Thanks to Cara at Scatter o’ Light, I listened to “Love Rescue Me” in a new way tonight. Maybe you know or maybe you don’t, but “Love Rescue Me” was written by Bono and Bob Dylan. On the studio version on Rattle & Hum, Dylan sings with Bono. I’ve heard Bono talk before about the influence of Dylan both as a musician and as a celebrity. There’s a verse of the song that caught my ear as I listened to the famous performance where Bono announces that U2 are going a way for a while to dream it all up again. They virtually dissappear between this series of concerts in Dublin in 1989 until the release of Achtung Baby in 1991 as a reinvented band with what many fans and non-fans consider to be one of the greatest albums ever. The verse in the song is:
“Many strangers have I met, on my road to regret,
Many lost seek to find themselves in me.
They ask me to reveal, the very thoughts they would conceal,
Love rescue me.”
I’ve said many times that the words don’t necessarily make a song, but these words are pretty profound for both men involved in the writing of the song. Both men have been looked to by many people and communities to have the answers to whatever question hasn’t been answered sufficiently. It makes me think of John Lennon in Imagine (the movie, not the song) when a strange hippie shows up at his house on a sort of pilgrimage to get all the answers to the big questions in life. John Lennon, Bono, and Bob Dylan have all been asked this, Kurt Cobain experienced it, being viewed almost as a modern day prophet. Here Bono and Bob point out that strangers try to find themselves in them or their songs or their persona or even just their image. These strangers ask them to share the deepest thoughts, passions, ideas, their hearts…things that the strangers themselves would hide. As the title suggests, there have been many interpretations of the song coming up with religion, drugs, women, etc as being this solution that the two men are looking to. Could it be love? Not the love of a crazy adoring fan, but the love of someone who respects their heart enough not to expect it to be shared without merit? Just a new thought on an old song.