My son will not listen to this song. Any time it comes on he wants me to skip to the next song. When I try to talk to him about it, he gets upset and wants to change the subject. He is ten, and I think knowing the story of Bono and his mother, losing her at age fourteen, I think it may have affected him more than I should probably have let it.
I am affected by it too. My father died when I was a baby, and I don’t have near the emotion that Bono does, it’s much more difficult when you have known someone for fourteen years than never having known them. There are many aspects of my life which have been affected though, and I can see Bono’s thoughts during this song paralleling my own in a lot of ways.
This is yet another song that has received a boost by being heard live (my original rating had it two points lower, before the tour began). Like a surprising number of songs from Songs Of Innocence, it took seeing it live to really push it up in my estimation. The song is so well done live, so emotional and powerful, it is perhaps my favorite song from the album now. There’s a lot of competition for that slot though, if you ask me tomorrow I might choose something else. I can say that there are three or four songs that could take that spot.
I love the video they show on the screen during the show, Bono’s mother running on the beach (although it is repeated running, it is done quite well). I have wondered if I would even have something like that available to make a video of the sort (not that I make any plan to do so, or need to do so). For my generation, yeah probably, for my son’s, definitely, but for my parents no, I don’t think there exists a single video of my mother anywhere. Some pictures yes, but not many of those even. Hmm, must do something about that sometime.
I absolutely love the bridge, when the theme of the song switches to the bass. Outstanding music right there, I wish it was longer, although I would have to say it’s perfect the way it is. That’s one of the parts that I think I should pick up my guitar and try and play, although that’s not the way to learn a song, from the middle out. Well, I suppose it could be, I guess it might be anything that gives you that inspiration. Play one part, then play others to link them together.
If there’s a line that is guaranteed to make me cry, it is “Iris says that I will be, the death of her, it was not me.” I don’t know how he wrote that line, other than being extraordinarily talented and inspired. Every time I hear it my eyes water a little, and during the shows I’m not ashamed to admit that there were tears running down my cheeks. This is such a powerful and emotional song.
My rating for Iris (Hold Me Close): 8 / 10