The Miracle (of Joey Ramone): an act of love by U2

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It is nowadays a kind of fashion to state that U2 are not the same they used to be, that they cannot write anymore, that they’d better retire.

It is, obviously, a superficial opinion. First of all, it is absolutely true that they are not the same of Unforgettable Fire or The Joshua Tree, but which one of us is the same he used to be when he was 20? Who, having turned 30, 40 or 50, feels to be exactly the same he was when he was young?

To grow up and change with maturity, is something we all do, or should be doing. If we carefully read the lyrics of Bono & C., there is a clear evolution from rebel boys, sons of a restless Ireland, to middle aged men that went through mournings, divorces, birth of children, diseases and all that normally comes along in life, even if it’s a life made gilded by music.

Songs of Innocence, of 2014, is a retrospective album: passed their 50s, our fellows look back and retrace the emotions of when they were, indeed, innocent.  Of when they were four teens from Dublin struggling not only with the turmoil of that age, but also with an historic moment of extreme tension towards the new, the future, towards all that was “outside”.

Bono is a restless, tormented boy. His mother died when he was 14 and his adolescence, a complicated moment on its own, is marked by this unbearable pain. But the richness of his emotions finds an outlet: music can set him free. The encounter with music, of Ramones in this case, is shocking: a world is revealed, others have felt his feelings and others were able to express them, in “the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard”. From there comes the inspiration for The Miracle (of Joey Ramone).

A boy meets music, and his agitation, his struggle to emerge, to give a name to his fears, to canalize his anger, suddenly do the Miracle. This is your road, and now you know it. It is almost a vocation, the answer to a thousand question that are all revealed at the same time.

Fortunately, that day of 1978 Bono, Larry, Adam and Dave went to listen to the Ramones. And they have understood.

I was chasing down the days of fear
Chasing down a dream before it disappeared
I was aching to be somewhere near
Your voice was all I heard

I was shaking from a storm in me
Haunted by the spectres that we had to see
Yeah, I wanted to be the melody
Above the noise, above the hurt

I was young, not dumb
Just wishing to be blinded
By you, brand new
And we were pilgrims on our way

I woke up at the moment
When the miracle occurred
Heard a song that made some sense
Out of the world
Everything I ever lost
Now has been returned
In the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard

We got language so we can’t communicate
Religion so I can love and hate
Music so I can exaggerate my pain
And give it a name

I was young, not dumb
Just wishing to be blinded
By you, brand new
And we were pilgrims on our way

I woke up at the moment
When the miracle occurred
Heard a song that made some sense
Out of the world
Everything I ever lost
Now has been returned
In the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard

We can hear you, hear you
We can year you
We can hear you, hear you

I woke up at the moment
When the miracle occurred
I get so many things I don’t deserve
All the stolen voices
Will someday be returned
The most beautiful sound I’d ever heard

Your voices will be heard
Your voices will be heard

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