The Little Things That Give You Away
by U2

Album: Songs of Experience (2017)
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Songfacts®:

  • Speaking to Rolling Stone about this song, Bono admitted that he "didn't realize until too late" that was writing this to himself. He explained: "In all of these advice type songs, you are of course preaching what you need to hear. In that sense, they're all written to the singer."

    Bono added: "The best songs for me are often arguments with yourself or arguments with some other version of yourself. Even singing our song 'One,' which was half fiction, I've had this ongoing fight. In 'Little Things,' innocence challenges experience: 'I saw you on the stairs, you didn't notice I was there, that's cause you were busy talking at me, not to me. You were high above the storm, a hurricane being born but this freedom just might cost you your liberty.'"

    He concluded: "At the end of the song, experience breaks down and admits his deepest fears, having been called out on it by his younger, braver, bolder self."
  • The whole May 23, 2017 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! was dedicated to U2 as they sat for an unprecedented hour-long interview and performance that included the TV premiere of this song.
  • This was produced by Andy Barlow (of electronic music duo Lamb) and Jolyon Thomas. It was one of five Songs of Experience tracks that Barlow contributed towards. He told Billboard:

    "Right back at the beginning, [then-day-to-day manager Brian Celler] took me out for dinner and said, 'There's this track called 'The Little Things That Give You Away,'" and he basically just read a list of the world's top producers - Brian Eno, Steve Lillywhite, Paul Epworth, Danger Mouse - who have had a go at it. He said, 'The band knows there is a great song in there and if you can get this off the ideas table, then you've done something that none of these other producers could.' So that became my personal mission.

    Although quite a few of us worked on it, Jolyon and myself really shaped that track. It's got that Lamb kind of shape to it. The way it goes up the gears and explodes at the end."
  • In an October 2014 interview with The Observer, Bono recited lyrics to an in-progress song called "The Morning After Innocence" in which the song's protagonist asks his younger self for help. Later, the U2 frontman changed the title to "The Little Things That Give You Away."

Comments: 2

  • Dean Brady from Co Meath Ireland Great lyrics to a brilliant song.
  • Alejandro Palacios Leon from MadridChilling song, cannot believe there is no comments. Glad to be the first one
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