Tuesday, May 4, 2010

One - U2 or Mary J. Bilge - an All Time Great Song

I heard this song on CBC Radio 2 on my way home from work on Friday and I was reminded of  what an enduring favourite this song is.  Made famous by the band U2, it is a Rock classic and a perfect "cause" song  used by a number of organizations promoting human rights and social justice causes.  Bono uses it in promotion  "One Campaign", which is a grass roots international, nonpartisan, non-profit organization aiming to increase government funding for and effectiveness of international aid.  Bono and Bob Geldof were instrumental in the formation of this organization - a merger of DATA, World Vision, Oxfam America, and Bread for the World.  Bono is such a humanitarian, as his wiki noted awards attest to.

But I digress... the song is one of the greatest Rock songs of all time no doubt.  From Wiki:
"One" is a song by Irish rock band U2 and the third track from their 1991 album, Achtung Baby. It was released as the album's third single in March 1992. ...
The song is widely considered to be one of the band's greatest songs and is consistently featured in lists of the greatest songs of all-time. Rolling Stone ranked the song #36 on their list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" (also their highest-ranked song from the 90's), and Q ranked the song at #1 on its list of the "1001 Greatest Songs of All-Time".[2]

Contrary to what one might think after a superficial listen to the song it is not about "oneness" -  it is a song about splitting up. 

Rather than selecting a live video of this song - U2 has performed it at every single concert that they have given - I chose the one produced by the renowned director Anton Corbjin in 1992.  It captures the essence of the song wonderfully.

Songwriters: Hewson, Paul;Evans, Dave;Clayton, Adam;Mullen, Larry Jr
(Note: Bono's real name is Paul Hewson)

Is it getting better?
Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you now?
You got someone to blame
You say
One love
One life
When it's one need
In the night
One love
We get to share it
Leaves you baby if you
Don't care for it

Did I disappoint you?
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without
Well it's

Too late
To drag the past out into the light
We're one, but we're not the same
We get to
carry each other
carry each other

Have you come here for forgiveness?
Have you come to raise the dead?
Have you come here to play Jesus?
To the lepers in your head

Did I ask too much?
More than a lot.
You gave me nothing,
Now it's all I got
We're one
But we're not the same
See we
Hurt each other
Then we do it again
You say
Love is a temple
Love a higher law
Love is a temple
Love is a higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl
And I can't keep holding on
To what you got
When all you've got is hurt

One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should
One life
With each other
Sisters and my
One life
But we're not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other


I had to also include the Bono and Mary J. Bilge duet version which was recorded with U2 in 2006.  The updated tempo and engergy that Mary J. Bilge brings to the song lifts it even to a higher level - if that is possible.  This version does not however communicate the melancholy that the original U2 version does.

I couldn't help but also include a pic from long ago - boy we all sure have changed from the days of our youth and U2 is no different.

1 comment:

  1. Good song! I like both versions.
    I agree about how much we all have changed from our youth. This fact is really hitting me in the face because I have posted old pictures of me recently in my "Letters to Mom" blog.


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