'The Little Things That Give You Away' song lyrics by U2

'The Little Things That Give You Away' song lyrics by U2

'The Little Things That Give You Away' song lyrics by U2

In a radio interview Bono said the name of a new song for Songs of Experience is "The Little Things That Give You Away".

Bono had previously referred to this song as the "The Morning After Innocence."


This is a placeholder post until Bono and the gang actually get around to releasing the new album. Come on guys!

U2 don't just sing about Africa and MLK, you know..

u2 protesting about nuclear waste

U2 don't just sing about Africa and MLK, you know..

Here's some pretty sweet 'articles' I wrote which attempt to pull together some of the common themes that U2 have written about. And maybe some other areas of interest!

North and South of the River lyrics by U2 - B-Side

North and South of the River lyrics by U2

North and South of the River lyrics by U2

This song was a b-side on U2's Starring at the Sun single which was from the Pop album.

It was co-written by U2 and Christy Moore, a fellow Irish musician. The song went through several versions by Moore and was originally only released under his name - U2 eventually released their own version.


I wanna reach out over the lough
And feel your hand across the water
Walk with you along an unapproved road
Not looking over my shoulder
I wanna see and I wanna hear
To understand your fears
But we're north and south of the river

I've been doing it wrong all of my life
This holy town has turned me over
A young man running from what he didn't understand
As the wind from the lough just blew colder and colder
There was a badness that had its way
Love wasn't lost
It just got mislaid
North and south of the river
North and south of the river

Can we stop playing these old tattoos
Darling, I don't have the answer
I wanna meet you where you are
I don't need you to surrender
There is no feeling so alone
As when the one you're hurting is your own
North and south of the river
North and south of the river

Some high ground is not worth taking
Some connections are not worth making
There's an old church bell no longer ringing
And some old songs are not worth bringing

North and south of the river
North and south of the river

The Best Thing lyrics by U2

The Best Thing song lyrics by U2

We're speculating that this is the new song that long time U2 producer Steve Lillywhite is mixing.

The Best Thing has immediate similarities to Even Better Than The Real Thing.


About that time U2's Bono called Elvis a "White Nigger"

Did you know that Bono once described the singer Elvis as a 'white nigger'?

U2 wrote the song Elvis Ate America in 1995 and released it under the moniker of Passengers. In the song’s lyrics Bono referred to Elvis as a White Nigger.

This was before the internet was mainstream or an every day thing. This was the era where if you had the internet, it was connected by dial up modem and you probably paid by the hour. All this means that it’s easy to see how calling Elvis a white nigger missed the consciousness of media.

You can well imagine what would happen today if U2 dropped such a phrase into a song.

THERE>WOULD>BE>OUTRAGE amongst the keyboard social justice warriors.

It's an interesting use of the so called N-WORD. People are so afraid to use it in the appropriate context. If Bono had of called a black person a nigger, one could understand the outrage. Guns N Roses were accused of racism (amongst other things) for their song 'One In a Million' but one seemed to upset over a drunk Irishman calling Elvis a white nigger? Why is that?

We understand that the Passenger’s Elvis Ate America’s lyrics were part of a 14 minute in length poem called American David that Bono wrote. A few years ago he offered up during a radio interview the following snippet from the larger poem “Elvis, the white nigger / Ate Burger King and just kept getting bigger.”

So why is Bono describing one of the greatest singing icons in history as such? First of all, Bono is not employing an attitude of bigotry or racism. It’s very clear that Bono loves everyone – his work for Africa with people like Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tuto and his support for AIDS victims and debt relief clearly demonstrate he is no racist. 

What he is doing is offering a commentary on Elvis’s musical roots. He was a white man that got the ‘blues’ and that a lot of his music was inspired and borrowed from black music – does anybody remember Elvis’s gospel albums which took both elements from Christian and Church music?

There is also a different meaning of white nigger that Bono may have also been trying to convey. It’s a religious slur used in Northern Ireland to refer to Catholics.  The term was also directed at Irish Catholic’s who had immigrated to America. Bono, being Irish would be keenly aware of this term and so it could be directed Elvis in that sense. 

The only problem with that was Elvis was not an immigrant to America nor was he raised a Catholic at all rather Pentecostal. His religious foundation can be summed up by his own quote “All I want is to know the truth, to know and experience God. I’m a searcher, that’s what I’m all about.”

Bono may have simply used the term to push the envelope a bit and get some attention – similar in a sense as to when he swore when giving a speech about Frank Sinatra at the 1996 Grammy Awards. 

Either way, it's clear that Bono had a deep respect and admiration for Bono - indeed, Elvis Ate America was not first song U2 wrote about Elvis, The Unforgettable Fire of course featured the song Elvis and America.

What references has Bono made to wind in U2 songs?

What references has Bono made to 'wind' in U2 songs?

The critics of U2 and Bono would have fun with mentioning Bono talking about wind as the man does talk about a lot of many things - but here's a serious collection of references that U2 have made to wind in their songs.

