Monday, September 19, 2011

Fun With Potato Famine



I saw a special on the History Channel about the Irish Potato Famine where the narrator asked the viewer to imagine what it would have been like to live during that trying time. It's long been my policy to do exactly what the good people on television tell me to do, so I imagined what life might be like during the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s. Turns out, it wasn't so bad. This is due in most part to me imagining myself in the United States and not Ireland, as the narrator did not specify location. Sure there were no iPhones or internet, but there was plenty to eat and no Justin Bieber ... a pleasant era indeed. But what of my Irish brethren across the Atlantic? What was it like? What if someone I knew was Irish and lived during the Potato Famine? Then it hit me. I do know someone Irish. The band U2. Omg, what if U2 had lived in Ireland during the potato famine?! Why it could have changed the very course of rock and roll!

Songwriters tend to write about what's going on around them. Dylan wrote about counterculture, Lennon wrote about social activism, Ke$ha writes about glitter*... it would make sense that if U2 were around back then that they would have written about the Potato Famine. With hunger as the driving force behind their music, the starving artists would have probably released some slightly different singles. Here's a quick look at what might have been:

  • Sunday Bloody Sunday --->
    Sunday Hungry Sunday
  • With Or Without You --->
    With Or Without Food
  • I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For --->
    I Still Haven't Found Something On My Fork
  • One --->
    None
  • Hold Me, Kill Me, Kiss Me, Thrill Me --->
    Feed Me, Feed Me, Feed Me, Feed Me
  • One Tree Hill --->
    One Wee Meal
  • Elevation --->
    Malnutrition
  • If God Would Send His Angels --->
    If God Would Send Some Pringles

Who knows what other ways the Potato Famine could have changed U2 and the rock and roll landscape? Would they have been able to practice and master their craft while near the Edge of starvation? Reduced to skin and Bonos, would they have had the strength to play at all? Lucky for the band and their fans, these questions are irrelevant. Personally, I'd be way more upset if Snow Patrol was the Irish band that had to endure the Potato Famine... wouldn't U2?


* This is the 2nd dig I've taken at Ke$ha on this blog in as many months, but let it be known that TKAA has always been and always will be Pro-Ke$ha. In fact, I would like to extend a formal invitation to Miss, um, whatever Ke$ha's last name is, to be the official celebrity ambassador for the blog... unless Katy Perry is available.