Hawkmoon 269

Have you heard the theories on the title for Hawkmoon 269? Why the number is 269, and not something else, and why indeed a number at all? Among the theories I’ve heard are that it was the 269th cut of the song, which even for perfectionists like U2 I don’t believe. I’ve heard that they were driving through the middle of nowhere, USA (usually somewhere in the Dakotas or Wyoming), and passed a sign which said Hawkmoon 269, as in the town of Hawkmoon is 269 miles from this spot. I don’t believe that one, because if you’re listing a distance on a sign, it would have to be a pretty big town to be listed at that distance (let alone that there isn’t a town called Hawkmoon as far as Google Maps knows). And the most likely one I’ve heard is that Bono was in room 269 in whatever hotel he was in when writing the song. That’s about as random as it gets, so about as reasonable as anything else.

Starts with carousel music, I don’t know why. Then in kicks the drums, guitar laid over top, then lyrics, and finally the bass and at that point they’re all rolling together, and it really sounds good. The whole song has that feel, the feeling of anticipation, of things building up to a head, of rolling thunder, although I’m not sure it ever hits the payoff on it. It reminds me of Exit, of Heartland, of the ongoing theme I have of writing a movie based solely on U2 songs. In that idea this song will fit in very well with these others songs.

“Like a “ is the theme for this song. Seems like almost every line begins with “Like a “ something, and the implication is that this is how much he needs your love, as in this thing really needs this other thing, like I need your love. It is a little hokey, and I have complained many times about a lot of music being really repetitive, but in this case it does work okay. I mean, you’re not repeating the same lines over and over, or the same verses, but switching it up every time. I’ve also said before about how I like that Bono will take a particular chorus and sing it three times in a song, but twist each time so they’re a little different. In this case he’s using the same theme, but twisting it every single time, and that keeps the interest and removes the idea of the lack of diversity in the lines.

Interesting to me that the song has only been played live nine times, seven of those in Australia. Lucky them. I guess they were trying out the song, trying to get it to work live, and somehow they couldn’t get it right. And then they gave up on it, and stopped playing it live. That’s a little disappointing, because it does seem like a song that would work really well live. The whole tone of it, the ongoing sound seems like something that a crowd would really like. Maybe it was just too long (at 6:22 there are few album songs that are longer). Or maybe it was just so complicated that it was hard for Bono to remember the words.

My rating for Hawkmoon 269: 6 / 10