All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000)
This is such a personal album for me that forever changed my relationship to music and my relationship to U2. Released in October 2000, it was a time of huge change in my life.
1. My new husband and I just returned from a summer living in Ireland while he completed an international law program at Trinity College in Dublin. Raised in a very Irish American household, I spent much of my time sitting in the Dublin birth registry office researching my Grandfather's family in the north and reconnecting with old family friends that I had known since I was two. I always like to say I spent my second and twenty second birthday in Ireland. The North was in the midst of the peace talks and I witnessed the military walk by the front garden of my Aunt's home. I didn't quite grasp why she thought it was unsafe for us to drive through Derry during marching season. But needless to say, I was feeling very Irish when I returned to the states.
2. One month after we returned home, U2 released “All That You Cant Leave Behind” and I attended my first U2 concert. Like being hit over the head by some unexplainable force, I was not expecting the communal church experience of the arena show. I remember involuntarily throwing my hands up in the air and crying like I was some Pentecostal slain by the spirit. I looked at my husband with confusion stating, “I don’t know why I am crying.” But I couldn’t stop and it was transformative. I think I’ve been trying to chase down that same feeling at a music show ever since and I have yet to catch it.
3. We went back to Ireland and Europe again in 2001 and because we didn’t think to bring a bunch of cds with us, we bought the album again in Killarney. We were experiencing a full circle moment of sorts while driving through the country that we had both fallen in love with. Blasting “Beautiful Day” talking about our future children running through the countryside chasing sheep, we felt excited about the future. We flew back home on September 11, 2001 and woke up to a flood of phone calls wondering if we had made it home from London. The world had changed forever.
I really can’t dissect every track on this album because there is just too much to say. My kids already know most of the songs very well, but I look forward to bringing them back out during the “parent/child teachable moments.”
“Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of”
Tough time with friends, grades, teachers…when the adolescent feels like the world is crashing down.
You've got to get yourself together
You've got stuck in a moment and now you can't get out of it
Don't say that later will be better now you're stuck in a moment
And you can't get out of it
It's just a moment
This time will pass
Again, tough time with friends, grades, teachers…Be strong.
And if the darkness is to keep us apart
And if the daylight feels like it's a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back
Oh no, be strong
What you got, they can't steal it
No they can't even feel it
The “I believe you will be a great person as you go off to college” song. Don’t waste this moment.
Who's to say where the wind will take you
Who's to say what it is will break you
I don't know
Which way the wind will blow
Yep, you screwed up. We all screwed up and don’t deserve to be forgiven, but Jesus has taken care of that for YOU and you are forgiven. That’s grace.
She takes the blame
She covers the shame
Removes the stain
It could be her name