Glastonbury is a festival of music held every year in the UK, from what I’ve seen and hear it’s kind of like Woodstock over and over, where everyone drinks and fights and gets covered in mud and listens to a hundred bands and gets sick and tired and diseased by the end. So yeah, I don’t know much about it, right? Anyway, a few years ago U2 were supposed to play Glastonbury, but Bono got hurt (seems to be a pattern) and couldn’t perform, so they had to cancel. They went back a year or two later and did a show, and it was big and good and blah blah blah and, well, nothing really outstanding, just a U2 performance at a festival. Now, U2 live is great, but I don’t know, it really seemed like the festival is so hyped that they should have had the best performance of their lives. Maybe it was because the standard response to U2 playing something like this is the people who say they shouldn’t have been there, that it is a festival for the smaller, newer, cooler bands. Again, I don’t know. But what I’ve seen of it wasn’t anything special.
But the interesting thing that came out of it is a song called Glastonbury. Okay, it didn’t actually come out of the festival, but obviously they were thinking of it when they created it. They have never released it, it has only been played live a few times during 360, so you’ll have to jump out to YouTube if you want to see it and hear it.
The start is taken straight from Volcano (wait, it’s the other way round) and the “you are rock and roll” segment in Volcano is in this song several times, the music that is, and the “you are” but the other words are different. So it is clear that this song was a precursor to Volcano, which showed up a few years later on Songs Of Innocence. So for me to say that it was never released, I should say that it wasn’t released in the original form, that it morphed some of it into Volcano. This is the way things work, we’ve seen this a hundred times this year, where a sound or lyric in some partially completed song is taken somewhere else, and the partial song is dropped, never to be heard again.
I must admit that I’m not sure about this song, I don’t really know what the lyrics are about, or what the song is meaning. There are parts that are talking about mountains and sunshine and so on. There are parts about love and so on. Comparing them to a rose. Just bits and pieces that stick out. One line that really shows up is “Under the flower of American dreams,” and I am totally lost on that one. Is it them, the band, dreaming about going to America and making it big? Or something else, I can’t really see it as sinister (somehow the line reminds me of Vietnam). I just don’t know, the song seems to be happy but there’s always an undercurrent of mystery hanging around somewhere.
My rating for Glastonbury: 3 / 10