www.u2tour.de has published an interview with U2, it is unknown if it's u2tour.de that made the interview or if they have some other source, and Bono made the following comments about the song.
I sang the song Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your Own at my father's funeral. He was a very tough old boot of a guy, Irish, Dub, north side Dubliner, very cynical about the world and the people in it, but very charming and funny with it. His whole thing was, don't dream. To dream is to be disappointed. That's really who I think my father was, and that was his advice to me... he didn't speak it in those words but that's what he meant. And of course that's really a recipe for megalomania, isn't it? I was only ever interested in big ideas, and not actually so much dreaming, but putting dreams into action. Doing the things that you have in your head has become an important thing for me. Anyway, the song Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own is dedicated to him, it's a portrait of him, and it also explains that he was a great singer, a great tenor. A working class Dublin guy who listened to the opera and conducted the stereo with my mother's knitting needles - he just loved opera. We didn't talk very much, so in the song I say to him, can you hear me when I sing, and I hit one of those big tenor notes that he would have loved so much.
Sara L. Bechtel slbechteladelphia.net (28:th of March 2005)