Bullet The Blue Sky
Vieux Farka Touré Lyrics


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In the howling wind comes a stinging rain
See it driving nails
Into the souls on the tree of pain
From the firefly, a red orange glow
See the face of fear
Running scared in the valley below

Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue
Bullet the blue

In the locust wind comes a rattle and hum
Jacob wrestled the angel
And the angel was overcome
You plant a demon seed
You raise a flower of fire
See them burning crosses
See the flames higher and higher

Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue
Bullet the blue

This guy comes up to me
His face red like a rose in a thorn bush
Like all the colors of a royal flush
And he's peeling off those dollar bills
Slapping them down
One hundred, two hundred
And I can see those fighter planes
And I can see those fighter planes

Across the mud huts where the children sleep
Through the alleys of a quiet city street
You take the staircase to the first floor
Turn the key and slowly unlock the door
As a man breathes into a saxophone
And through the walls you hear the city groan
Outside is America
Outside is America, America

Across the field you see the sky ripped open
See the rain through a gaping wound
Pounding on the women and children
Who run




Into the arms
Of America

Overall Meaning

In "Bullet The Blue Sky," Vieux Farka Touré sings about the horrors of war and the destructive impact it has on the innocent. The opening "In the howling wind comes a stinging rain / See it driving nails/Into the souls on the tree of pain" describes the damages that war inflicts on the human spirit. The brown and black bodies, who are the primary victims of war, are portrayed through the vivid image of their souls nailed to a tree of pain (implying an image of the crucifixion). The lines, "Bullet the blue sky/Bullet the blue sky," are ambiguous but likely refer to bullets flying above, as if the very sky itself were being destroyed.


The reference to Jacob wrestling with an angel, "Jacob wrestled the angel / And the angel was overcome," suggests the struggle between good and evil, powerful foes that are both locked in struggle. The following lyrics, "You plant a demon seed / You raise a flower of fire / See them burning crosses / See the flames higher and higher" could be a reference to the seeds of hate that people plant, which bear bitter fruits that harm marginalized people. The destructive nature of war is shown with the lines, "Across the field you see the sky ripped open / See the rain through a gaping wound / Pounding on the women and children / Who run / Into the arms / Of America."


Line by Line Meaning

In the howling wind comes a stinging rain
The fierce wind carries raindrops that sting when they hit.


See it driving nails
The raindrops feel like hammer hits, hurting those it touches.


Into the souls on the tree of pain
The rain physically hurts people, reminding them of their suffering on the 'tree of pain.'


From the firefly, a red orange glow
The only light comes from a small, glowing firefly.


See the face of fear
People are afraid, their faces show it.


Running scared in the valley below
People are so afraid that they are running for their lives.


Bullet the blue sky
The violence and pain is so overwhelming that it feels like someone is shooting the sky itself.


Bullet the blue sky
Repeating the chorus to emphasize the violence and pain.


Bullet the blue
Repeating to emphasize the violence and pain.


Bullet the blue
Repeating to emphasize the violence and pain.


In the locust wind comes a rattle and hum
The strong wind carries the sound of rattling and humming.


Jacob wrestled the angel
Drawing on a biblical story to symbolize a struggle.


And the angel was overcome
Jacob finally defeats the angel after a long, hard fight.


You plant a demon seed
Planting evil or harmful thoughts can have dangerous consequences, like a 'demon seed.'


You raise a flower of fire
Those evil thoughts grow into destructive actions, like blossoming into a 'flower of fire.'


See them burning crosses
The violence has escalated to the point where crosses are being burned as a symbol of hatred and destruction.


See the flames higher and higher
The fire is growing out of control, consuming everything in its path.


Bullet the blue sky
Using the same line to emphasize the ongoing violence and pain.


Bullet the blue sky
Repeating to emphasize the ongoing violence and pain.


Bullet the blue
Repeating to emphasize the ongoing violence and pain.


Bullet the blue
Repeating to emphasize the ongoing violence and pain.


This guy comes up to me
The singer sets the stage for a conversation or encounter.


His face red like a rose in a thorn bush
The man's face is flushed with emotions, like a rose surrounded by thorns.


Like all the colors of a royal flush
The man is showing off his wealth, with colors that symbolize good luck and winning.


And he's peeling off those dollar bills
The man is literally stripping away money to show off his wealth.


Slapping them down
He is being careless and reckless with his show of wealth.


One hundred, two hundred
He continues to flash his wealth, counting the many bills he has.


And I can see those fighter planes
The singer can see warplanes overhead, perhaps representing an ongoing conflict or a real-life war.


And I can see those fighter planes
Repeating the line to emphasize the feeling of danger and instability.


Across the mud huts where the children sleep
The violence and danger are close to home, affecting innocent children.


Through the alleys of a quiet city street
The violence has spread beyond the country or remote area and is now affecting even peaceful city streets.


You take the staircase to the first floor
The singer paints a picture of a residential building, where someone is climbing the stairs to their home.


Turn the key and slowly unlock the door
The person has reached their apartment and is unlocking the door - a picture of normalcy amidst chaos.


As a man breathes into a saxophone
Someone is playing a musical instrument, perhaps providing some sense of lightness or reprieve from the surrounding violence.


And through the walls you hear the city groan
The walls can't completely block out the sounds of the chaotic city.


Outside is America
The chaos and danger is in a foreign country, like Africa, while America is seen as a safe and stable place.


Outside is America, America
Repeating to emphasize the contrast between danger and safety.


Across the field you see the sky ripped open
A metaphor for the violence: it feels like the sky is being torn apart by the conflict.


See the rain through a gaping wound
The rain is still pounding, like the violence is ongoing and constantly 'retching open' a wound.


Pounding on the women and children
The violence is disproportionately affecting those who are the most vulnerable - women and children.


Who run
They are running for their lives, trying to escape the violence.


Into the arms
They run to find safety and comfort.


Of America
The idea of America as a place of safety and refuge is repeated.




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: ADAM CLAYTON, DAVE EVANS, LARRY MULLEN, PAUL DAVID HEWSON

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

Cy Myrick

hadiotoba - well said my friend. Pray we hear the next cycle of perfection! Right now - this is as close to God's ear as we get.

AnDubh

The best "cover" of Bullet... ever!!

TheDANDAILY

One if his best...heard him 1 week ago in Mannheim, Germany - it was a unbelievable Gig

Brutus Smithicus

aaaaaaaarrrrgh - AWESOME Amazing guitarist, as was his father - the Great Ali Farka. Quite different sounding musicians, but they can both make some awesome uplifting sounds :-D

Cy Myrick

Is it any wonder that Africa would take "Blues" and "get it" then take it to another level. I am insane for this sound.

E Mm

que buena musica!! saludos desde Guatemala

Suli Lokollo

FANTASTIQUE! ..I think he is saying 'follow the blue sky'

bloodNguts

wow wonderful great legend

Ger Leahy

I really miss the Dun Laoghaire Festival of World Cultures. Summers in Dublin are a lots less colourful in its absence.

UduVudoo

7 Layers of AWESOME!!

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