Friday, June 11, 2010

The Joshua Tree

I take great pride in being a hipster Christian. On any given Saturday you can always find me sitting at my favorite coffee shop reading Thomas Merton and listening to Sufjan Stevens on my MacBook. I'm such a hipster snob, last year I called U2, one of Christianity's favorite secular bands, the most overrated band in the world. You gotta have some major guts to dis Bono!

The other day, however, I borrowed The Joshua Tree from the local library, and now I'm starting to think that maybe I was wrong. While I still don't consider U2 one of my all-time favorite bands (Mindy Smith is still my main squeeze), I can't deny that The Joshua Tree is full of great melodies and beautiful lyrics.
First, there's "Where the Streets Have No Name." What a lot of people don't realize is this song is about how in Belfast, every one knows your income level based on what street you live on. So in this song, Bono desires to see the Kingdom of God, where it doesn't matter what street you live on, where everyone is equal.

Then there's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For:"

I believe in the Kingdom Come
Then all the colours will bleed into one
But yes I'm still running
You broke the obnds
You loosed the chains
You carried the cross
And my shame
And my shame
You know I believe it
But I still haven't found
What I'm looking for

For self-identified emerging Christians like myself, this verse perfectly resonates with us. We believe, and yet we're still searching.

My favorite track, though, is the last one, "Mothers of the Disappeared." They wrote this song after meeting mothers of children who either were killed or "disappeared" during the Salvadoran Civil War.

Midnight, our sons and daughers
Were cut down and taken from us
Heart their heartbeat
We hear their heartbeat
In the wind
We hear their laughter
In the rain
We see their tears

After taking the time to actually listen to The Joshua Tree, I take back what I said about U2.


  1. Good to hear, my friend. I knew you'd come around. ;)

  2. "Still"- Great song, great lyrics!

  3. Glad to hear you gave them another listen. They are one of my favorites. I recommend the older stuff. My parents got U2 WAR when I was 5 so that's why I like them so much because there music was part of the soundtrack of my childhood. When I was a teen I heard Boy and October and bought the vinyls. great stuff, Joshua tree, rattle and hum and Achtung Baby, which is when I stopped track for awhile. The pop and discotheque albulm's had to grow on me later was a stretch for me to go from my fav post-punk sound to dance music but it was just another style of music they wanted to explore. My husband is a bigger fan then me since I listen to mostly there early stuff.I get sick of the newer stuff real easy...might have something to do with how my husband likes to play a song over and death :)

  4. *lost track ...not stopped track