'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."

The song was released to the world during its live debut during the first concert which celebrated 30 years since the release of The Joshua Tree. These lyrics reflect what Bono sang.

TLTTGYA will be on the Songs of Innocence album.

Lyrics:

The night gave you song
A light had been turned on
You walked out in the world
Like you belong there

As easy as a breeze
Each heart was yours to please
Is it only me who sees
There’s something wrong there

Oh, I’m not a ghost there
I can see you
You need to see me

It’s the little things that give you away
The words you cannot say
Your big mouth in the way
It’s the little things that tease and betray
As the hunted I become the prey
It’s the little things
The little things that give you away

I saw you on the stairs
You didn’t notice I was there
That’s ‘cause you were talking at me
Not to me

You were high above the storm
A hurricane being born
What was freedom
It might cost you your liberty

It’s the little things that give you away
The words you cannot say
Your big mouth in the way
It’s the little things that tease and betray
As the hunted I become the prey
It’s the little things
The little things that give you away

Sometimes
I can’t believe my existence
See myself on a distance
I can’t get back inside
Sometimes
The air is so anxious
All my tasks are so thankless
And all of my innocence has died
Sometimes
I wake at four in the morning
Where all the doubt is swarming
And it covers me in fear
Sometimes, sometimes, sometimes
Sometimes, sometimes, sometimes
Sometimes
Full of anger and grieving
So far away from believing
That any song will reappear
Sometimes
The end is not dawning
It’s not coming
The end is here
Sometimes, sometimes, sometimes
Sometimes, sometimes
I’m full of anger and grieving
So far away from believing
That any song will reappear
Sometimes
The end isn’t coming
It’s not coming
The end is here
Sometimes

Check out the lyrics to some more expected songs on the new album:
  1. The Best Thing About You Is Me
  2. Red Flag Day
  3. The Showman

U2's The Joshua Tree Tour 2017 Set List

joshua tree tour set list
U2 have played for the first time ever, the classic Joshua Tree album live in concert. It's the 30th anniversary of the album's release and it has been re-issued.

The venue was BC Place, in Vancouver, Canada.  

U2 opened the show with some early classics that were released prior to the Joshua Tree and then the band kicked of the album run through with Where The Streets Have No Name.

U2 ended the quick with a standard set of encore songs but notably debuted a new song, The Little Things That Give You Away.

Mumford and Sons opened for U2.

Main Set List 

Sunday Bloody Sunday
New Year's Day
A Sort Of Homecoming
MLK
Pride
Where The Streets Have No Name
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
With Or Without You
Bullet The Blue Sky
Running To Stand Still
Red Hill Mining Town
In God's Country
Trip Through Your Wires
One Tree Hill
Exit, 
Mothers Of The Disappeared with El Pueblo Vencera

Set Encore

Elevation
Ultraviolet (Light My Way)
One
Miss Sarajevo

Here's the video of the new song which Bono said was A Song of Experience, meaning it's going to feature on the forthcoming album, Songs of Experience.

This new album is the follow up to Songs of Innocence. When paired the two albums will form a duet which reflects the life the band has lived. 

Bono's lyrics on Drake's 'Damn' song.

Drake with U2 lyrics DAMN

U2 make a guest appearance on Drake's new album XXX on the track Damn


Bono sings a lil, Larry and Mr Mullen keep the rhythm tight and The Edge has a crack at piano.

Here's the brief lyrics of Bono's part on Damn:

It's not a place
This country is to be a sound
Of drum and bass
You close your eyes to look around

We suspect U2 simply gave Drake the track to have a play with rather than collaborating in the studio. Time will tell.

U2's songs inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.

List of U2's songs inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.

U2's The Unforgettable Fire was their break-through album which gave them a taste of success in America before they went supernova with The Joshua Tree. A key part of that was the first single, Pride which stormed up the charts.

The single struck a minor chord as listeners quickly realised the song was about Martin Luther King, the man who had a dream that America would be come a country where everyone was considered equal.

The album also featured a second song, MLK, which was a poignant end to the album.

These two songs were part of Bono's burgeoning interest in American history and the civil struggles black people face(d). U2 would later explore more of America's 'blues' in Rattle and Hum.

