With or Without You

This is my favourite of U2’s songs, first released in 1987. Though many interpretations exist for the song’s lyrics, it was apparently inspired by Bono’s conflicting feelings about his duo life — as a rock star and as a regular man. I also love the Canadian connection of this song, co-produced by Daniel Lanois (with Brian Eno).

See the stone set in your eyes
See the thorn twist in your side
I’ll wait for you

Sleight of hand and twist of fate
On a bed of nails she makes me wait
And I wait without you

Oddly, I did not learn about this song at its peak. A few months following its release, I was in Hong Kong on a journey that would last almost two years through Asia and Europe. In Asia, western hit songs only typically grace the airwaves years after its popularity has waned, if at all. Though music was always important (I travelled with my Sony Walkman), I had resolved to listen only to the cassettes I brought with me and the music of the country where I visited.

Through the storm, we reach the shore
You give it all but I want more
And I’m waiting for you

With or without you
With or without you, 
I can’t live with or without you

The unique version of this song is an instrumental mashup featuring the trio, Simply Three, classically trained string musicians and the American Heritage Lyceum Philharmonic. They’ve combined “With or Without You” with “Montagues and Capulets,” a classical piece by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

Ill-fated lovers.

It’s a theme that is explored over and over again in my writing, and one for contemplation by my main character, Kate Hampton.

My hands are tied, my body bruised
She got me with nothing to win
And nothing left to lose

With or without you
With or without you, 
I can’t live with or without you

If you’ve read Stranger at Sunset, you will know Kate doesn’t get everything she wants. How this resolves as her story progresses is what I’m writing now.

Living “with or without you” is also reflected in her relationship with her father—two people related by blood, yet with so such animosity toward each other.

In A Fragile Truce, many of the questions surrounding her contentious relationship with her father will be answered.

I hope you enjoy this moving piece of music. Wishing you a wonderful week,

~eden

21 thoughts on “With or Without You

  1. I was waiting for your Monday update. lol…

    I’ve always enjoyed With or Without You. When I first read your description of the mashup, I couldn’t figure out how on earth anyone could pull it off. But it works.

    Now I’m intrigued by your character Kate. I wonder why she can’t break free of her hatred towards her father.

    You have a great week too!

  2. Aww, Matt. You’re too much! Shouldn’t you be sleeping? 😉 Yes, it’s an odd mashup but it does work. Kate is a complicated woman for sure. Her father is, shall we say, a demanding man and the past is difficult to reconcile when you don’t know the truth. Weaving the tale has been challenging to say the least!

    Thanks so much for dropping by! xo

  3. Hi Eden, That was reallly nice, a good start to my day here in the UK. A few tingles at the back of the neck on a Monday morning should start my week off magically. Thanks. Brian

  4. You’ve certainly piqued my interest, Eden for your next thriller! I am very interested in learning more about Kate’s relationship with her dad (with him; without him) and how blood can be “thinner” than water! As for the year this song came out – 1987??? That surprised me!

  5. It’s always been one of my favourite U2 songs, and I still find its lyrics haunting and meaningful. Thank you for sharing, Eden, you’re an amazing, talented person!

  6. Thanks Eden, need the hugs lately. Creativity is always there in my head, but survival & economics get in the way! Its been raining, snowing & all those January blues things the UK throws at us. Warm hugs and good music always help but I wish I was in Asia again, but then I always do. Warm rain is so much better. Ha ha.

  7. One of my favorites by this band. Great album, altogether, actually. I wish they still made music like that now. Today’s stuff is so unimaginative, IMO. Love, also, how you tie in your characters and books to certain songs. Very clever & cool. 🙂

    1. Thank you Kate, music has always inspired stories in me, and continues to do so. I’ve been posting music every Monday since the beginning of this blog, more or less. It’s a great way to introduce others to new music and to keep myself current as well. Thank you for commenting!

  8. This was the song that made me a U2 fan! Although my favorite part has no lyrics…the last 30 seconds of the song. I could listen to that guitar by the Edge all day long

I'd love to hear from you.