Two Hearts Beat As One

Two Hearts Beat As One is one of the better songs on War, although that only makes it average overall. I do remember liking it a lot back in the early days, thinking it would be one of their major hits, but it’s one of those songs which I don’t think has stood the test of time. In fact it’s barely been played live since the end of the Unforgettable Fire tour, and I’ll admit that I don’t listen to it too much either. The loudness of the bass and the drums are ironically something that made it good back then, but doesn’t do it for me much any more.

Two Hearts does break some of the rules I’ve been talking about, the repetition of too many lyrics. The words “Two hearts beat as one” repeat throughout, which isn’t a bad thing given that it is the title, after all. But it’s the “can’t stop to dance” lines which are repeated many times at the end, and that tells me that they ran out of ideas for finishing the song, or out of ideas for lyrics that would work.

I have a number of lyrical issues here, words that I haven’t understood for so many years. They’re simple little bits, but it all adds up. “They say I’m a fool, they say I’m nothing” is the lyric, I always thought the second part was “for saying nothing,” which in this case really does change the meaning. The simple one is “can’t stop to dance” which I thought was “can’t stop the dance.” I do have to say that, reading back through the lyrics, I really can’t follow what Bono was going on about here. Apparently love, given the title, but the only bit that refers to it is the words “if I’m a fool for you, oh, that’s something.” The rest of it isn’t really about a love song, or about a couple, or anything like that. It’s about dancing. Maybe that’s why the song didn’t last, it pretended to be a love song but it wasn’t. I just read something in the last few days that said that 90% of hit songs are about love. Maybe they really need to be about love, and not just a title.

The video is funny now, but you know they were so earnest back in the day. They’re on a roof in Paris, for reasons that are lost to the mists of time, although I’m sure you know by now how many rooftops they’ve played on. In Los Angeles for the Streets video, on top of the BBC, and up on Rockefeller Center in New York, just to name three. The gang is very early 80s in the video, like they just took a class on how to look like a rock star. Bono is desperately trying to look cool, Edge is wearing a hat and sunglasses that he stole from the Blues Brothers, Adam looks really young, and Larry with his natural cool in leather jacket. They intersperse with some acrobats, and the kid from the album cover, in something that presumably had some meaning to someone.

My rating for Two Hearts Beat As One: 5 / 10