Pride (In the name of love)


This song was a fairly political piece written by Bono about rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. It is one of the U2's most recognized songs and is frequently played live.

Pride was major commercial success for the band and has since come to be regarded as one of the band's best songs. It was named the 378th greatest song by Rolling Stone Magazine on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Pride's lyrical theme was originally intended to be about US President Ronald Reagan's pride in America's military power but Bono was ultimately influenced by Stephen B. Oates's book Let The Trumpet Sound: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and a biography of Malcolm X.

"MLK"


We trust you get what MLK stands for.

The other song from The Unforgettable Fire album that references the American civil rights proponent.

Sang as a dreamy lullaby of sorts, its lyrics suggest that the following generations will be able to sleep easy following the hard work of Luther.

 I think what Bono is meaning is that they can dream now that Luther's own 'American dream' has in many ways been and continues to be realised.

'The Best Thing About You Is Me' U2 song lyrics

the best thing about you is me

U2's 'The Best Thing About You Is Me' song lyrics from Songs of Experience


A song mentioned by Bono as being a contender for making it to the final track list of the new Songs of Experience album. Is it better known as The Best Thing About Me is You, which seems more romantic....

'The Best Thing About You Is Me' song lyrics by U2

Will be published when the song is released as part of the Songs of Experience album.

Some other titles of songs mentioned by Bono for the Songs of Experience album include:
  1. The Little Things that give you away
  2. Red Flag Day
  3. The Showman
  4. Summer of Love

'Summer of Love' song lyrics by U2

U2's Summer of Love song lyrics by U2 from Songs of Experience

U2's Summer of Love song lyrics by U2 from Songs of Experience


A song named by Bono thought to be making an appearance on the Songs of Experience album. 

'Summer of Love' song lyrics by U2

Will be published when the song is released as part of the Songs of Experience album.


Some other titles of songs mentioned by Bono for the Songs of Experience album include:

'Red Flag Day' lyrics by U2

'Red Flag Day' lyrics by U2

'Red Flag Day' lyrics by U2 from Songs of Experience


Red Flag Day's lyrics have been described by Bono as being inspired by the Syrian the refugee crisis in Europe.

U2's Red Flag Day song lyrics:

Will be published when the song is released as part of the Songs of Experience album.

Some other titles of songs mentioned by Bono include: 

"The Showman" lyrics by U2

U2's The Showman lyrics

U2's The Showman lyrics from Songs of Experience

Bono has said of the song, "It's like something from Rubber Soul," he says. "It's about singers. It's not me." 

Sure it isn't Bono!

The Showman lyrics


Bono has revealed 4 lines from the song:

The showman give you front row to his heart
The shaman prays that his heartache will chart
Making a spectacle of falling apart
Is the heart of the show

Some other titles of songs mentioned by Bono include: 

U2 songs which reference the Troubles of Ireland

Northen Scum beanie worn by The Edge.

U2, Ireland and the IRA - songs that explore 'The Troubles'


‘The Troubles’ is a common name for the Northern Ireland conflict which spanned generations as Ireland nearly destroyed itself as divisions along political and religious lines wrestled with each other’s version of how Ireland should be governed.

In general terms, Catholic Nationalists and Unionist Protestants found themselves engaged in a brutal war where car bombings and ‘knee-cappings’ became the norm. Paramilitary units such as those of the IRA killed with impunity and the British Army became a standard presence in the streets.

Many innocent civilians died as a result of some 1300 bombings, not to forget attacks on British soldiers.

There are no surprises then for guessing why U2 called their third album War.

Larry, Adam, Bono and The Edge all grew up in this era. They were children subjected and exposed to

Edge’s Northern Scum hat

The Edge has said that their songs are are ‘against violence as a tool for politics of any kind’

Let's start with arguably the most famous U2 song about Ireland.

'Sunday Bloody Sunday' from War


The song's lyrics describe the horror felt by Bono’s character of who has been observing  the Troubles. In particular, they are focusing on the 1972 Bloody Sunday incident in Derry where British troops shot and killed unarmed civil rights protesters and bystanders. The lyrics juxtaposed this terrible day in history with the murder of Jesus Christ on the cross. 

