On our journey with U2 through the Passion of the Christ we found ourselves, yesterday, between the events of the Resurrection and the hopeful Biblical yearning for the Second Coming of Jesus, what the last book of the New Testament sees as the culmination of history. For the sixth and final part of this Easter Series we are looking at Bono and Daniel Lanois’ Falling At Your Feet, released on both the Million Dollar Hotel soundtrack album and Lanois’ album Shine it is full of clever couplets that critique the culture with humour and provocation.
The overriding theme of the piece is that everything is falling at the feet... but of whom? The last lines give the answer. The question of “whom shall I trust” in King James’ Biblical language concluded with Jesus words from the Garden of Gethsemane reveal the song to be a hymn. A closer look and there is sense that it is perhaps based on Philippians chapter 2, where Paul seems to be reciting an early Church hymn that states that everything and everyone will one day fall at the feet of the Jesus who gave up everything to be our servant and was then exalted to the highest place.
every foot in every face
every cop's stop who finds the grace
every prisioner in the maze
every hand that needs an ace
is falling, falling at your feet
i've come crawling, and i'm falling at your feet
every eye closed by a bruise
every player who just can't lose
every pop star howling abuse
every drunk back on the booze
all falling at your feet
oh i'm falling at your feet
(all fall down) in whom shall i trust
(all fall down) how might i be still
(all fall down) teach me to surrender
(all fall down) not my will, thy will.”
The rest of the song is cultural critique of all the bits of our world that are jagged and broken. The song deals with teenage image issues to pop stars abusing their privilege, other being physically abused and even prisoners in Northern Ireland’s Maze jail get a mention, a nod to the chipped edges of Irish Troubles. Ultimately the final destiny of the world, it is suggested, is that all these things would come under the feet of a Lord who would not be an oppressor but a liberator; redemption a surrendering to this Jesus and living by God’s will not ours. We are left with a song to accompany us as we make our way through the breakages, seeking to fix what we can as we journey to everything restored.