Yahweh

Yahweh. I guess you can tell by the title that I’m going to have to say something about religion. Ironically, there is little to nothing in the song that actually refers to religion, despite the title, which is another word for God in Hebrew. I suppose you could say that the line “I’m waiting for the dawn” could be a religious reference, but that might be a stretch. Then there’s the city shining on the hill, which usually means Jerusalem but I read somewhere that it also refers to America these days, based on a Reagan speech.

But that’s just me. I mean, I tend to look at lyrics very superficially for the most part, looking at the words and seeing what they say. There are often times when I have entirely missed the meaning of something, because I’m reading the words and not the intent. As an example, I googled this song to see what others have said about it, and found several places where the writer went deep into the song, picking apart every line and pointing out the religious significance of it. I can tell you that I am no religious scholar, I cannot quote chapter and verse from the bible (I can do a pretty good job with Psalm 40 though), so many of those references do go over my head. I tend to enjoy a song for what it is, although there are times when I have gone deep into a song and found my interpretation to be exactly what Bono was thinking about. And vice versa, that my thoughts were wildly off from what he was writing.

The song is quite repetitive, but in this case it’s the good kind of repetitive. It’s not just repeating a verse, or a chorus, but in this case it’s repeating a theme. Every pair of lines beginning with “Take this” or “Take these” establishes that theme, but then it breaks into a different outcome every time. It does this in a very clever way, in what I guess you would call ABAC rhyming, although it’s not the rhyme I’m talking about but the whole line. Meaning the first line is repeated as the third line, and the second and fourth are different results of what should be done with the first line. If you’ve heard the song, you know what I mean, although if you haven’t you have no clue what I’m talking about, and my description probably makes little sense too.

The music for the song is fairly generic though. The bass is relatively quiet, it does give a background but doesn’t really drive the song. The drums are similar, they pop up here and there and you think the song is going to take off, but it doesn’t. The rest of it is just music, playing along quietly, almost hymnal you could say, until the actual Yahweh sections, when it does pump up a bit, but then drifts back down again. They do go into a change though (“waiting for the dawn”), and as is often the case it’s my favorite part of the song. In fact the second change part (“Take this city”) is just about as good. I like those lyrics the best, the take the city section.

My rating for Yahweh: 4 / 10