Thursday, February 23, 2006

beautiful (birth)day

Before I forget, I just want to announce that my birthday is on Monday and everyone is invited over to my house to celebrate. Come over at about 9 p.m. I'm guessing. There might not be cake, but there will be eighties music.

If you're wondering what to get me, I need a new briefcase, restaurant gift certificates are always nice, a new suit, ummmm... shoot. Just look here for what I wanted for Christmas. Don't get me the bathrobe, the shoes, Home Movies, the PS2 controller, Auto Repair for Dummies or Fargo Rock City.

It was a very very beautiful day yesterday. I was going to write about it, but I didn't get around to it. I was so excited to go home to Salt Lake and on the way there the radio played "Where the Streets Have No Name." Maybe it would have been ideal to hear "Beautiful Day." It was pretty fitting nonetheless, because the song is actually about Salt Lake City itself, which was where I was driving to. Obviously. Lots of people aren't aware that the song is about Salt Lake, but it's true and relevant especially in light of the Winter Olympics.

Let's break down the lyrics a little.

I wanna reach out
And touch the flame
Where the streets have no name
The title part of the song is very significant. Where is a flame so brilliant and inspiring that it would lead someone to physically strive to achieve it (perhaps by exhibiting incredible feats of strength and prowess)? The answer is wherever the Olympic flame is burning. Where was an Olympic flame burning over streets with no names? Salt Lake City 2002. There aren't too many places in the world where the streets don't have names. Salt Lake City is notorious for having the huge grid system where all the streets are numbered instead of named. This is very significant even though the song was actually written 15 years before the Olympics came to Salt Lake. Inspiring!

I wanna feel sunlight on my face
I see the dust cloud disappear without a trace

Salt Lake City is also famous for its inversion. When the inversion (dust cloud)
lifts, the sun is absolutely brilliant.

I wanna take shelter from the poison rain
Where the streets have no name
Although it's sort of polluted here, I've never known Salt Lake to have any acid rain.

We're still building
Then burning down love,
Burning down love
And when I go there
I go there with you
It's all I can do

There are many LDS churches here built for the purpose of showing love to God. Unfortunately, many are victims of arson. Okay, fine, that was a reach. Anyway "going with someone" in this context could mean the importance of temple marriage (which is actually what the entirety of the song "One" is about if you listen to the words).

The city's a flood
And our love turns to rust
Many may be too young to remember the famous Salt Lake City flood of '83. The rust, however, is eternal with all the salt on the roads in winter.

We're beaten and blown by the wind
Trampled in dust

The area to the west of Salt Lake is called the Bonneville Salt Flats. This dusty area is open enough to be an amazing wind catalyst.

I'll show you a place
High on a desert plain
Where the streets have no name
Perhaps most obvious of all is the fact that this city with nameless streets is not only a desert, but a desert with a very high, mountainous altitude.

Cool, huh? Bet you didn't know all that.

Come to my birthday party.


Blogger Rhett said...

Great analysis. do you think that bono wrote it after the '83 flood?

March 03, 2006 2:13 PM  

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