Friday, 25 January 2008

With or Without You on a Grey January Morning

I was driving to work in my car earlier this week, the weather was wet and grey and I was still half asleep and weary (I'm not at my best early mornings). Sitting at the traffic lights, watching the windscreen wipers sweep the rain away, we'd just passed what they say is the most depressing day of the year, January 21st, and I thought how much I hated January.

I sighed, reached over and put on the radio. A familiar sound rang out, the opening chords of With or Without You. I put the volume up and the song enveloped me, Bono's oh so familiar soaring voice, Edge's magical guitar that was as versatile as the voice, both melding together perfectly, and Larry and Edge holding it all together.

With or Without You has always been in my U2 top 5. It's over twenty years old yet is as fresh as the day it was first heard. And when it was released it was totally different from anything else at the time. Live it is always stunning and at some concerts it's made me cry, sometimes the song is sung to the audience, sometimes the rest of the band, sometimes Ali, sometimes to Bono sings it for himself. It has so many levels, so many meanings and each of us can take away something different from it.

Though U2 have been a part of my life for twenty four years, sometimes I go for quite a while not listening to their music. Then I'll hear one of their songs on the radio, TV or in a shop and I'll feel that warm familiarity and once again realise just what fantastic songs U2 have written and why I've been a fan for so long. I'll feel moved and inspired by the music once more. That's just what happened that grey morning, the clouds had lifted and by time I got to work the world felt a better place than it had when I pulled up at those traffic lights!

Watch the video here:

1 comment:

  1. Always was my favourite U2 song, Sue, because it was the one that made me notice them. When I heard that guitar (and that deep velvety voice) on the radio I never looked back!