Sunday, 5 October 2014


Sometimes, even your favourite band can make a dud song.

You know how you always fast-forward through that stupid "Cheer Up Charlie" song the mum sings in Willy Wonka while cleaning the clothes with her HUGE wooden spoon?

Well, I've never cared much for a song called "October" by U2. Even when I heard it live. BO-RING.

Then now.

October now means so many, so many things I can hardly keep up I never wanted October to come and if I had a time-travel machine I'd fly back to October last year when my brother was preparing to take his life away and so many thing should have been done differently. I used to proudly say that I had SO many regrets and that people who didn't have regrets were boring. I AM SO FUCKING ARROGANT. I used to think if you didn't have regrets, well, you just weren't living enough. And that the only regret would be to not have any regrets.

As Maleficent Angelina so brilliantly kept saying, "Well well."

Now? Now I know regret. It's a wasted emotion unless we can change our actions and do things differently. Which, I cannot.

Pure pain. Pain so pure like I imagine the purest of heroin would be before it gets cut up and diluted.

I'm learning that the purest form of anything in life is actually exquisite - joy, sadness, anger, bad, happy. Regret. Pain.

To feel a thing so clearly means we get to see things so clearly. There's gifts from hard things when you least expect it. The thing that pissed me off the most about that Cheer Up Charlie song was that he was ABOUT to win a golden ticket and he's all dejected and expecting nothing like a whiny little kid. Which is EXACTLY how I feel right now.

So October is here and that song that U2 wrote in 1981? I have pulled it to pieces, analysed it, studied it, searched for all the meanings, watched ALL variations on YouTube. And every word, every piano note ... is the life, and the death, and the lessons, of my brother Cameron.

One day in 1960 Iris Hewson gave birth to a boy in Dublin and named him Paul David Hewson. In September 1974, Paul was just a fourteen year old kid standing at the funeral of his grandfather. His mother Iris collapsed and died four days later from a brain aneurism.

People die - jesus Eden there's so much going on in Syria and Africa and Isis is BEHEADING people live on TV and you're stuck on one guy? Get a fucking grip.

I'm trying. I'm asking November to bring just the teeniest amount of peace, that's all. Teeny.

There's just 34 words in this song. 34 is the age Cam should be right now.

It took me ages to find the right version for you

The trees are stripped bare 
From all they wear 
What do I care 

Kingdoms rise 
And kingdoms fall 

But you go on
And on
And on
You go on
You go on


Bono explained the song. "October is an image. We'd been through the '60s, a time where things were in full bloom. We had fridges and cars and we sent people to the moon. Everybody thought how great mankind was. And now you go through the '70s and the '80s, it's a colder time of year. It's after the harvest, the trees are stripped bare and you can see things. We've finally realised, maybe we weren't so smart after all. There's millions of unemployed people, now that we've used the technology that we've been blessed with to build bombs for war machines. October is an ominous word."

(I think the fact that October came straight after his mothers September death had a lot to do with the song, too.)

It's also the month of Samhain, which in Ireland and Scotland is celebrated as summer's end. Samhain was celebrated by the Celts as a way of honouring the dead. "October" is of moving on, it whispers of new beginnings after the loss of dear things.

It's not a dud song to me anymore. It's exquisite.

As long as I go on, Cam will go on. In me.

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