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Song for Someone - possible meaning

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It's been eight months since the release of Songs of Innocence.

 

Since then, Song for Someone was, for me, one of those tracks to skip on the way to something better.

 

U2 decided to play it on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Friday, May 8. It took a few days to reach our screens in Australia, but I was mesmerised by the performance. The band sounded quite incredible, and Bono's singing hasn't been this good for a very long time. 

 

The iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour 2015 is going to find them in full flight. It's overwhelmingly exciting.

 

Bono has consistently said it's one of the most personal albums they've written.

 

After watching them perform on Jimmy Fallon, Song for Someone would not get out of my head. Bono was right in the moment. Watch him sing the final verse and you can hear his voice almost break. And then the way he looks at the camera at the very end. He's in the zone, lost in the moment and meaning of the song, even for that brief moment. 

 

And line by line, the meaning of the song began revealing itself to me.

 

I could be wrong, but over the course of three days, the revelations were crystal clear.

 

Does Song for Someone revisit the themes of An Cat Dubh on Boy?

 

Bono had a brief fling with someone after a breakup with Ali during their high school days, which was the story behind An Cat Dubh. I believe he's gone back to that episode here, looking back on it through the heart and mind of a mature man (An Cat Dubh = iNNOCENCE, Song for Someone = eXPERIENCE).

 

And it obviously still tears at him after all these years. Takes courage to put it out there in a song and then sing it in front of an audience. Reckon you could do it? I know I couldn't.

 

Suffice to say that I now love this song and won't skip it again.

 

To those of you who will see them live on the first legs of the tour, I hope you enjoy it. I hope with all my might they come to Australia.

 

And my sympathies to Larry and his family after the recent death of his father. I'm sure we all feel like we lost one of our own on Sunday.

 

*Lyrics copied from U2.com lyrics page

 

 

You got a face not spoiled by beauty

I have some scars from where I’ve been

 

Ok, so here we are, Mount Temple Comprehensive School, Dublin, mid 1970s. A teenage Paul Hewson sets eyes on Alison Stewart and is completely besotted by her. He's got some baggage, even at that young age. The tragic death of his mother is still a very fresh wound, his house is not a home, politics shaken and stirred with religion is a matter of life and death, and fear is worn under the sleeve when walking on the street. Some pretty big scars, some of which he carries today.

 

You’ve got eyes that can see right through me

You’re not afraid of anything they’ve seen

 

He knows he can't get anything past Ali. She's too wise to not realise something is up.He's also amazed by her strength. Dublin in those days sounds like it was a scary place, but nothing can shake her, not even this unfortunate episode.

 

I was told that I would feel nothing the first time

 

Did the 'other' girl tell Bono he'd feel nothing the first time, to make it seem okay to him? 

He's using that as an excuse, but now realises the magnitude of his mistake. 

 

I don’t know how these cuts heal

 

Again, a reference to Ali's strength. He can't fathom how she's able to overcome the hurt he's put her through.

 

But in you I found a rhyme

 

For a songwriter, a rhyme is the most precious thing on earth. He found his muse with Ali.

 

If there is a light you can’t always see

And there is a world we can’t always be

If there is a dark that we shouldn’t doubt

And there is a light, don’t let it go out

 

The light you can't always see is the solution to a big problem in a relationship. All those negative emotions can cloud the mind and it's impossible to see a way out.

We all would love to live in a perfect world, but we hurt each other. We wage wars where killing is accepted, we cheat on each other, we abuse each other. No, we can't always live in a perfect world.

The dark that "we shouldn't doubt" I think refers again to the negativity, but here Bono is making sure Ali is aware that he acknowledges he's 'fooked' up. It's not something that either will forget.

But yes, there's a light in there somewhere, ever so faint, and he wants it to get brighter. He pleads with her not to give up on what they had.

 

And this is a song, song for someone

This is a song, song for someone

 

Does this give us a sense of his shame, where Bono can't even bring himself to mention Ali's name? 

In the past, Bono has also spoken about how in some facets of religion the Lord's name could not be spoken, but it could be sung (remember the song Yaweh?) 

There's a reference later in this song where he reveres Ali as much as the Lord.

 

You let me in to a conversation

A conversation only we could make

You break and enter my imagination

Whatever’s in there it’s yours to take

 

Things seem to be on the mend. They are back on speaking terms. Ali is totally blowing his mind, he's fallen deep in love with her again. Here, I'm all yours, take whatever you want.

 

I was told I’d feel nothing the first time

You were slow to heal but this could be the night

 

Listen to the way he sings this part. "How could I have cheated on you?"

While the relationship is on the mend, this fling still lingers in the air. He can't believe he did this to her, and he realises how long it took her to get over it. 

But this could be the night - something most blokes say when they start dating a girl. In this case, this could be the night they are intimate again for the first time since the ordeal, which would seal the bond they had previously.

 

If there is a light you can’t always see

And there is a world we can’t always be

If there is a dark within and without

And there is a light, don’t let it go out

 

And this is a song, song for someone

This is a song, a song for someone

 

And I’m a long long way from your Hill of Calvary

 

Bono's mistake crucified Ali, but she sacrificed her pain to forgive his sins so they could be together again. And still, he really can't fully comprehend the amount of hurt he put her through, hence why he's so far away from her Hill of Calvary.

 

And I’m a long way from where I was and where I need to be

 

While he's very far from being that person who cheated on Ali, Bono is still not he partner he needs to be. In other words, he's still working on it.

 

If there is a light you can’t always see

And there is a world we can’t always be

If there is a kiss I stole from your mouth

And there is a light, don’t let it go out

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Wow....

 

Nobody replied to this before

 

You entered on one of my favorite, song lyrics interpretation.

 

I think only Bono can know what he is talking about.

 

I don´t agree with you but it's very interesting to see what people take out from the verses, every body takes what they need and give it their own meaning that fits their needs. (Sorry my english, hope you understand what I mean)

 

But OK, you've opened the game, I buy....

 

You got a face not spoiled by beauty
I have some scars from where I’ve been
 
She is special, very special, he can see inside her, things he knows that other people can´t see.
He is diferent than her, maybe she had a perfect childhood or a good life, he hadn´t and he has more expirience in life.
 
You’ve got eyes that can see right through me
You’re not afraid of anything they’ve seen
 
Dispate her good experiences in life so far, she is able to understand him very well, she is a diferent point of view.
 
I was told that I would feel nothing the first time
 
Of course, sex, but it could be a hidden meaning. Love is very much harder to deal than sex. Now, what do I do with these feelings I didn´t know. I was not prepared for this.
 
I don’t know how these cuts heal
But in you I found a rhyme
 
This comes completly on me, but I think (in others songs the same) when Bono says rhyme he is talking about an orgasm. But, of course, sex again and a sense of confort, but it means so much more for him because the two sentences are related. He discovers something new in her, something he haven´t see before, a person that can be generous and truly good with others dispate her lack of experience in the dark world.
 
If there is a light you can’t always see
And there is a world we can’t always be
If there is a dark that we shouldn’t doubt
And there is a light, don’t let it go out
 
Outside world, dangerous and full of danger. Their relationship have to be strong to understand all of that and just see the good things, there are good things.
 
And this is a song, song for someone
This is a song, song for someone
 
Let's say this. If you replace someone for Ali the song loses its magic, you are can not aply it to anything else, and music tries to go further, Bono always tries to go further.
 
And I’m a long long way from your Hill of Calvary
And I’m a long way from where I was and where I need to be
 
Too personal for me to interprate
 
If there is a light you can’t always see
And there is a world we can’t always be
If there is a kiss I stole from your mouth
And there is a light, don’t let it go out
 
Remember that very moment, the first with meaning, that feeling, it's still there for me, is it for you?
 
Wow, wow, wow,
I must say the song had a completly diferent meaning for me before I went line by line.
 
Enjoy the songs, they are for you, respect them but do with them whatever you want.
 
 
 
 
 

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I will add the song has a very diferent meaning for me, but I'll keep it for me. You see, tha magic of music and lyrics.


Super PS:

 

my english is getting worse and worse, I'll have to go learning again. LOL.

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