Have you ever noticed that the Or Else is always left off this song? Even I just call it Love And Peace, mainly because the Or Else is never sung during the song. So why is it on there? Love And Peace is repeated half a dozen times, but the Or Else, nowhere.
This is a great song. The music is good, the lyrics are good, the pace of the song works well, there is little to not like about it. I have enjoyed Love And Peace ever since it was released. They have these fun little pauses throughout the song before launching into the next part, like the moment just before “Lay down your treasure” near the start, where everything just seems to stop for a second, then kicks off again.
I’m thinking that Love And Peace is possibly the drummiest song in U2 history. It’s so drummy that during the Vertigo tour they would have Larry come out to the edge of the circle with Bono, and do the drumming out there. He would stand there drumming for a bit, looking kind of embarrassed to be out front, sing “release, release” with Bono, then head back to his regular drums before the end. And Bono, in a part I always loved, would then pick up the sticks and finish up the drumming, and then drum into the start of Sunday Bloody Sunday. Like I said, I loved that part of the concert. Bono would also put on the Coexist headband during the song, which I think was the first time he displayed that. I always liked that too, one of those messages that you wish a whole lot of people would see and heed.
I’m not sure that I have a good explanation for the lines “As you enter this life, I pray you depart, with a wrinkled face, and a brand new heart.” You might say it’s obvious, that I hope you live a long life. But what about the brand new heart? I once thought it meant that you should have had a heart transplant, but that’s just crazy, right? So I guess it means you should stay young at heart? Or live a life of renewal, where your heart keeps being renewed? I don’t know.
The other oddity about this song is the theme. Obviously it’s talking about trying to stop war, especially given the times when it was released and the US was rushing into a foolish war that would cost us thousands of lives and billions of dollars. But then there’s the little twist that Bono gives the song by also turning it into a love song, talking about a couple having a fight and trying to make peace between themselves. Or else the end of the relationship. And the background is the tv with the real war starting, and that sounds really like a movie of some kind, doesn’t it? The idea being that a couple in the front is having their battle and the war is on in the back. You could go several places with that. Goes back to my previous ideas for putting songs together into a movie.
My rating for Love And Peace Or Else: 8 / 10