I’ve written in the past about my mixed feeling for the Unforgettable Fire album. There are a few tracks that I consider to be mis-steps, but then there are a few songs that would be highlights no matter what album they were on. I remember reading many years ago a review wherein the reviewer stated his belief that the two “new” tracks on Wide Awake in America, “The Three Sunrises” and “Love Comes Tumbling,” are both superior to anything on The Unforgettable Fire. I don’t think that I would go quite that far, after all, “Bad” is on that album, and I think that that is the greatest song ever recorded, by any artist. I do believe, however, that both “The Three Sunrises” and “Love Comes Tumbling” are fantastic songs, and are among the greatest non-album tracks that the band has ever recorded.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of “Love Comes Tumbling” is how supremely chill it is. Every aspect of the song, from the sound of the guitar to the percussion, from Bono’s vocal to the melody that he croons, oozes a mellow mood. This is a side of U2 that I honestly could stand to see more of…a sort of playful sensuality that is relaxed and chilled out without being depressed or somber. It is just a beautiful song that soothes the spirit and makes the listener feel all warm and fuzzy.
I interpret the lyrics to “Love Comes Tumbling” to mean that nothing can stop love…sort of an earlier take on some of the ideas that form the basis of “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way.” The line “All roads lead to where you are” says to me that the singer knows that regardless of the decisions he makes, no matter which way his life turns, his union with his lover is inevitable…its fate, if one chooses to believe in such a thing. It reminds me a little bit of one of John Lennon’s lyrics–“There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where sure meant to be.” I don’t think that I believe in fate, but the idea that maybe some things, like love, are meant to be even if I don’t believe is still oddly comforting. Maybe my wife and I, like Bono and Ali, and like the four members of U2, were destined from birth to find each other. If that’s true, it’s nice to know that my life is on the right path regardless of whatever bad decisions or mistakes I’ve made.
Of course, “Love Comes Tumbling” has never been performed live. I’m trying to imagine right now what the song would sound like with a crowd whooping and hollering over it, and I think that the song would lose some of its magic in a live setting. Maybe it would work in a more intimate setting, like the Abbey Road concert that U2 put on for the BBC a couple of years ago. Let me know whether or not you would like to hear “Love Comes Tumbling” live, and if so, under what conditions. Thanks for reading.