The song thus commemorates the slaughter of innocent civilians during the Irish troubles. While not a 'rebel song' it is a call for a rejection of violence.

This song became very popular and helped draw attention to the issues. As the band's popular grew, they used it to campaign against the Irish Republican Army's (IRA) efforts to raise money to fuel continued armed conflict.

This lead to the  IRA sending a threat to U2 that if they continued their campaign, they would be kidnapped. U2 continued anyway and continued to bring attention to the Troubles.

What's very interesting about the IRA getting upset about a single pop song was the fact that the original lyrics contained the line '"Don't talk to me about the rights of the IRA, UDA'. Written by the Edge, the band as a whole felt such lyrics might be too inflammatory and where changed.

This bit of self editing actually made the song better.

As the song became more popular, some listeners interpreted the song's meaning as being a call to draw the Irish people deeper into the sectarian battle. This was clearly an incorrect analysis of the song's lyrics and intent. 

Once that issue was recognised by the band, Bono would often introduce the song with the as not being a 'rebel song'. If you listen to the live version recorded on the Live at Red Rocks album Bono says, "There's been a lot of talk about this next song, this song is not a rebel song, this song is Sunday Bloody Sunday!"

Some people thought the song was actually glorifying the Troubles and calling them deeper into the country's sectarian battle. On many occasions since its release on 1983's War, Bono has made it clear that this is not a "rebel song" or a song of the "revolution," but a song that defiantly waves the white flag for peace. 

The inspiration for this song may also have in part been due to John Lennon releasing his own song in 1972 also called Sunday Bloody Sunday about the Derry slaughter. Lennon's lyrics were full of vitriol (mostly aimed at the British government) and hugely antagonistic.

'Please' from the Pop album


Please was in our opinion, one of the best songs from the Pop album.

This song’s lyrics are blatantly about the troubles in Ireland. As the song slowly builds, Bono paints the picture, coloring the world in terms of religion and war colliding to the point where bombs are left in cars and as they are set up, that are the ‘sermon from the mount'. 
u2 Please single cover of Gerry Adams
Please single cover

The single cover for this song features the pictures of four Northern Irish politicians — Gerry Adams, David Trimble, Ian Paisley, and John Hume in a pointed effort to draw attention to the issues.

This photo was a direct message to the political leaders of the Irish people to ‘get up of their knees’ and hasten the peace process which were grinding along slowly – to which Bono pointedly states ‘October, talk getting nowhere November, December Remember, are we just starting again’.

Bono also cleverly entwines the songs meaning to be ‘about a girl’ – so much so that if you aren’t paying clear attention to his words, you could be duped into thinking the song is simply a love song about an explosive relationship. 

In many ways, Please is the sound of a U2 growing up from their Sunday Bloody Sunday era and offering a more grizzled, even more wizened approach to the issue.

Van Dieman's Land from Rattle and Hum



It's not a direct reference to The Troubles but Van Dieman's Land is an odd song dedicated to a Fenian poet named John Boyle O'Reilly, who was deported to Australia because of his bad poetry or more likely, his political leanings as espoused in the poetry. 

Fenian is a coverall word used to describe the Fenian Brotherhood and Irish Republican Brotherhood and more generally these days as anything Irish.

The song's lyrics were written and sung by U2's The Edge

'Peace on Earth' from All That You Can't Leave Behind


Described by the Edge as "the most bitter song U2 has ever written", Peace on Earth is yet another response by U2 to the Omagah bombing in Northern Ireland on 15 August 1989. The bomb set by a splinter IRD group known as the Real Irish Republican Army killed 29 people and injured a couple of hundred other persons.

The bomb was to express disagreement with the IRD’s formal ceasefire and the Good Friday Agreement which was a plan to forge a path to peace.

Bono refers to the names of some of the people killed in the bombing - Sean, Julia, Gareth, Anne, and Breda. He’s once more expressing his disdain for war and asking Jesus to tell those waging it that their real mission is peace on Earth but more than that, the song serves as a tribute to those that died. That they are bigger than the war that was being waged.

