The Ground Beneath Her Feet

Why am I reading The Ground Beneath Her Feet by Salman Rushdie? This is not generally the sort of book that I would read, but I found myself drawn to it by a musical influence.

One of my favorite albums is All That You Can’t Leave Behind by U2. Living in Australia I was lucky enough to get a bonus track on the album. This track was called The Ground Beneath Her Feet (no surprise there).

The funny thing was it turned out to be my favorite track on the album with beautiful lyrics and melodies. One day when I was reading the CD insert I noticed that the lyrics for the track were credited to Salman Rushdie. Whilst I new of him as an author of books, I was not aware of his song writing abilities. Below are the lyrics to the song courtesy of U2.com.

All my life, I worshipped her
Her golden voice, her beauty’s beat
How she made us feel
How she made me real
And the ground beneath her feet
And the ground beneath her feet

And now I can’t be sure of anything
Black is white, and cold is heat
For what I worshipped stole my love away
It was the ground beneath her feet
It was the ground beneath her feet

Go lightly down your darkened way
Go lightly underground
I’ll be down there in another day
I won’t rest until you’re found
Let me love you true, let me rescue you
Let me lead you to where two roads meet
O come back above
Where there’s only love
And the ground beneath her feet
And the ground beneath her feet

Whilst reading the beautiful lyrics alone is nice, listening to them is better, if you don’t have the album I highly recommend you purchase it. You can but the single on iTunes here or buy the entire album from Amazon.com here or on iTunes here. As the track was only released on the CD in a couple of countries, it is a lot more expensive to purchase on Amazon.com than to go into a store in Australia and buy it.

On a side note U2 also included the song on the soundtrack to the movie The Million Dollar Hotel, which was co-written by Bono. I haven’t seen the movie (it received poor reviews), but will get around to it one day, more out of curiosity than anything. The cast included Jeremy Davies, Milla Jovovich, Mel Gibson, Jimmy Smits and Tim Roth. It goes to show that a great cast does not equate to a great movie (in some eyes anyway).

Now, that I have finished going on about the music, how did this lead me to the book? As it turns out the lyrics that Salman Rushdie wrote were not for U2 but were actually in the book. One of the characters in the book Ormus Cama, a musician, writes the lyrics in memory of his lover Vina Apsara. I felt that if the book contained lyrics as beautiful as that, I had to see what else it contained. To date I have not been disappointed.


I am the first to admit, I am no literary scholar. Consequently this book has been far from the easiest to read. Having said that Salman Rushdie’s writing allows me to visualize the story in the smallest detail. If you are up for a challenging (in a good way) read, I don recommend you have a look at this book. You can purchase the book from Amazon.com here (I really should hit Amazon.com up for some advertising fees).

Well, this is often how I end up reading books, watching movies or listening to music, via series of connections. Eventually I might get around to writing about a few more.

Enjoy.

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About Nanto Cielens

My goal is to replace my soul with coffee and become immortal. I also know where my towel is. Purveyor of profoundly profane fish biscuits. View all posts by Nanto Cielens

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