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  • Writer's pictureBridget Buckley

13 Days of U2: Day 7

Achtung Baby (1991)


The album that almost ended it all and the song that healed old wounds and allowed them to keep making music. The members of U2 have talked candidly about this period in their history, “The cracks were within,” Larry puts it.

Many interpret this song as a coming together when it's about splitting up. The key lyric that usually is misquoted, ”We got to carry each other" is actually, “We get to carry each other.” The Edge says it is a privilege to carry each other…it’s grace.

Downright biblical, it’s Judas’ betrayal of Jesus. One of the best moments in the 360° Tour, Bono and The Edge took on the two personas of Jesus and Judas as they battled on separate moving catwalk structures and tried to grab one another.

The lyric “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” is enough to make this a great song, but it’s more than a line borrowed from feminist Irina Gunn. The song pierces my soul because it’s about a man trying to get back to his love all the while realizing she can get on fine in life without him. He wants to be with her, but he needs her to “be still” so he can catch up. It isn’t an insult to men in this instance or some giant feminist cry, it’s the man realizing the woman can’t slow down and wait for him. He has to speed up to meet her at her pace.

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