When you think about it, the wind is commonly used in songs - think of the Scorpion's Winds of Change as obvious example. The use of wind is typically used to describe a change that is happening to someone or somewhere.

Here's occasions that U2 have referred to making wind in their songs, if you don't take yourself too seriously.


A fan favourite from All That You Can't Leave Behind, The initial draft of the lyrics were written with Bono's daughters Eve and Jordan in mind. The Edge assisted Bono in writing the lyrics and has suggested that they were actually about Bono's emotionally-reserved father, Bob Hewson, who was dying of cancer at the time the song was written. When Bob did die, the lyric 'last of the rock stars' was changed to 'last of the opera star's when sung live, reflecting Bob's past opera career. Ultimately, Kite is a song of hope.

Bullet the Blue Sky

"In the howling wind comes a stinging rain, see it driving nails into souls on the tree of pain" And so opens Bullet the Blue Sky from The Joshua Tree. This line is poetic pain and sets the tone of the whole song. A stinging attack on America's position in foreign politics and especially those of El Salvador in America's quest to stop communism at all costs.


Taken from The Joshua Tree, Exit tells the bleak tale of what I often think of as a desperate cowboy but in reality Bono's inspiration was The lyrics were inspired by Norman Mailer's novel The Executioner's Song, the subject of which was serial killer Gary Gilm. Lyrically, it's a pairing to Bullet the Blue Sky as it refers to a howling wind.

Indian Summer Sky

A cut from The Unforgettable Fire album, Indian Summer sky is considered to be a social commentary on the prison-like atmosphere of city living in a world of natural forces. An actual Indian Summer is is a period of unseasonably warm, dry weather - to which the wind that Bono ask's to blow through so as to give some relief.

Ordinary Love

A sweet lyric about how the wind can lift us up:

"Birds fly high in the summer sky and rest on the breeze.
The same wind will take care of you and I.
We'll build our house in the trees."

Songs of Experience Lyrics by U2

Songs of Experience lyrics by U2

Songs of Experience Lyrics by U2

Songs of Experience is the companion album to the Songs of Innocence album that U2 released to the world for free en-mass via Apple’s Itunes in 2015.

Prior to the release of that album, many U2 fans had expected the album to be called Songs of Ascent. This was based on comments from Bono in the lead up to the release. At the time of the Innocence album and tour, the band repeatedly mentioned they had grand ideas for two albums (or more!). The band has since formally committed to the world at large that the next album will be called Songs of Experience.

And this is fitting as there is a thematic connection here through the works of poet William Blake. Bono has spoken how that body of work inspired his lyrics for both Songs of Innocence and Experience:

"There's a poet called William Blake who had a big influence on me growing up, and he had these two books of poetry -- Songs Of Innocence and Songs Of Experience -- and it gave him a device, really, to be able to write about the past ... gave us a device to be able to write about the past, while at the same time writing about what's going on now.

What was the subject of Blake’s work? It was a collection of poems that reflected where the state of childhood 'innocence' was influenced by the world cutting in on childhood as 'experience. These being influences such as corruption, oppression by religious movements, state domination and the machinations of the dominant classes. 

Hence the lyrics of Songs of Innocence featured a lot of Bono’s experiences as a young lad – the death of his mother being covered in Iris (Hold Me Close) for example. Cedarwood Road is about childhood friends that group up with Bono in the street

Lyrics to U2’s Songs of Experience album (these are guesses as to song names based on things Bono has said in the media.

The Little Things that give you away
The Best Thing

Landlady lyrics by U2

Where The Shadows Fall lyrics by U2

Where The Shadows Fall lyrics by U2

Streets Of Surrender lyrics by Bono

streets of surrender lyrics by Bono

Streets Of Surrender lyrics  by Bono

Bono has written some lyrics for a song he was developing for singer Zucchero.

When asked by a reporter asks if the terrorist attacks in Paris (2015) will inspire a new album or song, and Bono recited these lyrics to what is called Streets of Surrender.

It's quite likely that this will not be an official U2 song, however as Bono recited these lyrics in front of a reporter for a TV segment, they can be considered a public performance, and note worthy as a lyric or poem by Bono.

Streets of Surrender lyrics

Every man has two cities he needs to be
The one he can touch
And the one he can't see
The one where a stranger's a friend
Every man has got one city of liberty
For me it's Paris, I love it
Every time I get lost down these ancient streets I find myself again

You're free, baby, baby
Free now and forever
It's Christmas time
You can decide to forget or to remember
You're free, baby, baby
I didn't come down here to fight you
I came down these streets of love and pride to surrender
The streets of surrender

I heard a far fetched story
That nobody seems to know
I think it was about that stranger
It was youth, it was love and it was danger
It was winter with that warm it gets before the snow
It chilled my soul
Everybody's crying about some kid
That they found lying on a beach
Born in a manger

You're free, baby, baby
Free now and forever
It's Christmas time
You can decide to forget or to remember
You're free, baby, baby
I didn't come down here to fight ya
I came down these streets of love and pride to surrender
The streets of surrender