Is “Get On Your Boots” Actually The Best U2 Song Ever?
I got super into U2 when I was studying for my Leaving Cert in June 2016 — haven’t a clue why. Some ‘frustrated Irish teen’ crap that I finally bought into. I don’t know. But while “Electrical Storm” and “City of Blinding Lights” will always hold strong emotional resonance for me as I reflect on that period, the most delightful song the insufferably ostentatious Irish rockers have ever released is definitely “Get On Your Boots”, from 2009’s “No Line On The Horizon”.
“Get On Your Boots” is the closest Bono and co. have ever come to the sort of lewd provocative pop Robbie Williams and MIKA are so good at, and that I relish. The chorus — “Get on your boots. Sexy boots. Get on your boots.” has no rationale to it whatsoever, it’s just big and stupid and makes Bono look even more ridiculous than usual.
What’s most brilliant about this song is the contrast between that silly chorus and the far more lyrically-nuanced verses. Okay, so “Future needs a big kiss” isn’t much more sophisticated than the Boots line, but it gets a bit more interesting: “Night is falling everywhere
Rockets hit the fun-fair
Satan loves a bomb scare
But he won’t scare you” is just a fun few lines to sing along to, isn’t it?
“Free me from a dark dream
Candy floss, ice cream
All the kids are screaming but the ghosts aren’t real”.
This gets better and better.
“Women are the future
All the big revelations
I got a submarine
You’ve got gasoline
I don’t wanna talk about wars between nations”
And then back to “Sexy boots hey hey hey”.
If all of U2’s music was this nonsensical, I think modern music would be in a much better place.