lies on the bed, supposedly, is his childhood home. I don't know for sure. Another cut of the video is a continuous shot of Bono walking the streets of Dublin. Apparently, he had to stop often, for the he could not control the tears. I understand this ... it is very difficult for me to listen to it without shedding a few of my own. It is a beautiful tribute to Bob Hewson, and dads everywhere.

And sitting here, not at my best, I'm thinking that it is a song that covers a lot of sins. I've ran those streets that Bono traverses, literally in the Dublin Marathon; and figuratively, with the death of my father. I know that if ever I had a chance to meet and chat with Bono, I would slip into my leprechaun accent and draw him in by talking about our dear old dads, and how we share the opera that is in us.

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