Trash, Trampoline and the Party Girl

It’s not surprising in the slightest that this song has become more popular and well-known than the single it b-sided. It’s a better song, and for an October period song, it’s got plenty of surprising aspects to it too, along with ambiguities that are refreshing in the midst of the utter and somewhat dubious certainties dominating similar-period songs. However, there’s also no doubt as to why it’s a b-side, either – there’s a ramshackle element to it (strummed acoustic guitar and plinking piano) that radio, with its traditional emphasis on being as slick as possible, just wouldn’t embrace. Bono sings in a cracked and weary tone that suggests distress at the situation at hand.

It’s no wonder he’s distressed, either – it seems that none of the three characters of the song will tell him their real names, leaving only their titular pseudonyms (we can presume the narrator invented these, seeing as “Trash Can” is hardly a name you might choose for yourself, although it’s never really explained where the names come from). They also won’t reveal their motives either, although the narrator “thinks he knows what [Trampoline] wants”, and suggests that Party Girl “wants more than a party”. We’re told that Trash Can does all that he can/wham, bang, which might well be either sexual innuendo or an implication of a well-meaning individual who gets stomped on. Either way, the song carries a weight of disillusionment, mystery, and a messy set of relations, making for an apparently whimsical song that actually ends up quite sinister as a result. Overall, it’s one of the few early b-sides from U2 to be very good in its own right, not just a demo, instrumental or album castoff.

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~ by 4trak on April 26, 2008.

One Response to “Trash, Trampoline and the Party Girl”

  1. […] not only does he lie with his partner in “whispers and moans”, and that he feels like trash.  He’s thus calling for help, imploring with the immense amount of babies (sorry, […]

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