"Dirty Day" as written by and Evans Hewson....
I don't know you
And you don't know the half of it
I had a starring role
I was the bad guy who walked out
They said be careful where you aim
'Cause where you aim you just might hit
You can hold onto something so tight
You've already lost it

Dragging me down
That's not the way it used to be
You can't even remember
What I'm trying to forget

It was a dirty day
Dirty day

You're looking for explanations
I don't even understand
If you need someone to blame
Throw a rock in the air
You'll hit someone guilty

From father to son
In one life has begun
A work that's never done
Father to son

Get it right
There's no blood thicker than ink
Hear what I say
Nothing's as simple as you think

Wake up
Some things you can't get around
I'm in you
More so when they put me in the ground

These days, days, days run away like horses over the hill
These days, days, days run away like horses over the hill
These days, days, days run away like horses over the hill
These days, days, days run away like horses over the hill
These days, days, days run away like horses over the hill
These days, days, days run away like horses over the hill

Lyrics submitted by jt

"Dirty Day" as written by Dave Evans Adam Clayton

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Dirty Day song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is deceptively simple. I think this is about Bono's father, but even if it isn't, I can identify with it. I remember things one way, when my father was in a haze and can't remember at all (alc/drugs). Making excuses for everything and pointing the finger at everyone but himself. No blood is thicker then the worthless ink that signed the birth certificate. Wake up, you can't avoid responsibility. I'll take these experiences with me when they put me in the ground.
    rednight1972on October 16, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe "Dirty Day" is a too often over looked mastertrack. The dynamic differences between the Zooropa version and the b-sides edition are truly striking. Like entirely different tunes both running through the same emotions just containing varying levels of desperate mania.
    An excellent tune for the surreal fog of living in the eye of a hurricane and making it wink to a subtle onlooker. I can relate to the idea of only being able to justify poor choices for so long before consequences and your own adrenalised sense of responsibility catches up. Even if the veins of such a path come from raw desperation.
    President Machoon December 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of my favourite U2 songs and yet is virtually unknown. It's a bit of a sleeper from Zooropa, as the whole album was a bit of a wash out after Achtung Baby. I just wish the whole "Father To Son" bit wasn't in it, to be honest, as it really singles it down to being about a father/song relationship, whereas without it it could be applied to any relationship.

    There's some brilliant lines in this song, well - actually the entire first verse is brilliant one liners to throw at people who have upset you to the point of resignation. I especially like the "bad guy" line, it's always someone elses fault and the way Bono sings the entire song is quietly resigned and shattered. There's almost a wry twist in his voice when he sings "It was a dirty day" that sounds very much to me like "Oh well... get on with things then".
    xdvron March 31, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFavourite line:
    'If you need someone to blame, throw a rock in the air, you're gonna hit someone guilty.'

    Love it!
    msngjon April 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe "father to son" bit applies to, obviously, a father/son relationship, but I think it may be about divorce as well. The "there's no blood thicker than ink" part applies to this. Too bad this song is never played live
    Marquezon October 19, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is played live. It appeares on the Zooropa Tour in Sydney. This ong sound alot better live. The Edge just really lets it all out towards the end and makes it sound great. Another live favorite.
    jeramym80on January 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWas the relation with his father so bad as this song supposes? It sounds so bitter, like he 's really angry with his father.
    He could of course be singing about God. But I think that's very unlikely, because I don't think he has a reason for being angry with God.
    The third explanation could be that it's not autobiographical. Perhaps it's about someone he knows.

    A mystery this song is to me, but that's not uncommon with U2 songs....
    Anne Marieon February 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe meaning of this song is pretty clear to me. It's obviously about a father who abandoned his child, hence the lines..."You can't even remember what I'm trying to forget" and..."there's no blood thicker than ink" I personally dislike that attitude. It's like this guy's washing his hands of the whole thing, just like Pilate. And I don't think it's about Bono's father. I understand they didn't have the best relationship, but he never abandoned him, did he?
    Persian_Eyeson July 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOn the album Zooropa this song is dedicated to Charles Bukowski (writer of Barfly fame).. i havent read his material, but I bet if you do you'd find imagery similar/tone similar to what Bono is trying to evoke here
    markeon July 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYo, y'all are dumb. U2 was founded as a Christian band. Father/son imagery is far more likely to be a reference to God and Christ than it is to be about earthly relationships, particularly in pre-Elevation years. "Dirty Day"--though as poetically occluded as other songs from this era--includes some dead give aways: "I'm in you - more so when they put me in the ground" could be about Christ's influence in the audience's life, heightened after his crucification. "The bad guy who walked out " could be a reference to Jesus overturning the money-changers' tables in the temple (seriously, even if you aren't Christian, if you live in a Western country, you can't escape references to Biblical stories; better to learn them so you can pick up on hints). "A work that's never done" could refer to saving the world, which was ostensibly the purpose of Christ's resurrection. And while I'm at it, "no blood thicker than INK" could be about the Bible. The song is not cohesive, but one possible gist is "the turmoil of being Jesus." This kind of stuff is all over U2's music.
    munyecaon July 16, 2007   Link

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