All that You Can't Leave Behind


  1. I believe the lyrics of this song refer to the band itself. The kite symbolyzes the future of the band and the new album. 'whose to say where the wind will take you, whose to say what it is will break you' etc. At the end, he describes himself as 'the last of the rock stars when hip hop drove the big cars'. It is quite obvious that the main concern here is what this new album will bring about in terms of success to u2. Will it be the downfall or the uprising of the u2 empire? or rather, whose to know where the wind will take you?

    James Abu-Mrad james.abu-mrad@wfinet.com ( 9:th of April 2001)

  2. Bono once said that he can't see any future of U2 after the next album. I think that this song describes his feelings of this album and the future. And if they split up he gives us the lines: "I want you to know, That you don't need me anymore." and also: "I know that this is not goodbye." The music is still there if they quit. At the end he asks himself "Did I waste it?" Was it worth the effort to get where he is today? "Not so much I couldn't taste it, Life should be fragrant." Although the huge succes of their music and what that means, he has been able to enjoy life. It has not been rubish all the time. Maybe, this song is: "Thank you and goodbye" or "Where should we go now?".

    Karl Otto Emanuelsson, otto@dublin.com (29:th of April 2001)

  3. This song is about a fact that no human can ignore: we are mortal and we are going to die. I also have read that Bono was inspired to write this song after being on a beach with his daughter, but I believe this only inspired him to write a song about death and our unavoidable mortality. The opening of the song has the character dying: "Something is about to give...I'm not afraid to die, I'm not afraid to live." But then it seems as if the character is talking to someone (maybe a partner or even a child). Then as the chorus kicks in Bono's character gets across the point: live, because you don't know when it's going to end: "Who's to know when the time has come around, don't want to see you cry. I know that this is not goodbye." So the character believes their is an afterlife and doesn't want his loved one to worry; they will meet again. The outro seems to be the point where the character questions his life: "Did I waste it? Not so much I couldn't taste it." In the end the message of the whole song can be summed up in its own lyrics: life should be fragrant, rooftop to the basement.

    Tim Collins TimND2002@aol.com (26:th of May 2001)

  4. Bono has said that kite was written during a difficult time in his life. It seems to be just about alot of things that were keeping him down or depressed during the time it was written. He has said in an interview that it has a little bit to do with the death of Michael Hutchence. But on the elevation tour he has pretty much explained it. He said that he was feeling down, so he took his two daughters out to fly a kite in hopes of feeling better, and it just wasnt working for them, and they ran into the house to play pokemon instead. This event basically made him feel worse, becuase he felt like the girls didn't need him, or that they prefered playing a video game to spending time with him when he finally came home.

    Ape Lemonitis@yahoo.com (23:rd of July 2001)

  5. Well I don't know if it's really the original thought Bono had for this song; But introducing this song at the first Antwerp elevation gig after pulling two young girls on stage bono said I'm the wizard of Oz and these are my two Dorothey's later introducing this song he continued This is a song written about.......I think it's written about my father, but it's.....certainly written about my father. So this is for the two dorothey's. This is kite, So I think this is about life and the few precious people you have, in the first place your children and your parents, and further how you wish things to go one way for them, but they turn out different, in spite of all your efforts. So if it's written in a difficult time, my guess it would be his father's illness, and trying to let up this kite with his two daughters, made him start writing this song about love, caring, the impossibility to take a straight course to the thing in life we want, but how eventually everything will turn out for the better, in this life or an other.

    Anton Van de Putte anton.vandeputte@student.kuleuven.ac.be (25:th of September 2001)

  6. The last part of the song The last of the rock stars When hip hop drove the big cars In the time when new media was the big Idea That was the big idea I think alludes that at this time youth is hearing all of the new music and have not strong musical roots or a good idea about what a rock song -lyric and music- should be and it hurts to be displaced.

