Because I have four daughters I have, of course, given thought to what it will be like for them when they start dating and having relationships that might eventually lead to marriage.

On the one hand, I don’t want them to “settle,” yet I don’t want them to be maximizers either.

I hope I haven’t infected them too much with my own anxieties, although I suppose that’s somewhat inevitable, given the anxious state we parents of Millenial kids seem to be in.

I’d like very much for them to be at ease with themselves and to know that they are the “original of the species,” which brings us (finally) to the U2 song with that same title.

Bono wrote this song for his goddaughter (who is the daughter of U2 guitarist Edge).

Edge cried when he first heard the lyrics and said the song has an element of Bono looking back on his own insecurities at age 20. In the song Bono identifies with the confusion over self and worth that girls in their teens and young adulthood often experience.

Bono says:

It’s about seeing some people who are ashamed about their bodies, in particular teenagers with eating disorders, not feeling comfortable with themselves and their sexuality.

I’m just saying to them, ‘you are one of a kind, you’re an original of the species.’ So it’s a ‘Be who you are’ song. I can’t wait to play it live.

This live version of the song from Milan is my favorite version of Original of the Species because it has cellos and violins.

Here are the lyrics in their entirety:

Baby slow down

The end is not as fun as the start
Please stay a child somewhere in your heart

I’ll give you everything you want
Except the thing that you want

You are the first one of your kind

And you feel like no one before
You steal right under my door
And I kneel ‘cos I want you some more

I want the lot of what you got
And I want nothing that you’re not

Everywhere you go you shout it
You don’t have to be shy about it

Some things you shouldn’t get too good at
Like smiling, crying and celebrity

Some people got way too much confidence baby

I’ll give you everything you want
Except the thing that you want
You are the first one of your kind

And you feel like no one before
You steal right under my door
And I kneel ‘cos I want you some more
I want the lot of what you got
And I want nothing that you’re not

Everywhere you go you shout it
You don’t have to be shy about it, no
And you’ll never be alone
Come on now show your soul
You’ve been keeping your love under control

Everywhere you go you shout it
You don’t have to be shy about it
Everywhere you go you shout it
Oh my my

And you feel like no one before
You steal right under my door
And I kneel ‘cos I want you some more
I want you some more, I want you some more…

As I read through those lyrics again I couldn’t help but think of my oldest daughter and am reminded that she graduates from high school next spring (sniff, sniff – but yay for new adventures). This would make for a cool graduation song.

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