If this song is about a breakup - which it is - then it’s probably the most awesome breakup ever. Does that make sense? Well, combine some rocking music with some excellent lyrics and you’ve got Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses. It’s quite a lot happier musically than you would expect for a song about a breakup. Who is the song based on, you ask? I like the piano playing on occasion in the background, giving it a bit of structure. And the weird sound right at the start, I love it and wish I knew how they did that. And I love that the song gets faster and faster as it builds up.
Weird how many versions of this there are, the album version, the single, and the Temple Bar edit, which is apparently the band’s favorite. All three different lengths, and not just a little, but a full minute and twenty seconds between the shortest and longest. This is one of those cases where they kept reworking the song until they ran out of time, and possibly went too far beyond a good version. There is another version out there, called the Kindergarten version (off the Achtung anniversary set) which I think I am going to review separately, since it is such a different song.
Yes, I actually had to check to be sure whether the title was Gonna or Going To.
On the video on U2.com there’s a burst of static at 1:50 (at least there was when I watched it a couple of times), scared the crap out of me. This is a really good video, a split between a bunch of live shots from concerts (although fuzzy, which I don’t like) and studio shots in black and white, which I really like. I especially like the end, where Bono screws up his line and swears, and where Larry signals cut.
At one point during the song Bono sings “Hallelujah,” and I used to think he was singing “at you,” because the line is “…the river laughing at you and me, Hallelujah, Heaven’s white rose…” so you can see if you substitute “at you” it makes perfect sense.
This is another song where I always pop the words into my head, whenever someone says “an accident waiting to happen,” I always think “You’re a piece of glass left there on the beach.”
This song has the line “Took a drive in the dirty rain,” while Mysterious Ways, off the same album, says “Johnny take a dive with your sister in the rain,” and I always thought that second line was drive too. Just coincidence, or is there some deeper meaning there?
I love the line “Well you lied to me ‘cos I asked you to,” it seems to sum up so many things about both love and life. We tell each other lies every day because we don’t want others to know the truths about ourselves, and this spills over into everything, especially politics. In fact this line could be the definition of politics.
My rating for Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses: 7 / 10