Some people are really into American Idol, but I am not. I went through the lunch room the other day while a couple of Idol contestants were murdering U2’s classic “One” in some kind of live outdoor news-show venue. It sounded so awful… I wondered “what the hell is the fascination this country has with listening to people sing badly?” Both singers were completely off-key, both fighting to out-bellow each other, and working their hair and outfits even harder than their (blown-out) voices. It was not so much a duet as a duel.
Thank God for iPod. I went back to my desk and played that song, and listened to the words, just to get the screeching sounds out of my head. Some day, I’m going to hear someone sing it in a U2charist service the way it’s meant to be sung by a cover artist: not a slavish copy of Bono’s every raspy note, but a passionate statement of faith in the essential goodness of one person.