Well, we made it. We’re at Bono’s magic number na-na-na-nineteen and it’s time to talk about lyrics. When I first got active in the U2 fan community, my Twitter handle was @U2LyricsDaily1. That’s because I wanted to post lyrics every day and @U2Lyrics was taken. Well, it didn’t take long for me to decide that posting U2 song lyrics on a daily basis would take more time than I had at my disposal. But now, as @U2RadioBrook (which I like a lot better because I can go for a week without tweeting a thing and nobody cares, including me), I want to say what we’re all afraid to say as U2 superfans. Here it is:
Sometimes, we forget the original U2 song lyrics and it’s all Bono’s fault.
There, I said it.
How could something possibly be Bono’s fault? Because he has changed at least one line to basically every U2 hit in the catalog in order to make the song unique for live performances.
Be honest: When was the last time you heard the studio version of Streets, Pride or Still Haven’t Found? For me the answer is, “Last week at the grocery store” or “yesterday over the speakers at the gas station” because if I listened to the albums in addition to the live shows, I’d get worried about myself (you have to have your limits, guys). So when I hear these songs for the first time in a long time, I have to check myself (before I wreck myself) by singing the “wrong” (AKA live) lyrics.
Here’s an example: Have you forgotten that you want to take shelter from the poison rain…because you’re used to singing that you want to actually want shelter from the dirty rain – or, see through the eyes of a hurricane? I thought so.
In fact, U2.com seems to have forgotten that the second verse of Still Haven’t Found refers to “this burning desire”…because they have officially changed the lyrics to what Bono has been singing live for years, “I was burning inside her.” (Can they do that? I wish I had that kind of power!)
So as you can see, this is nothing to be ashamed of. Embrace these “new” U2 song lyrics, because some original lyrics may never be back. I guess Bono wants it that way.