Another one of those songs where you want to repeat the entire title to get the word count up. Daddy’s Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car is one of the odder songs on Zooropa, one of the odder albums. That kind of makes it one of the oddest songs that U2 have done, and I don’t think you’ll get much argument about that from anyone.
Weird noise at the start, weird trumpets, weird drums. Then it goes a little crazy. If you can call it guitar, or just squawking, I don’t know. It settles down a little when Bono starts signing, although you notice the sound is still floating in and out, along with more weird background noises. It stays kind of mild (for this song) for a while, jumps back into a bunch of drums (or whatever Larry is hitting at that point, might be trashcans). Stays mostly like that all the way to the end, and you’re mostly trying to just get the song over with, although I do like the way he sings the days of the week, oddly enough. It just sounds good, doesn’t really mean anything.
The lyrics are interesting and odd, I’ve seen references specifically to heroin addiction, but Edge has also said just addiction to anything. Can see it a little, not that I would know anything about heroin addiction. In that case the daddy is the dealer, bringing the girl the drugs she needs. That theory does explain him giving her the flaming car, which doesn’t make much sense in any other way. However, I always think of the song as a girl being protected by daddy, as in whatever she does she’s going to have someone there to back her up. Like in the title, if she crashes the car he’ll take care of it. That theory reminds me of Common People by Pulp, which essentially has that specific theme, of a girl slumming it but always knowing she can go back home if she gets in real trouble.
The other argument you might make for the song, and I’m not sure that this is a reasonable argument, is the idea of overarching government. This would be the idea of the nanny state, taking care of everything for you so you don’t need to work or do anything. In that way daddy ends up being a little sinister, and I’m surprised there’s no Republicans who have used this in their campaigning against big government.
Probably the signature version is the Zoo TV Live From Sydney DVD, it’s certainly the one I think of any time I think of this song. I also think of this song when I am reminded of MacPhisto, the two of them go together well on that DVD. The song carries on with Bono getting in his costume, then coming out and singing. Then the song ends and he gives the immortal line “look what you’ve done to me, you’ve made me very famous and I thank you.” I regularly have that line pop in my head, it has so many triggers for me.
My rating for Daddy’s Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car: 3 / 10