I am more and convinced that this bridge in U2’s newest single is the Holy Spirit via Edge’s voice. I believe that the Spirit is prophesying into our romantic and Church worlds.
First up though these are not new U2 ideas. Where Songs Of Innocence took us back to U2’s teenage years, growing up in Dublin, Songs Of Experience seems to be a record that will send letters to a variety of people and things as those boys from Dublin grew up. Do not be surprised then that there will be wee snippets of previous U2 ideas throughout the record.
The first half of this Spirit speaking bridge is a recurrence of All That You Can’t Leave Behind song When I Look At The World:
“So I try to be like you
Try to feel it like you do
But without you it's no use
I can't see what you see
When I look at the world”
I believe that Bono cannot see what God sees and actually what Ali sees too.
What is seen has also been seen before on a U2 record. On How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb in the song Crumbs From Your Table, Bono sang:
“You speak of sights and wonders
I need something other
I would believe if I was able
But I'm waiting on the crumbs from your table”
I do believe that in these last two lines Bono is speaking about his relationship with Ali. He has admitted to being loud - “Shooting off my mouth/That’s another great thing about me”.
I used these lines at a wedding this past weekend. It is easy to love loudly. Buy flowers and gifts and speak words and write songs or poems. Loving quietly is a whole different thing. It is ordinary, every day. Like when my mum died and Janice just held any hand for days. Every marriage needs this advice.
BUT… i believe there is more here. I believe that when we link these words with the lines from Crumbs From Your Table that we can hear the Spirit preaching to the Church.
Crumbs From Your Table was inspired by Irish nun Sister Anne Carr who cared for people with AIDS in Malawi. She loved them quietly when Bono was aware that the Church in general were more focused on loud signs and wonders and big numbers and loud voices.
God could have screamed at us from the heavens. He could have built the biggest sound system in the universe if he had needed. Yet, he arrived in the form of a baby in a manger of straw. Bono has spoken many times about loving the poetry of the incarnation. It is contrived to link Christmas with these lines but Bono is trying to tell us that as just like he has to learn to love Ali quietly… so the Church…