ONE OF U2’s most iconic tracks has been identified as the perfect song for parents to play when trying to get any young children off to sleep.
Released back in February 1992, One topped the singles chart in Ireland and has regularly featured on lists of the world’s greatest songs ever since.
However, if you were to play it to a young child, the chances are they would start to drift off. That’s according to new research conducted by kid’s bed specialist Cuckooland.
Researchers from Durham University analysed Spotify data linked to some 4,500 songs that regularly featured on lullaby playlists created on the music streaming service.
In doing so, they were able to calculate the average beats per minute (BPM), most common key and time signatures, effectively creating the perfect formula for a lullaby.
Annaliese Grimaud, a researcher at the Music & Science Lab at Durham University said:
“The function of a lullaby is to soothe a baby and put them to sleep, so common features we would expect to see in lullabies would be, a slow(ish) tempo, relatively quiet dynamics, simple rhythm pattern - potentially one that imitates a rocking movement - a simple melody that’s easier to memorise and easier to sing, predictability achieved by repetitive phrases and verses, and a high pitch due to the connotations that mothers/females usually sing lullabies.”
The study concluded that U2’s One contains all the properties of the “perfect lullaby”.
All of which contrasts much of the meaning behind the track, which is anything but idyllic.
Bono previously explained One was "a song about coming together, but it's not the old hippie idea of 'Let's all live together.' It is, in fact, the opposite. It's saying, We are one, but we're not the same.
“It's not saying we even want to get along, but that we have to get along together in this world if it is to survive. It's a reminder that we have no choice".
The Edge, meanwhile, described as a "bitter, twisted, vitriolic conversation between two people who've been through some nasty, heavy stuff".
Not exactly the stuff of lullabies then.
** Originally Published on: Sep 12, 2019