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Music Monday – U2 – Zooropa

04/11/2011
U2 Zooropa

U2 Zooropa

U2 finally played 1993’s “Zooropa” from the album of the same name in its entirety. This was such a big deal that worldwide on Twitter “Zooropa” was a trending topic. That is huge.

I first heard the song “Zooropa” and the album Zooropa back in 2001. If I remember correctly, it was spring break after my family had moved from Green Bay to Minneapolis, and I had picked up a job doing janitorial at my high school. It was a rainy week, and I was assigned to clean one of the larger rooms on my own, the room we ate lunch in during school, which has some glass windows all along one side of the two story room. The whole week it was stormy and rainy, and for some reason, the instant Edge’s guitar started playing in my headphones, I fell in love not only with the sound Edge was somehow magically able to create, but also with the rain falling outside. To this day, that opening guitar effect reminds me of wet, slippery, pouring rain. And it’s beautiful.

Lyrically I dig “Zooropa” too. The atmosphere of the song took me away from my surroundings and engaged my imagination, while Bono’s lyrics spoke to me to where I was at at that time in my life, having just left one group of friends and moving to an entirely new state, school, and surroundings. One life had ended while another had begun. And at the time I was still flinging off the old vestiges of the brand of Fundamentalism I had been raised in, so the idea of “I have no religion/ and I don’t know what’s what” was extremely fitting. With Bono and with U2 as a whole, I found a group of peers and mentors, who read the Bible, knew the Lord, and yet didn’t have all the answers, weren’t arrogant, weren’t weird, weren’t legalistic self-righteous Pharisees.

But…baby, it’ll be alright. Zooropa is still my go-to album when it’s raining. The whole album is an experimental masterpiece.

U2 released Zooropa in 1993, during a break on their massive ZooTV tour. The song itself was played 3 or 4 times but never in its entirety, and it never truly sounded great live. All that has changed, as U2 just played “Zooropa” in Sao Paulo on April 10. I really, really hope it survives to the setlist for TCF Stadium Bank in July. I don’t care if no one else knows it, or goes to the bathroom during that song. It’s one of my songs, and the show won’t feel complete without it. Or at least won’t feel as special.

Here’s the original album recording of “Zooropa”.

And here’s the Sao Paulo performance from Sunday night. Magical…

“Zooropa”

What do you want
What do you want

Zooropa
Vorsprung durch Technik
Zooropa
Be all that you can be
Be a winner, eat to get thinner

Zooropa
A bluer kind of white
Zooropa
It could be yours tonight
We’re mild and green and squeaky clean

What do you want
What do you want
Combien encore
What do you want
Que veux-tu faire
What do you want
Combien encore

Zooropa
Better by design
Zooropa
Fly the friendly skies
Through applience of science we’ve got that ring of confidence

And I have no compass and I have no map
And I have no reasons, no resons to get back
And I have no religion and I don’t know what’s what
And I don’t know the limit, the limit of what we got

Zooropa
Don’t worry baby, it’ll be alright
Zooropa
You’ve got the right shoes to get you through the night
Zooropa
It’s cold outside but brightly lit
Zooropa
Skip the subway, let’s go to the overground
Get your head out of the mud baby
Put flowers in the mud, baby, overground

No particular place names, no particular song
I’ve been hiding, what am I hiding from

Zooropa
Don’t worry baby, it’s gonna be alright
Zooropa
Uncertainty can be a guiding light
Zooropa
I hear voices, ridiculous voices
I’m in the slipstream
Zooropa
Let’s go, let’s go overground
Take your head out of the mud baby

She’s gonna dream up the world she wants to live in
She’s gonna dream out loud
Dream out loud
Dream out loud

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