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Love is all we have left (Origins)

D 19 January 2018     H 13:16     A Corine/Dead     C 0 messages


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Love is all we have left

by Remy

A song "speculating on mortality" (Q Magazine) opens Songs Of Experience. Back in 2006, Bono made a trip to Africa during which he wrote lyrics for a song called Love Is All We Have Left. Bono admitted that he thought he had written a Frank Sinatra song. A year prior to the release of No Line On The Horizon this track was also identified as one of the songs to make it onto the album.

"My favorite opening line to a U2 album: ’There’s nothing to stop this being the best day ever.’ In the second verse, innocence admonishes experience: ’Now you’re at the other end of the telescope, seven billion stars in her eyes, so many stars so many ways of seeing, hey, this is no time not to be alive.’" - Bono

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Bono explains how The Little Things That Give You Away relates to the theme of Love Is All We Have Left: "At the end of The Little Things, experience breaks down and admits his deepest fears, having been called out on it by his younger, braver, bolder self. That same conversation also opens the album with a song called Love Is All We Have Left." In the same interview Bono refers back to the Frank Sinatra comment he made 11 years earlier: "It’s a chilling moment – in the chorus I was pretending to be Frank Sinatra singing on the moon, a sci-fi torch song ’love, love is all we have left, a baby cries on the doorstep, love is all we have left.’"

Lyrically, Bono employs a literary and cinematographic technique where the narrator detaches completely from the world and can see all living people on Earth as stars in the eyes: "Now you’re at the other end of the telescope. Seven billion stars in her eyes. So many stars, So many ways of seeing". The narrator can see simultaneously all the people’s lives, dreams and perspectives and this inspires him or her to keep living ("no time not to be alive"), maybe not so much anymore to eat up the entire world ("I wanted the world, but you knew better"), but to love as the only thing left to do. Something in which, from a religious point of view, 1 Corinthians 13:13 can be heard, where it says: "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

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