Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own by U2
Album: How To Dismantle An Atomic BombReleased: 2004Charted:
This is a tribute to Bono's father Bob Hewson who died in 2001. Bono sang it for the first time at his father's funeral; it reflects on their tense relationship until just before his death, when Bono claims they became closer than ever before.
This was released as a single in every other part of the world except the US, where "All Because of You" was released in its place.
Bono's father enjoyed Opera music and used to sing as a hobby. This explains the line, "You are the reason the Opera is in me."
Bono: "His whole thing was, Don't dream - to dream is to be disappointed. That was really what I think was his advice to me. He didn't speak it in those words, but that's what he meant, and of course that's really a recipe for megalomania isn't it? I mean I was only ever interested in big ideas, and not so much dreaming but putting dreams into action, doing the things that you have in your head has become an important thing for me. The song was dedicated to him and it's a portrait of him - he was a great singer, a tenor, a working class Dublin guy who listened to the opera and conducted the stereo with my mother's knitting needles. He just loved Opera, so in the song, I hit one of those big tenor notes that he would have loved so much. I think he would have loved it, I hope so."
The Edge: "It's very hard when people refer to one of our old songs and say, 'Can you write another song as good as Where The Streets Have No Name or One? These are the kind of songs people refer to, but I think on this record, we may have a couple of songs which are equally as good, maybe even better. Insome ways I am still too close to really say for sure if I even believe it myself - and in the end what I believe is not that important, it's what everyone else thinks that will decide if the songs on this record are as good as our best work, so I am happy to just see what people think."
In 2006, this won a Grammy for Song Of The Year.
As a tribute to his father, Bono usually removes his large sunglasses during this song. His dad used to say to him, "Bono, why don't you ever take off those f--king glasses?"
Bono: "The reason why 'Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own' isn't a miserable song is because it breaks open with the line 'you're the reason I sing, you're the reason the opera is in me.' He is the reason I have this life, or at least a very large part of the reason. So I have certainly got to a place of peace with him."