Bob Dylan helped Bono write this song. U2 was touring in Los Angeles on their Joshua Tree tour when Bono woke up with the song in his head ("Lots of songs arrive in a dream state," he said). Thinking it was a Dylan song floating around in there, he drove out to Dylan's place in Malibu and asked if it belonged to him. Dylan told him wasn't, and he helped Bono finish the song. His contribution gave Dylan two writer credits on Rattle And Hum, since U2 also covered "All Along The Watchtower" on the album.
In the book U2 By U2, Bono explained the song's meaning: "It's about a man people keep turning to as a savior but his own life is getting messed up and he could use a bit of salvation himself."
Bono started writing this while staying with The Edge at his place in Los Angeles. After The Edge moved out, the Menendez family moved in. Eric and Lyle Menendez killed their parents there in 1989 and were sentenced to life.
Bob Dylan recorded a vocal track, but it was not used because of contractual obligations to The Traveling Wilburys, a group Dylan was playing in with George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne.
U2 recorded this at Sun Studios in Memphis during their 1987 US tour. Sun is considered by many to be the "Birthplace of Rock and Roll." Elvis recorded there as well as Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins.
Bono explains the "palace of your shame" lyric:
"Part of the rock star disease is stewing in your own juices. All writers think their feelings are important but a great writer realizes that though his feelings may be important, they're not all important enough to share. 'The palace of your shame' describes how people build their lives into a monument of self-pity. Irish people love the melancholy. It's that bitter sweetness that we do better than anyone else. I always reckon it's the rain."
Dylan came up with the line "I'm hanging by my thumbs, I'm ready for whatever comes, love rescue me."
Mark from Christchurch, New Zealandlove rescue me is and always be a important song to me as it was my dads fav song which was his last song played when we buried him. I now have the words LOVE RESCUE ME tattooed on my chest along side his name. I wonder if bands know just how much impact they have? STEVE JEFFERY WILSON 1959 TO 2004
Angela from Hagerstown, Mdone of my fave songs. i converted a "U2-hating Bob Dylan fan" via this song.
Kyle from Perth, AustraliaThe lyrics found in the Rattle and Hum book contain a verse not on the actual track, and don't give the lyrics for the part after "sha la la la la..."
The supposed lyrics for this bit are:
"I said love Climb up the mountains, said love I said love, oh my love on the hill On the hill of the son I'm on the eve of a storm And my word you must believe in love Oh, I said love, rescue me Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah"
Possibly another of Bono's many improvised bits.
Mary from Medina, Nywow...im readin this now,and these lyrics are incredible...very,very nice work by dylan and bono
Carrie from Detroit, MiAs wierd as it sounds, this song came to Bono in a dream. He woke up with it running through his head and he couldn't get it out. He had a lunch date with Bob Dylan that day and that's when he asked him if it was a Dylan song.