So we reach the one hundredth day of the year and still going strong. I don’t think I need any help with this, although Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own. Okay, sorry, just a small joke there.
I do like this song, it is at times slow and soft, and at times a little quicker. It is very lyrical, very poetic you might say, and you might also say that it’s because of the subject matter (Bono’s father), and that Bono is a much better writer when he is writing about something very personal. He certainly struck a chord with this song.
Curiously enough, I was thinking earlier today about Bono, and wondering how much different his life might have been if his mother hadn’t died when she did, when he was a teenager. Would he have gone on to be a huge star? Part of me thinks he would, that his outsize personality would have pushed him in that direction no matter what, but part of me thinks that things could have been much different. It’s the idea of a butterfly flapping its wings, just the slightest change might turn things out very differently. I sometimes think that about a ballgame, that if one person in the crowd had turned one way instead of the other, what ripples would that cause and could it change the outcome?
But I bring all that up because I am thinking of this song. Like I said, it is about Bono and his father and their relationship. My father died when I was very young, so I did not have that relationship, which attracts me both to the story of Bono’s mother and to this song. I sometimes wonder what differences would be in my life. I can almost guarantee that I would not be where I am today without that event in my life, and I think of both the good and bad sides of things. I’m pretty sure I would never have gone on to be a rockstar though.
The song is as I said poetic. There is a strong feeling of melancholy rolling through it, but on the other hand I get this feeling of being uplifted by it as well. It has a way of being both at the same time, which is just weird. I think this is possibly the clearest song he’s ever sung, I get every single word from it without any problems, which doesn’t always happen. Maybe because the lyrics are what make the song, and the music in the background really is just that, an accompaniment to the words. And the bridge in it is great, I especially like the line “Can you hear me when I sing,” which more properly should be written “Can. You. Hear. Me. When. I. Siiiiing,” it sounds just like that, stopping after every word, before going into the long sing, followed by the opera part. Really fun to listen to.
I do sometimes conflate this song with Stuck In A Moment, not for any reason other than a general sentiment. Stuck was dedicated to Michael Hutchence, and there are times when I think “oh, the Hutchence song, Sometimes You Can’t Make It,” then I have to pause and think “no, not that one, Stuck In A Moment.” Maybe because they both have long titles. More likely because they’re both dealing with the issue that you need friends to get you through sometimes.
My rating for Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own: 7 / 10