Friday, March 6, 2009

How Sweet the Sound

Sound...a simple word. What's it mean in the context of this new release? Bono sings the word repeatedly on No Line. In "Get On Your Boots," Bono sings again and again: "Let me in the sound" and "Meet me in the sound." OK. What's the sound? We hear him sing the word again in "Breathe:" "We are people borne of sound." Then, near the end of "Breathe," Bono sings: "I’ve found grace inside a sound / I found grace, it’s all that I found." I'm reminded of the most popular hymn in the world...Amazing Grace. The first line is familiar to many: "Amazing Grace, how sweet the SOUND...that saved a wretch like me." Of course, another line in that hymn is "I once was lost, but now I'm FOUND." I'm reminded that as a Christian I am borne of that sound of grace...I'm FOUND by grace...I didn't really find it...and as a result of grace...like Bono, I can breathe now. There's a great scene in In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, J. R. R. Tolkien portrays the classic conflict between good and evil, set in a mythical land called Middle Earth. In the middle of the film, the evil wizard Saruman has spellbound Theoden, King of Rohan. He sits on his throne pale and decrepit as his kingdom falls apart around him. Then Gandalf, a good wizard, arrives. Theoden's evil advisor whispers lies into the king's ear about Gandalf, but Gandalf rebukes him: "Be silent! Keep your forked tongue behind your teeth." Then Gandalf says, "Theoden, too long have you sat in the shadows. I release you from the spell." Theoden shakes momentarily and then laughs mockingly, "You have no power here, Gandalf!"
But then Gandalf reveals his full power. He rises up and speaks directly to the evil wizard within Theoden: "I will draw you, Saruman, as poison is drawn from a wound." Saruman cries out through Theoden, "If I go, Theoden dies. Rohan is mine!" Gandalf replies, "You did not kill me, and you will not kill him. Be gone!"
At that, King Theoden is released. Suddenly his face regains its color and youth, and he is fully himself again. And Gandalf speaks the words, "Breathe the free air, again, my friend." That's what being in the amazing SOUND of grace does...it enables us to BREATHE...to BREATHE the FREE AIR...for the first time in our lives.

In "Crazy" we hear Bono sing, "The sweetest melody is the one we haven't heard." Have you heard the sound? Can we meet in the sound? Will we find grace inside the sound and breathe?

4 comments:

Jennifer said...

I really appreciated this entry Bob. Beautiful. Thank you.

The Bobosphere said...

thanks...having quite a bit of fun with this new album.

markmeynell said...

Hi Bob
Thanks for this - I'd come to exactly the same sorts of conclusions about the sound:
http://markmeynell.wordpress.com/2009/03/03/u2s-nloth-spiritual-resonances-part-1/
you might also enjoy the rather revealing wordle:
http://markmeynell.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/u2s-nloth-the-comments-roll-out/

The Bobosphere said...

thanks mark...looks like we have similar "eyes and ears." I have also been thinking more of Bono's use of Song of Solomon lately...helps him bridge the gospel and pop culture gap by remaining spiritually "sexy".