Friday, December 17, 2010

cursing God's staff and revisionist U2 history

It seems in the 2000s, Bono has revised lyrics that could be misunderstood by Christians as being anti-faith, so that the meaning is far more straight-up and clear.

"The First Time" is of course the classic example
(see Beth's comments here to really grasp the whole shift, also my "Well-Ended Stories That Don't End Well." Video examples in "Preaching Ecclesiastes and Throwing Away the Key".)

Though it is amazing to have so many CCMish moments in the U2 set nowadays,
I also miss the old days...of the more ironic honesty and wrestled, not nestled, faith.

Now, the other night,  the plot thickens.

Or became thin and baptized.

In Sydney, Bono updated "Love Rescue Me"   (see 9:15ff below) from:

"I have cursed Thy rod and staff/They no longer comfort me"


"I have cursed my rod and staff/They no longer comfort me"

Good point, it's all about which rod/staff we trust in (God's or ours).
But could it also be that until we admit that we have  all "gone too far" and cursed God's rod/staff,
we don't grasp how great and blessed is our Rescue.

And what would Bob Dylan say (co-writer of these lyrics)?

Though a writer is certainly free to revise and update their own catalog (with Bono and old songs, one must admit this may actually a slip..though I doubt it, as he is the master of changing everything with one word... at some point it also feels like revisionist history and a denial of what the band went through  back then.

On the other (third) hand, I am glad they are where they are now,  and that (in Beth's words), Bono and band need to honor "what can be delivered authentically in the more religiously-assured context" of where they are now.  Beth has elsewhere offered (listen to last few minutes of the our interview with her here) that U2's message might be summarized as "hope with realism."
I really miss the realism, though realistically I need hope...really.

And I  still secretly want the prodigal son to throw away the least at a couple concerts a tour(:

Or at least a photo to prove that Bono is still reading "Paul Celan, Patrick Kavanagh and Soren Kierkegaard"
as well as Nee and Wigglesworth.

I'd really pay to see a shot of him reading, and smiling knowingly, you know he must!

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