≡ Menu

You’re the reason I sing…

It’s been a long while since I’ve felt that U2 has reached the same lyrical brilliance they had since the Achtung Baby/Joshua Tree albums.  Maybe it’s just be, but there was something artistically profound in the lyrics back then, and as with much of popular music, it seems much more casual stylistically today.

I’ve always enjoyed one of the song “Sometimes you can’t make it on your own” from their last album, but yesterday I fell in love with it.  I’ve always known that the song was written about Bono’s father, but I was waiting in the car for my wife, and listened to it several times over from different perspectives and it floored me.

I thought about it from my own father towards myself.

Tough, you think you’ve got the stuff
You’re telling me and anyone, You’re hard enough

You don’t have to put up a fight
You don’t have to always be right
Let me take some of the punches, For you tonight

It’s interesting how we’re often raised to be autonomous and independent.  To think that my parents would not only want to raise me and support me, but also struggle on behalf of me is mindblowing.

I thought about my own daughter and how much I want her to deeply know that she doesn’t need to appear strong before me and that I’d gladly take shots for her and fight for her.

I thought about my wife.

Listen to me now, I need to let you know
You don’t have to go it alone

She embodies these words especially as I venture out on an unpaved path in life.  I’m guessing as with many wives she wants to know how she uniquely helps or contributes to my well being, but this basic reality of staying the course with me.

I thought about myself.

A house still doesn’t make a home
Don’t leave me here alone

I think this is such a vulnerable statement.  Besides when I was sharing with my wife yesterday, I don’t recall the last time I uttered the words “don’t leave me here alone”.  All the stuff and significance I surround myself with could never compare to the family that makes my home.

I thought about relationships.

We fight all the time, You and I
That’s alright, we’re the same soul
I don’t need, I don’t need to hear you say
That if we weren’t so alike
You’d like me a whole lot more

It’s odd how the people that are most like us, we can have the most contention with.  They remind us of our own failings, our own junk, our own areas of weakness.

I thought about people who’ve shaped me at the climax of the song…

Can you hear me when I sing?
You’re the reason I sing

Like my daughter when she’s proudly showing me what she made with her blocks, I realized I’m the same way.  I come alive when I have an opportunity to express the best of what’s been given to me.  But even more importantly, it hit me how deeply indebted to others I am, especially my wife.

I can’t do what I do, simply because I just reached deep within and pulled it out of myself.  I’m not a self-generating machine.  The best of what I am is because of others.  You’re the reason I’m able to sing.

Now take it further, and listen to this from the perspective of God speaking to you.

Can you hear me when I sing?
You’re the reason I sing

Can you hear and see and feel a God that is joyously expressing his infinite love towards you?

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • aaron October 23, 2008, 10:43 am

    these are the kinds of moments during the day that bring life!

  • Colby October 25, 2008, 4:27 pm

    Lon, thanks for that post. I greatly enjoyed reading your commentary on the song and it struck home with me personally. Thanks for your insight.


  • Lon October 26, 2008, 8:50 pm

    Aaron – totally we could all use more of these moments of revelation

    Colby – thanks for the encouragement, always glad to know it meant something to someone…

Leave a Comment

Next post:

Previous post: