Lit & Lyric: Boy

David Way (

The title to the Boy song "Shadows & Tall Trees" is also the name of one of the chapters of William Golding's The Lord of the Flies.

Ken (

In "The Ocean" Bono mentions a character called Dorian Gray ("picture in gray, Dorian Gray..."). This is the main character in "The Portrait of Dorian Grey" by Oscar Wilde (also author of the play that Tarheel Tim discusses). This may be common knowledge and I've never read this book, but it's something. Also, Oscar Wilde and "The Lord of the Flies" were important books in Lypton Village, the bohemian neighborhood in Dublin were the boys chilled.

Ellen Davis (

You may have seen this elsewhere, but some people think that some of the lyric inspiration for Boy and October, particularly "Shadows and Tall Trees" (aside from the Lord of the Flies connection), came from the poem "October" by Patrick Kavanagh, probably Ireland's most famous workingman poet.


O leafy yellowness you create for me
A world that was and now is poised above time,
I do not need to puzzle out Eternity
As I walk this arboreal street on the edge of a town.
The breeze too, even the temperature
And pattern of movement is precisely the same
As broke my heart for youth passing. Now I am sure
Of something. Something will be mine wherever I am.
I want to throw myself on the public street without caring
For anything but the prayering that the earth offers.
It is October over all my life and the light is staring
As it caught me once in a plantation by the fox coverts.
A man is ploughing ground for winter wheat
And my nineteen years weigh heavily on my feet.

There may be other appropriate Kavanagh lyrics but I'm not sure.

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