U2- Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses (SSJ #62)

Happy Sunday, bloggers!

A couple of weeks ago, I presented one of U2’s songs for my weekly “Sunday Slow Jams,” which can be found here. This week, I’ll be featuring another of the world-renown Irish band’s tracks, as I’ve been finding myself on a U2 kick lately. Any case, this week’s is “Who’s Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses,” taken from the band’s 1991 album Achtung Baby.

Now, I believe that I mentioned that I grew up listening to a lot of U2, since my dad was a huge fan of them and own pretty much all of the band’s albums at home– that said, I was exposed to that particular style of music and appreciated it. When I first heard “WGRYWH” as a preteen, I was immediately blown away by its rather stadium-rock feel. With the strange, disjointed echo in the beginning followed by The Edge’s reverberating guitar riffs, it set the mood for a soon-to-be rousing track that any 90’s rock fan would appreciate (including myself). Plus, young Bono looks absolutely sexy in this video, with that dark, brooding charm to him. ❤

Lyrics-wise, I didn’t know what to make of them at first. From my interpretation, it appears that the singer is addressing someone (a potential lover) who’s bad for him, in that bad-boy/bad-girl type of vibe. The speaker knows that they shouldn’t be with this person, but nonetheless feels attracted to them.

Or, on the other hand, it’s about a failed relationship, as mentioned in the lines “Baby, can we still be friends?” and “Well you left my heart empty as a vacant lot.” The singer expresses sadness for this lost love, and tries to win back the lover by pleading in the chorus:

“Who’s gonna ride your wild horses?
Who’s gonna drown in your blue sea?
Who’s gonna ride your wild horses?
Who’s gonna fall at the foot of thee?”

In terms of the “wild horses” and what they’re supposed to represent, it’s a strange choice of object to be describing a relationship that’s gone south. In other words, the idea of wild horses is meant to symbolize freedom, void of constraints and care. However, the singer seems unable to let this failed love go, wanting to keep these “wild horses” reined in. Maybe the singer is struggling between keeping them reined in, just like with the relationship and letting them go and moving on. Whichever way it is, there’s plenty of dichotomy going on in the track.

Feel free to give it a listen. Otherwise, enjoy the rest of your weekend!

— The Finicky Cynic

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