    Aquiles Carrillo Flores, Mexico Floresaquileocf@hotmail.com (25:th of September 2001)

  7. I believe that this song, and much of this album, is written to himself after the disappointment of the album and tour of Pop. I heard them saying on VH1, I think, about how they will never make that same mistake again and that if their next album bombed, they were going to brake up. I think that he was dealing with the idea that he might be loosing everything that he had gained and loved in music when he wrote this song and that he wasn't afraid of it (hence "Something is about to give, I can feel it coming... I'm not afraid to die, I'm not afraid to live"). he had grown to be at peace with the knowledge that he is not in control of life and fate and with loosing it all. he writes "...hardness, it sets in, you need some protection, the thinner the skin," and here I think that he is addressing how he needs something stronger to cover him (like family/love) because the entertainment world that he is so involved in and is such a big part of him is so shallow/thin. in the second verse he describes flying a kite in the summer, which he has said is about him being with his daughters, and from there he says "I wonder what is going to happen to you, you wonder what has happened to me..." and I think that what he is writing about is the world of music. he is so intelligent and has at times owned mtv and the airwaves, that I am sure that he felt sometimes like he had it all figured out, but all of the sudden, it was looking like it might all be taken from him and that he would soon be on the show "Where are they now?" to conclude the song he starts describing an era that I believe to be the eighties, when they were at the height of their career and he asks, "did I waste it?" overall, I believe this song to be him encouraging himself with his family and love through what was probably a difficult time.

    Josh Pinkston JPinkston@eastbayfellowship.org (21:st of October 2001)

  8. Bono gave an intro to the song before he began singing it in the elevation tour (philadelphia), saying that when he was on tour for the popmart tour, and his father was dying, Bono wasn't able to be there with his father.He had his father in mind while writing the song.

    Bryan C. chaob@wharton.upenn.edu ( 3:rd of November 2001)

  9. There are many different suggestions for the interpretation of Kite, and many are on the right track. At the Elevation Tour 2001 in Boston, Bono prefaced Kite with the following: This is a... this... this song is about letting go of somebody you don't want to let go of. Could be a lover. Could be a father. Could be... could be a child. Could be a fam.. (I can't understand his last words, but I believe it's something about family). Combining this with some of the previous ideas, it seems to be a song at least partially based on his father's death. It could also relate to the "loss" of his daughters (in a metaphorical sense), if the comment about them running inside to play Pokemon is true.

    Justin Pasher jpasher@airmail.net (30:th of March 2002)

  10. When I saw U2 in concert (November 2001), Bono stated that he wrote the song about and to his children; yet, after he completed it, he realized that it was a song of his dying father, whom he had a difficult relationship with, but in the end found his peace.

    Laura Anello LaAnello1@aol.com (21:st of August 2002)

  11. According to some sources, Bono has said that he got inspiration this this song when he was up Killiney Hill with his daughters to fly kites. The Killiney Hill is a hill with surrounding park close to the area where Bono lives. A fellow swedish U2 fan, Sara (world famous in Sweden for having sung duett with Bono during the Elevation tour concert in Stockholm), where in Ireland with a friend of hers (U2 fan as well) and they made a stroll around the hill. The last thing they did was walking into the park via the main entrance -- and found the following sign. (The picture is © copyright Sara and used with permission.)

    Warning sign at Killiney Hill for not flying kites there

    Jonas Steverud (Maintainer of U2MoL) (23rd of December 2003)

  12. " 'Kite' is about the plight of a fraying couple; when Bono glimpses "the shadow behind your eyes," his lyric evokes the music's slanted conversations of melody and rhythm and guitar figures. Bono's singing has lost some of the extra flamboyance it's had in the past, but it's as passionate as ever -- by reining himself in, he has invested his voice with a new urgency." -Rolling Stone, 10.18.00

    From Salvation in the Blues, compiled by Chris Taguchi chris@taguchi.ca (3rd of April 2007)

  13. "[At] the end of "Kite," the album's most moving song, Bono describes himself as "The last of the rock stars/When hip-hop drove the big cars." At such moments, you realize that all the uplift and encouragement of the album are meant as much for the band as for its listeners. For all their bravado, U2 must be uncertain about their commercial prospects at this time in their career. "Who's to say where the wind will take you/Who's to say what it is will break you/ I don't know which way the wind will blow," Bono sings on the soaring chorus of "Kite," and, coming from a singer and a band that have never made any bones about their lust for a huge audience, such a yielding to forces beyond their control is no small matter." -By Anthony DeCurtis, Revolver Magazine, Issue #3 / Winter 2000

    From Salvation in the Blues, compiled by Chris Taguchi chris@taguchi.ca (3rd of April 2007)