"For a flowering rose I will bend my knee"

Just a quick comment on "Glastonbury" in an attempt to be helpful for those who may be mystified by some of the references in the lyrics (which I find pretty trite, actually). Aside from being the name of a music festival, Glastonbury per se is also a pilgrimage site/abbey with many legends and traditions surrounding it.  For example, there are some Holy Grail stories, King Arthur connections, and a tradition which places St. Patrick at Glastonbury Abbey.  The legend that seems the most clearly evoked in the text, however, is this one: roughly, Joseph of Arimathea supposedly came to Britain only a few years after the Crucifixion. When he made it to Glastonbury, he stuck his staff into the ground before going to sleep, and when he awoke it had blossomed and become a thorn tree ("under the flower of a miracle dream"), which still blooms at Christmas.


Derek said...

Hi Beth

I'm sure you're right about the Glastonbury legend.
Am I stating the obvious by adding a suggestion that the Rose (of Sharon) is Jesus and that the green hill is where he died? It would be typical of Bono to do that :o)
Grace & Peace

U2 Sermons said...

Hi Derek -- good additions. I was kind of assuming the green hill was just the lawn at the rock festival meaning of Glastonbury. As for the rose -- it surely must mean something, since it's not the right kind of flower literally. Tho it hits me that there's also Mary language about her being the "mystical rose." (I suppose "flowering thorn" is harder to sing, too.)

Mark comments that there is a cutting from the Glastonbury Thorn at the National Cathedral where he grew up, and it was allegedly common knowledge there that the cutting flowered when royalty came to town. Your Mileage May Vary! :)