They say they want the kingdom but they don't want God in it. You can say that again, but it has nothing to do with the subject of this post.

It was interesting to watch the Johnny Cash "I Walk The Line" tribute show tonight on CBS; having grown up in Tennessee I just have all those songs in my groundwater. Some of the covers were more successful than others, but of course I was especially curious about what U2 would do with "The Wanderer." Hearing Edge be the one to throw in a quote from an old hit, in this case Del Shannon's "Runaway" at the end of the verses, was a big kick, as was some lovely - what shall we call it, Edge Bongolese? - at the end there. And I appreciated the octave doubling beginning at the Jesus verse.

I'd been sort of apprehensively expecting some revisionist lyric changes to this deliberately dark and shocking album closer, and even wondering if they might rewrite the "in search of experience" bridge (which they didn't.) Still, "The Wanderer" did receive some softening, notably at the "Bible and a gun" verse where we got the almost Hallmark cardy "Bible in the sun," then "I was hoping I could be the one." (Not to mention the ethereal Edge Bongolese, which did sort of change the whole feel of the end of the song.) This is all of course consistent with U2's recent subtle reworking of their 90s material, but still... And I presume "I went out to bury my love" was a reference to June Carter Cash, especially in light of the story about Johnny Cash thinking U2's "paper" line was too flip.

While I'm here, I'll just throw in everyone's favorite U2/Cash anecdote. Bono: When I visited him at home one time, he said the most beautiful, poetic grace. He said, "Shall we bow our heads?" We all bowed our heads. Then, when he was done, he looked at me and Adam Clayton and said, "Sure miss the drugs, though."

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