Seconds (song)

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"Seconds" is the second track on U2's 1983 album, War. The track, with its recurring lyric of "it takes a second to say goodbye", refers to nuclear proliferation. It is the first song in the band's history not sung solely by Bono, as The Edge sings the first two stanzas.There is a break of approximately 11 seconds in the song at 2:10 featuring a sample of a 1982 TV documentary titled “Soldier Girls”. Bono said that he was watching this documentary while he was waiting in the green room in Windmill Lane Studios and he recorded it. The band felt it would fit well into the song as unsettling evidence of soldiers training for an atomic bomb explosion.Writing and inspirationDuring his writer's block period in 1982, Bono felt it was lonely writing lyrics, so he asked The Edge to assist in writing, but the guitarist wasn't interested in such a goal. The Edge finally wrote the line It takes a second to say goodbye. Bono wrote the remainder of the lyrics. On the recording, The Edge sings the first verse of the song. Lyrics in the song about dancing to the atomic bomb is a reference to "Drop The Bomb," a song by Go-go group Troublefunk, who were U2's labelmates on Island Records.ReceptionIn a Rolling Stone review of the album itself, editor J.D. Considine wrote, "'Seconds,'... opens with a sleepy funk riff driven by a cheerful toy bass drum. It's a pleasant juxtaposition, but as the song's subject matter becomes clear — the insanity of nuclear blackmail, where, as Bono Vox puts it, 'the puppets pull the strings'—you realize that this jolly noisemaker is no more an innocent plaything than is the one in Gunter Grass' The Tin Drum."

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