Thursday, December 11, 2008
How the screaming changes when the meaning hits your ears
-- King's X
The unfortunate, and sometimes downright ingenious, thing about U2 is that their song titles often look ridiculous on the surface, until you understand what the song is actually about.
A case in point would be "Mofo" from the Pop album. I remember, circa 1996, hearing from my brother about the title of the song and thinking it was a little weird. Then 11/28/97 came around, and Brandi and I saw U2 at the Astrodome during the Popmart tour. I'll never forget that funky bass/guitar intro thing going on as Bono took the stage dressed as a heavy weight fighter while belting out the opening lyrics to "Mofo":
lookin' for to save my save my soul
lookin' in the places where no flowers grow
lookin' for to fill that GOD shaped hole
mother mother sucking rock and roll
My opinion of "Mofo" changed that evening. I also recall later reading an interview where Bono said something like if he had ever put his whole life into a song, it was "Mofo." The song is obviously about his mother, who died when he was a boy, and his attempts to fill the void left in his life after her death. Yes, the screaming changed when the meaning hit my ears.
Another example from the same album would be "The Playboy Mansion," which is, essentially, a song about materialism, and not a salutation to the licentious residence of ill repute.
Anyway, the point of this post was to point to a song Bono wrote for his then-prego wife, Ali: "Big Girls Are Best." Now that Brandi is with child, I chuckle every time I listen to this line:
She's elliptical, also political
Also spiritual, not superficial
Yeah, she's tropical
Yes, she's illogical
Those little girls are a pest
Big girls are the best
Brandi's pregnancy is showing a little bit, but the "big girl" phase is just around the corner. That's always a fun time, especially when you can feel the baby swirling around inside there by putting your hand on her stomach.
Yeah, she's tropical. Yes, she's illogical ...