'The Troubles' from Songs of Innocence


"The Troubles", was described by Bono as "an uncomfortable song about domestic violence". 

Bono is being somewhat cute with this statement as while domestic violence is often used to describe violence that can occur in the family home, Bono is also probably referring to The Troubles as being the domestic violence of Ireland and the clue to this is the deliberate title of the song.

If the song is seen context with the album it came from, it's very relevant to the actual Troubles. Songs of Innocence was about Bono and his band mates growing up and living during the actual Troubles. To include a song about domestic violence on the album and not have it also be a consideration of the troubles would be disingenuous of Bono.

It will be very interesting to if Bono incorporates any of these issues into the new U2 albumSongs of Experience.

U2 lyrics that explore Jesus, Yahweh and The Good Book

Lyrics from the Bible that U2 use

U2 lyrics that explore Jesus, Yahweh and the Bible


It seems almost obligatory to do a post on U2's spiritual side. They are perhaps the world's most popular Christian band after all!

 I say Christian very loosely though as for some people that kind of connotation can turn them right off  but U2's is most definitely a band that is not shy of exploring their spiritual lyrical side.

Bono, U2's main lyric writer, is a noted musical magpie that steals lines from the Bible to help with his song crafting. Indeed, here's a whole page of bible references Bono has made across the U2 song catalogue.

You could almost put U2's song lyrics into two distinct camps - songs about spirituality and songs about politics (such as nuclear war). You could throw in a third camp about of U2's love songs if you wanted but since when has love not ever been spiritual or a matter of politics?

Jesus is a popular man in U2 songs, along with mentions of Yahweh, the references to the Koran and a few other Saints - so I thought  I'd feature a few U2 song lyrics that show case Bono's spiritual side and give a little insight into what I think the lyrics mean and perhaps give a little context on the genesis of some of them...

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For


Many people suddenly found themselves to be U2 fans in the late 80s when The Joshua Tree album started topping charts around the world.

Helping lead the charge was I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For which is the gold standard if you are looking for a U2 song that focuses on a spiritual yearning. 

Stealing the line from the Bible's 1 Corinthians 13:1: "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal."

Bono sung  "I have spoken with the tongue of angels" thus heralding to the world where he was coming from yet he then signalled his mischievous side with the following lyric that he had also 'held the hand of the Devil'.

Wake Up Dead Man


In tough times people often turn to their spiritual advisor for support - Wake Up Dead Man is Bono trying to get a direct line with Jesus to come and fix "the fucked up world'.

Originally written during the Zooropa recording sessions, the final version ended up on Pop as an effective album closer.

Fun aside, Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me also came from the Zooropa recording sessions and asks a question of Jesus.

Yahweh


A beautiful track from U2's How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, Yahweh's lyrics are a reflection of Bono's faith (as the son of a Catholic father and an Anglican mother) and points to the differences in the power that he believes between God and mankind. 

The word 'yahweh' has traditionally been by transliterated from the word Jehovah. Jehovah is often described as "the proper name of God in the Old Testament".

Larry, Bono, Edge and Adam, hold the bike while I get on?

Sunday Bloody Sunday


Ostensibly a song about the political troubles that have face the people of Ireland, its inspiration was a couple of events where soldiers shot civilians in Northen Ireland - the lyrics capture the moment crisply by invoking a cross fire between religion and the military (and by extension the State) and the sad consequences when both collide. 

Until the End of the World


This has proved to be an incredibly popular song from U2's Achtung Baby and has been played on just about every tour U2 have done since that album was released in 1991.

It is semi legendary in U2 fan circles for being a fictional conversation between Jesus and Judas following the betrayal in the garden of Gethsemane. The lyrics hint that Judas regretted his actions and committed suicide.

Tommorrow


A classic earnest lyric from Bono. The October album was definitely Bono on 'God Watch' -  exploring his thoughts around his mother's death and the spectre of meeting Jesus.

Stranger in a Strange Land


The entire lyrics of the song appear to be making an allusion to the Emmaus story from the Bible's Luke 24, where the newly risen from the dead Jesus appears to two disciples as a complete stranger, but miraculously cannot be recognized until he offers bread to the two disciples who have invited him into their abode.


