Rise Up qualifies into the fun song group, those that are not quite good enough to make it to an album, and those that get you a lyric stuck into your head. So, a lot of things going for it, but the thing that counts is that it was a b side, and thus didn’t get enough publicity to make it anywhere. Well, to be fair, it has a lot of repetitiveness, the title coming back ad nauseum, and I guess that might count as another strike against it. I do say that I like the song, I like the tempo, I like the music, I like the feeling of the lyrics (but the lyrics themselves are a mystery). Yet another example of even the b sides and unreleased material from The Joshua Tree being so good.
I like that they keep in those directions that they do, right at the start someone says “okay,” then that same person sings the first verse. I do not believe it is Bono, Bono takes over with the “Rise up” section and it clearly isn’t him singing the early part. So who is it? Internet doesn’t give an answer either way, in fact I don’t find anyone even asking the question. It doesn’t sound like Edge, and we know Adam and Larry don’t sing (and what we know of their voices it doesn’t sound like them). My guess is that it is either Eno or Lanois, and again I don’t think I know their voices well enough to say.
The song is clearly an early version, given that someone else is singing on it, but also given that Bono is very indistinct, mumbling his words as he goes. As we always talk about, this is what is called Bongolese, the made-up language that Bono sings when he doesn’t have words and is just trying out different sounds to try and head towards a resultant lyric. This is an interesting and fun way of working out lyrics. I guess it could be something I could try when writing this blog, although I suspect it’s a lot easier for me to write down the drivel that I write than it is for him to come up to lyrics for a song. It’s probably also easier for him to speak them out loud and get the sounds, I don’t think that would work for me here. Maybe if I were writing lyrics, or poetry, it might be a way to go, but even then I think it works much better for it to be spoken than written. That might explain why when you see Bono’s original lyrics there is a whole lot of scratching out, as he slowly builds towards his final version.
Listened to the last two shows in Amsterdam this weekend, seems like they’re not quite keeping the same as they were in the US, like I complained the other day. There have been minor changes, enough to be a little interesting. They are referencing things happening in the world, as they do on a regular basis. They talk about refugees (not migrants) coming to Europe with a great quote from Bono, “if your neighbor’s house is on fire, don’t be surprised if he comes knocking on your door.” And the line adding a lyric for the boy you all saw on the cover of every newspaper, just a slight twist in Pride, but it makes all the difference, “one boy washed up on an empty beach.”
My rating for Rise Up: 5 / 10