"Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your Own" (2002)

Demo Song

Background Information

In October 2002s issue of Q Magazine, Tom Doyle spoke with Bono about some new songs including this one:

Watery Dublin sunlight leaks through the windows of the dining-cum-operations room of U2’s Hanover Quay studio. Bono leans over to speak: “This is the one that I sang at my old man’s funeral.”

Behind him, guitarist Edge presses play on a work-in-progress mix of “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own,” one of the raft of new tunes that U2 have been working up in the months since their Elevation tour came to a close at the end of 2001.

There’s a second or two where the silence hangs heavy in the air. Drummer Larry Mullen, busy eating, raises his eyes up from his knife and fork — as if to lighten the emotional weight of his bandmate’s last statement — and bluntly adds, “This sound system’s crap, by the way.”

Then a skyscraping rocker, replete with “drunk bass” and glammy fringes, explodes. The lavender-shaded Bono begins belting out his vocal directly into Q’s right ear. He pauses only to elaborate on certain lyrical couplets (“See, my dad, he was a big opera fan…that’s what I’m getting at there”), before reaching an impassioned crescendo with the line, “You’re the reason I sing…”

On January 19, 2004, quoting industry sources, U2Log.Com name a number of songs:

“Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own”… is a version of the song Bono sang at his father’s funeral in 2001. This one you probably knew; it’s been buzzed about since 2001 — note, however, one source suggests it’s “Can”, not “Can’t”. “Sky Hawk”… was described to us as “epic, highbrow rock,” and is intended for the soundtrack to a major 2004 superhero film — and therefore, could end up as the first song to reach the public. “Love And Peace Or Else”… is reportedly “bluesy.” “Jahweh”… is a title that, you may recall, we slipped to you a while back. One source made a case for it as “one of the greatest songs U2 have ever recorded.” Make of that what you will…

In 2006, when U2 published the book U2 by U2, the book provided a glimpse into some working titles and demo tracks. One of the images shown was from a white board developed during the recording sessions for All That You Can’t Leave Behind. On that white board we see a number of tracks listed including, “Love Is…Perfecto,” “Jubilee” and directly below it “Stir My Soul,” “Good Morning,” “Levitate,” and “Sometimes.” A final song is wiped out from the board but it can be determined that it said “Love Will…”

Related Demo Titles