Original Of The Species
by U2

Album: How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb (2004)

Songfacts®:

  • U2 guitarist The Edge explains that this started out as a song for his daughter. He told Q Magazine November 2004: "The last time I cried was listening to that song. It was a song Bono started on the last record about my daughter Hollie. He's her godfather. The lyric became more universal. About being young and full of doubt about yourself. He probably won't agree, but I think it has connotations for Bono, looking back to when he was 20."
  • Coinciding with "Vertigo," which was advertised with the iPod's release, this lead the campaign for the Video iPod, showing scenes from a U2 concert. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    James - Sydney, Australia, for above 2
  • Bono, about the album How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb: "It started out to be a rock 'n' roll album, pure and simple. We were very excited that Edge wasn't sitting at the piano or twiddling a piece of technology, because he is one of the great guitarists. Halfway through, we got bored, because it turns out you can only go so far with rifferama. We wanted more dimension. Now you've got punk rock starting points that go through Phil Spectorland, turn right at Tim Buckley, end up in alleyways and open onto other vistas and cityscapes and rooftops and skies. It's songwriting by accident, by a punk band that wants to play Bach." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • In the book U2 by U2, Bono discussed his vision for the song: "It's this thing about the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Beware of knowingness. You sense with teenage girls this incredible pressure to be beautiful and to do well in their school. It is as if every waking moment the whole world is telling them what they're not. I wanted to write a song about uniqueness. It's worth remembering that you probably have something the world really needs. Trying to discover what that might be is one of the challenges of life. But one way you will not discover it is by trying to be what you're not."

Comments: 9

  • Nick from La Paz, BoliviaThis is in the Top 10 U2 songs for me! I like to think of it as a letter to all the women in my life and to how much they've done and continue to do for me.
  • Mike from Fair Haven, VtI think this is one of their best songs-the melody is beautiful-especially Edges guitar playing towards the end-sort of reaches in and grabs you somewhere
  • Dora from Doha, QatarI love this song!
    It's really about how humans are all beautiful and unique in general.
  • Greg from Portland, MeListening to this song while driving one day my 3 y.o. daughter asked, "Daddy, what is this song?" I said, "It's called Original of The Species." She said, "Oh, it sounds like U2."
  • Emily from Abingdon, VaThe remix that just came out is awesome. Stronger percussion, and all-around "bigger" sound. Sadly, though, no more strings.
  • Leon from Waterbury, CtActually, there's two true meanings behind this song. Bono wrote the lyrics, of course. It is partially about Edhe's daughter (Bono's God child) and, I think (not too sure about this part) Bono's children as well. As for the other meaning, it is a message to teenagers - said in the Rolling Stone interview with Bono and the Vertigo 2005 concert book. It's about teenagers who feel insecure with themselves and are afraid...insecure with their appearance, who they are, what they're on Earth for, their sexuality and so on. It's a message saying that you're you and there's no one else like you, that you're one of a kind and you should love yourself and be proud of the person you truly are.
  • Trenton from Minneapolis , MnIn an interview with ROlling Stone Bono said he wrote the song about his god child, Edge's daughter. Edge didn't write the lyrics.
  • Brian from Chicago, IlI question how Edge could write this song about his daughter, when Bono pens all the lyrics. On May 10 in Chicago, Bono dedicated it to his daugher, Jordan (whom he called "Jo Jo"), as it was "her birthday too." He then mentioned it was written for all their daughters.
  • Rick from Humboldt, Iaeven though the guitar in this song is really good, i think its better live
see more comments

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