“Oh, Berlin” by MacPhisto (1994)

 

“Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the Angelic Orders? And even if one were to suddenly take me to its heart, I would vanish into its stronger existence. For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, that we are still able to bear, and we revere it so, because it calmly disdains to destroy us. Every Angel is terror.”

Rainer Maria Rilke, The Duino Elegies

 

1. Blow Your House Down (3:31)

You’ve been along this road so many times
Nothing should be a surprise to you
Seen every premeditated crime
From every possible point of view

Why, if it’s so wrong, does it feel so right
Why, though I’m glad you’re gone
Do I want you tonight

She, she’s gonna blow your house down
She’s gonna turn your head around
She’s gonna blow your house down

What of chaos is the thing you crave
Is it the taste of self-inflicted pain
And what of losing is your drug of choice
Is it what keeps you coming back again

Why, if it’s so wrong, does it feel so right

She blow your house down
She’s gonna turn your head around
She’s gonna blow your house down

Run fast, fast as you can
Run fast, fast as you can
Fast, fast as you can
Run as fast, fast as you can
Fast as you can
Run as fast, fast as you can

The wave, it have its
She was saving it
What makes you think you can
Oh, they’re craving
Deals for breaking
Your old devil’s hands

She gonna blow your house down
She’s gonna turn your head around
She’s gonna blow your house down

2 . Salome (4:32)

Baby please
Baby please don’t go
I got lies to feed
They want skin and seed
Now don’t make me crawl

Please
Baby don’t bite your lip
Give you half what I got
If you untie the knot
It’s a promise…
Salome
Salome

Shake it shake it shake it
Salome
Shake it shake it shake it
Salome

Baby please
Baby what’s that tune
Well I heard it before
When I crawled from your door
And my blood turned blue

Please
Baby please slow down
Baby I feel sick
Don’t make me stick to my promise
Salome
Salome

Shake it shake it shake it
Salome
Shake it shake it shake it
Salome

Baby please
Baby don’t say no
Won’t you dance for me
Under the cherry tree
Won’t you swing down low

Please
Baby please say yes
Baby don’t go away

You’re spilling me
And your precious love
Salome…
Salome

Shake it shake it shake it
Salome
Shake it shake it shake it
Salome

3. Always Forever Now (6:24)

Always, always, always forever now
Always, always, always forever now
Always forever now
Always, always

Always forever now
Always forever now
Always, always, always forever now

Always, always
Always forever now
Always forever now
Always forever
Always, always

4. Oh, Berlin (4:31)

Hansa, Hansa, Hansa, Hansa

White snow turning to slush
A festival of brown in the city of my crush
If you walk around, you can step inside
Köthner Straße achtunddreißig

Oh Berlin
Who could think they would find you by just looking
Oh Berlin
How many of us hide in you
Oh Berlin
To think I could know you by your name

To stare and not be stared
To look and not be seen
To feel new feelings
Rather than understand where you’ve just been
Fame, huh

Oh Berlin
Who could they would find you by just looking
Oh Berlin
When you flap your angel wings
Oh Berlin
To think that I could know you by your name

Chasing the ghosts of our heroes
Lou Reed, David Bowie, Iggy, Wim Wenders, Rilke
To change location rather than change yourself
To ask for directions rather than ask for help
To remain always a true fan

Oh Berlin
Who could think they would find you by just looking
Oh Berlin
When you flap your angel wings
Oh Berlin
To think that I could know you by your name

Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angelic orders
And even if one to suddenly take me to its heart
I would vanish into its stronger existence
For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror
That we are still able to bear and we revere it so
Because it calmly disdains to destroy us
Every angel is terror

Every angel is terror
Oh Berlin
Every angel is terror
Every angel is terror
Who would think they could find you by just looking
Every angel is terror
Every angel is terror
Oh Berlin
How many of us hide in you
Oh Berlin
To think that I could know you by a single name

5. Alex Descends Into Hell for a Bottle of Milk (3:38)

That day of wrath, that day
That day of wrath, that day
The trumpets wonderous calls, sounding abroad
He descends into Hell

That day of wrath
That day of wrath

6. Slug (4:41)

Don’t want to lose my shirt
Don’t want to dig the dirt
Don’t want you to get hurt
Can’t help that I’m a flirt
Don’t want to take your drugs
Don’t want to be a slug
Don’t want to overdress
Don’t want to make a mess
Don’t want you to confess
Not under duress
Don’t want to be untrue
I want to be with you
Don’t want to lose my nerve
Don’t want to throw the curve
Don’t want to make you swerve
Don’t want what I deserve
Don’t want to change the frame
Don’t want to be a pain
Don’t want to stay the same

7. Your Blue Room (5:28)

It’s time to go again
To your blue room
Got some questions to ask of you
In your blue room

The air is clean
Your skin is clear
I’ve had enough of
hanging round here
It’s a different kind of conversation
In your blue room

Saw me coming
In and outside
Saw me coming
Somewhere to hide

And time is a string of pearls
Your blue room
Once again
See the future just hanging there
Your blue room
A new frame
A new perspective
Looking down on my objectives
Your instructions
Whatever their directions
Your blue room

Saw me coming
East by the moon
Saw me coming
Can you feel

(It’s allright)

Your blue room

One day I’ll be back
Your blue room
Yeah, I hope I remember where it’s at
Your blue room

We see me slide down
Won’t you give me a home
So much for change

Zooming in
Zooming out
Nothing I can’t do without
A lense to it all up close
To Magnify what no one knows
Never in company
Never alone
No car alarm
No cellular phone

 

All Songs Written by MacPhisto

 

Oh, Berlin is the first solo album by Bono, recorded in 1994, under his MacPhisto persona and handle. It was shelved immediately thereafter in favour of U2’s Eno-led project under the Passengers alias. Several of the songs from Oh, Berlin ended up on Original Soundtracks 1, while others were relegated to the dustbin of history, becoming musical curios for die-hard fans only. The seven-song suite, in the tradition of Bowie’s Station to Station and Reed’s Berlin, is an eclectic mix of styles, sounds, and genres, accentuated by the unique and evocative atmosphere of Berlin at night, and is propelled by a Rilkian wanderlust throughout. “Don’t want to stay the same,” Macphisto sings near the end of Slug and, true to augur, Bono and Co would never sound quite so unfamiliar, delicate, laid-back, and meditative again.