I told this story before in my review of The Joshua Tree, but I’m going to tell it again. When my wife and I were trying to come up with names for our son, I immediately came up with Joshua as the name. Now, we didn’t know if it was going to be a boy or a girl, but we had the boy name down just like that. She agreed, it really was that easy. I barely had to do the whole Joshua Tree explanation (despite my desperate desire to talk about U2 for hours). But we never fixed on a girl’s name. It was a few months in when we were doing a scan that the doctor said something about “he” and the nurse had to say “shhh, they don’t want to know.” But it was too late, the cat was out of the bag (if you haven’t had kids yet, you’ll learn that parents hang on every single word the doctor says). For the rest of the pregnancy, we kind of drifted in and out on choosing a girl’s name, because we were convinced it was going to be a boy. It would have been really bad if a girl had come out, and the doctor asked us what we were going to name her, and we’d said “uhhhhh.”
So cutting to the point of the story, when we had talked about girl names, I was pretty strongly in favor of Grace, but my wife wasn’t in favor of it much. I remember trying to convince her, and not getting very far. We bandied about a few names, I don’t remember any of them, but I was kind of focused on Grace anyway. Obviously we didn’t need it, but it would have been interesting if it was a girl, and I said “Grace” and my wife said no.
I mean, what’s wrong with it? It’s the name for a girl, and a thought that can change the world. You can’t go past that, can you?
The song is soft, slow, sweet. It seems to meander back and forth. It seems short, but it’s five and a half minutes. It only has three verses, which might be what makes it seem short, but they are long verses. There’s also no real chorus, which is a little different. The song is really odd, because there are times when you feel like it’s starting to be a little anti (covers the shame, removes the stain), but it quickly turns around into the nice version of the word.
By the end it’s really got a good feeling. You’ve stepped up into the Grace that is attracting everyone to her, hearing strings just while she walks. She’s making beauty out of ugly things, growing the pearl from the hurt. This is a fantastic image, in fact the whole song is, that idea of grace as just a person but also the image of hope and feeling and love. It really is a perfect ending to the album.
My rating for Grace: 7 / 10