Lady With the Spinning Head

  1. Salome
  2. Sweetest Thing
  3. Hold Me. Thrill Me. Kiss Me. Kill Me.
  4. Alex Descends Into Hell For A Bottle Of Milk/Korova 1
  5. Holy Joe
  6. Electrical Storm
  7. Lady With the Spinning Head
  8. The Hands That Built America
  9. Waves of Sorrow
  10. Winter
  1. On page 14 of Charles Bukowski's "Hollywood" it reads:

    "On the table he had a little roulette wheel, electrically controlled, it was set off whirling with the push of a button. He had stacks of chips and a long sheet of paper full of calculations. There was also a betting board. He placed the chips, pushed the button, said, 'It is my Lady with the Spinning Head. I am in Love' Jon came out with the drinks"

    Now, this does not give the "meaning" for the song, but as an English teacher I hesitate doing this with any text... This clear allusion to Bukowski permits a clearer understanding of the conceit Bono uses in the song. The extended metaphor of luck/providence/fate to a woman uses the line from Bukowski as a starting point. Since it is a comparison, the images in the song describe both a woman and the roulette wheel/gambling. E.g.: "Here she comes / Lady luck again / Figure of eight / Six and nine again"

    As many people have pointed out, the six and nine form the eight when placed together, a symbol of infinity, and a sexual conjoining between man and woman. These are also numbers from the roulette wheel, an image furthered by the colors mentioned in the lines "She's got the red/She put me in the black." Luck, like a lady or a gambler's bet, comes and goes, hopefully forming the 8 mentioned at the end of the song.

    Given Bono's penchant for Bukowski, dedicating "Dirty Days" to him, and the subject matter of the novel, a writer drinks his way through selling out to Hollywood by writing a screen play, I think the interpretation works quite well.

    Ian Doreian iwdoreian@hotmail.com (15th of July 2006)

23rd of September 2006