SOH These are from I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight: "Every generation has a chance to change the world/ Pity the nation that won't listen to you, boys and girls."
Bono "Well, that is building up to the next line, 'The sweetest melody is the one we haven't heard.' That's just a nice thought. The solution to the problems we find ourselves in will have to be found by the new generation but often the new ideas just aren't listened to. That lyric is meant to be playful, by the way, not earnest in any way. There's a lot of mischief on this record."
SOH OK, on I'll Go Crazy...., you also sing, "The right to be ridiculous is something I hold dear."
Bono [Laughs] "That's me, That's not an in-character song. I mean it in the literal sense [laughs]. It's actually very important. One of the things I think we've been good at is not letting people put us in any kind of pious light. That happened to us for a while in the 80s and we never want to go back there. I'm always shocked that people are so shocked when they discover the silliness that is an everyday occurrence with U2. It's the final blow to people who can't stand us. That we seem to be having a better time than everyone else as well. It's like, it's not enough not to have broken up, to have made some hopefully inspiring music over the years, but also to be having a lot of fun. The mischief is part of our story and it isn't represented or read about. That's one of the reasons that people do a double take when they see me staggering out of a pub in Dublin at 4am. It can't be Bono, can it? Nah."
He says that a lot of people he most admires are non-believers. Bill Gates. Warren Buffett. "People who are prepared to spend their entire life's fortune trying to make the lives of people they don't know a lot better. These people are more Christian than the Christians. Zealotry and certainty are worrying for me. Love keeps religion from zealotry."
SOH So without love, it becomes another kind of fixed ideology?
Bono "Yeah, that's right! Anyway, there's loads of pops in there about zealotry, religious and otherwise, and you're the only person who's picked up on this in the lyrics. I mean, 'Stop helping God across the road like a little old lady.' Come on?"
SOH That's a pop at the militant atheists.
Bono "And at myself. I mean, I have a bit of it, myself. I have a bit of the helping God across the road like a little old lady."
SOH Not as much as you used to...
Bono [Laughs] "No, but I do have a bit of it. People like myself, all activists, can be guilty of thinking that, because these are matters of life and death, we have an excuse to be fanatics. You have to know when you stop. At least, I do. That's why a lot of anti-poverty campaigners are so annoying. [laughs]. Me included. That's why people see me and they go, 'That fucking Bono, get him outta my face.'"
The wanderers, Sean O'Hagan, The Observer, Sunday 15 February 2009
Chris Taguchi christaguchi.ca (4th of March 2009)
The song contains a reference to 1 John 4:18: "There is no fear in love, but PERFECT LOVE DRIVES OUT FEAR because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love".
JP Gramajo jpablogchotmail.com (29th of July 2010)