Kite (4:27)

Cover of All That You Can't Leave Behind

From All That You Can't Leave Behind and 23 other releases

“Kite” is the fifth track from U2’s 2000 album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind.

A popular number among fans, the song had its origins in a kite-flying outing on Killiney Hill overlooking Dublin Bay that Bono attempted with his daughters.[1] The outing went quickly awry when the kite crashed and one of the girls asked to go home and play with a video game. [2] So the song was at first written with Bono’s daughters in mind, or more generally, about a kite as a metaphor for someone or something escaping one’s realm of control; the song is, more or less, about Bono realizing a day will come when his daughters will “no longer need him.” The Edge helped out on the words, and felt that the lyric was actually aimed in the opposite direction, about Bono’s emotionally-reserved father: “He couldn’t see it, but I could.” Then while singing it, Bono recalled a similarly ill-fated kite-flying outing in his own childhood with his father in the County Dublin seaside towns of Skerries or Rush.[2] In any case, during early promotional appearances Bono emphasized the song could be about letting go of any kind of relationship.[3]

The music to “Kite” was equally evocative, with the chorus featuring an emphatic wail from Bono set against The Edge’s churning guitar lines.

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