"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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23 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment This song by U2 is a very enlightening song,for myself I have lived some of the metaphorical inlays of the lyrics(words) and can identify with personal life expirences between myself and my only son.The song also gives an aura of look before you leap,hold your mud,or harsh words because they can hit,in the song where it says "be careful where you aim,because where you just might hit" and its just plain old hard to live something down or take it back,even if its the truth,some people can't handle the truth at times because of not seeing,or have not yet had life expirence in matters.The part of the song where it says " there's no blood thicker than ink" for me became a reference of money and biblical scriptures--there is no blood thicker than ink--the ink that is printed on money and the ink used to print biblical scriptures---both can and have caused problems,also ink that is printed on newsprint...these ink references I have placed can cause issues and arguements and words can be spoken or printed you just can't take back and as we realize cause troubles. The part of the song where it states " I had a staring roll--I was the bad guy who walked out " I been there a prodical son,and it I suspect it can idicate "you have reasons for it,but you reason will probably not be understood or accepted and the part of the song " nothing is a simple as you think" for this an apology or exppression of remorse and explination of it can be ruined with a excuse or excuses.Finally here the song is one of U2 best works and basicly says for me anyway "every saint has a past--every sinner has a future" is a complicated process with time,reasoning,and I don't have all the anwsers,so move forward and loke the song says somethings you can't get around,you can't get around them,SO WE WILL JUST HAVE TO GO THROUGH THEM TOGETHER TILL DEATH SEPARATES US. thankyou
    metwoon February 04, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've found these comments really helpful. For some reason I always interpreted this song a bit more politically - still about a father son relationship but also about how those of us who look at difficult periods of recent history from the outside are "looking for explanations" while those caught up in them are the first to admit that they "don't even understand", and to warn that "nothing's as simple as you think". "You can't even remember what I'm trying to forget". On the page of the Zooropa album booklet where the Dirty Day lyrics are printed are the words "Nie Wieder" (Never again) which I always took to be a direct reference to the Nazi period but could perhaps apply to more recent painful periods like the Troubles or the contemporary (to Zooropa) war in Bosnia and Croatia. These kind of father son conversations about what happened during those dark periods are happening now.
    MDC1975on June 19, 2011   Link
  • 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

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