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Yeah, it’s on the street, it’s under your feet
It’s everywhere but if you’re looking for free
Don’t look at me
My enemy became my country

On the run
Officer put down the gun
Native son
I never wanted to own one
Native son
Both of us want to be someone
It’s so hard
Is it so hard for a native son to be free

Tears falling from the sky, falling to the ground
Bullets start to fly
He’s hurt, he’s in the dirt
On my word

Don’t want to run away
I’m safer in my father’s place
I know that I can’t stay
But if I stay, I know what’s next

On the run
Officer put down the gun
Native son
I never wanted to own one
Native son
Both of us want to be someone
It’s so hard
Is it so hard for a native son to be free
Free

Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
Free

On the run
Officer put down the gun
Native son
I never wanted to own one
Native son
Both of us want to be someone
It’s so hard
Is it so hard for a native son to be free
Free, free


Lyrics submitted by Squirrly

Native Son song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThis is an early version of Vertigo, not a rip-off.
    dragonflyeyeson September 09, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAs dragonflyeyes said, this the early version of "Vertigo", before U2 and their producer decided to change the song to make it more "radio friendly", in a way.
    Shinobihimeon December 12, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is sooooo much better than vertigo
    i mean vertigo rocks but this is a million times better
    the lyrics are so much deeper
    much better lyrical content
    and the solo is a lot cooler also
    treefingers505on November 04, 2007   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningYour all wrong. The song is about Leonard Peltier. In the 1970s Leonard Pelier, an American Indian Movement (AIM) acitivist, was arrested and tried for the murder of 3 FBI and BIA agents. Most of the evidence leading to his innocence was burned or shredded and witnesses were secretly tied to chair and forced to admit thing that were not true. U2 never publicly announced why they did not release the song.

    Was it due to the corporate greed of Apple? I think not. It was caused by the totalitarian government of America.
    illwillpwnon August 12, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthmm i wonder what this sound like w/ the music
    U2takemehigheron February 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdid they really release this?
    jrprentice11on February 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe music is obviously a variant of "Vertigo." This is most likely and early version that was dramatically changed by lyrics.
    euro_m2lon March 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis sounds soo much like Vertigo that the first time i heard it i just thought it was a Vertigo remix. Its interesting though, I wounder why they decided to change write different lyrics for the Vertigo music. Vertigo is a good song but this song definately has more meaning to it. More expect of u2, which is probably why the would choose to use Vertigo to try and be different, or atleast somewhat different.

    This song is imo about gun control, like they've decided they want bullet the blue sky to be about now, it kinda feels like a soft version of bullet the blue sky to me, which is probably why they canned it.
    If anyone wants to hear it it can be downloaded off of itunes under the complete u2.
    Bono_is_Godon March 26, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNative Son>>Vertigo.
    gweepson January 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFirst off, apparently there is a book called Native Son, about a black man in 1930's Chicago that accidentally kills a white woman. This may have had an influence on the song.

    The lyrics are about someone who is wrongly accused of murder (maybe an associate of a gangmember?):

    Bullets start to fly
    He’s hurt, he’s in the dirt
    On my word
    I did not take his life

    The protaganist tries to run away, but is cornered by the law and tries to explain or talk his way out of being killed or arrested:

    On the run
    Officer put down the gun
    I never wanted to own one
    All of us want to be someone
    Is it so hard for a native son to be free

    When I hear Bono singing this song, I feel like he's writing a companion to Creedence Clearwater Revival's Fortunate Son, which U2 covered as a B-side to Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses.

    Whereas Fortunate Son is about a kid avoiding Vietnam because of his rich dad's influence, Native Son could be about a kid forced into combat and then accused of killing a fellow soldier or a civilian.

    Also note that the original working title of this song was Full Metal Jacket, which lends credence (no pun intended) to the military scenario.
    rager1969on March 01, 2007   Link

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