Interesting comment from Prolific – do rock lyricists tend towards simplicity as they hit their thirties, following Dylan’s trail from imagist tumble to hard-won weighted wisdom? (My personal favourite Dylan, lyrically, is the Blood On The Tracks/Desire period, which strikes just the right balance between autobiography and parable). Evidence for: Bono, Cave. But below and beside the rock mainstream, surely there are ample lyricists who spun out in very different directions – Stephin Merritt has moved from surrealism to showtune standards; James Brown boiled down his lyrics for maximum zen funk impact…are these things ‘simplifying’? In a way, I suppose. (And what of rappers?)

I think Bono’s lyrical shifts are two sides of the same coin – in their twenties he thought the best way to be Meaningful was to go for extremes of imagery, now he thinks the best way is to present himself as a Sage. Still pretty pompous either way.