It's hard to discern the actual message of this song. The lyrics possibly suggest the character is living in a world where they need some help and they need some angels to come and sort things out.

The line "where is the hope, and where is the faith, and the love?" hints at a lost soul that needs some guidance in light of a world they are concerned about such one where the cartoon network leads into the news and the blind lead the blondes.

The song featured on the City of Angels soundtrack and was a fairly popular single from the Pop album.

Salome


Salome is inspired the story of the death of John the Baptist which was from the gospel of Mark.

Supposedly a seductive dancer (in the modern day she'd be known as a stripper) Salome's super gyrations convinced the King to grant her a wish to which she asked for the head of John.

Pretty random story and sounds like something that got lost in translation when the Bible got rewritten. It's either that or Oscar Wilde had an over active imagination.

These eight songs where only a taste of the many songs that Bono has imbued with lyrics that refer to the Bible or have looked into an 'ecumenical' matter of sorts - Gloria for example could probably have a whole essay written about it.

What other songs do you think show U2's spiritual side? What do they mean for you?

What is Bono's 'Dream Out Loud' Lyric all about?


What is Bono's 'Dream Out Loud' Lyric all about?


Keen listeners to U2 might have heard Bono sing the lyric 'dream out loud' on a few U2 songs.

Here's a brief run down on what those songs are.

Lucky fans who attended the Love Town Tour in the late 80's might have head Bono first ad lib the line into the live set.

A couple of years later after U2 dreamt it all up again, Achtung Baby's Acrobat featured the lyrics:

"And you can dream
So dream out loud
And don't let the bastards grind you down"

In this case dreaming out loud would appear to be the exercise of getting on with getting your dreams and schemes accomplished.

The coda in the title track of "Zooropa" repeated "dream out loud" as a kind of mantra, which Bono supposedly included as a direct reference to "Acrobat". Given the Zooropa album is often considered a cousin or companion album to Achtung Baby, it's a nice little link that Bono made.

In the Pop era 'dream out loud' was spoken by Bono in the PopMart: Live from Mexico City video.

Finally, dream out load was was also used in the b-side to Beautiful Day in the song "Always'

"Get down off your holy cloud,
always God will not deal with the proud, always
Well if you dream then dream out loud, always
Eternally yours, always"

I think that's it - any other references in his lyrics that Bono has made?

Bono's deeply personal song lyrics about Mothers and Fathers



U2 songs about Mothers and Fathers


All good song writers tap their family tree for lyrical inspiration now and then.

There's been plenty of popular songs that feature lyrics about parents and their children.

A classic example is Cat Steven's Father and Son.

It's with no great surprise then that Bono has chosen to reveal insights to his feeling about his family in a few of U2's songs.

Here's some thoughts about a selected few...

Mofo


Mofo was sixth single flogged from the supposedly terrible Pop, album the lyrics in part refer to Bono's beloved mother, whom he lost at the age of fourteen.


Mothers of the Disappeared


The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, is a unique organization of Argentine women who have become human rights activists in order to achieve a common goal. For over three long decades, the Mothers have fought for the right to re-unite with their abducted children. It was this work that inspired Bono's lyrics.

Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your Own


The lyric was written by Bono as a tribute to his father, Bob Hewson, who died in 2001.

Bono sang this at his funeral.

In the video for the song it was prefaced with the following from Bono:

 "My father worked in the post office by day and sang opera by night. We lived on the north side of Dublin in a place called Cedarwood Road. He had a lot of attitude. He gave some to me - and a voice. I wish I'd known him better."

On Your Own song shares similar parental sentiments as found in Kite from the All That You Can't Leave Behind album.

Tommorrow


The October album was definitely Bono on channeling and challenging his spiritual side - Tomorrow sees him exploring his thoughts around his mother's death and the spectre of her possibly meeting Jesus.


A song from the Grammy Award winning album, Zooropa, The first verse of this the First Time hints sentiments of falling in love for the first time or perhaps truly, madly, deeply falling for someone.

The lyric "I have a lover, a lover like no other" suggests the later perhaps is true.

The second verse refers to the love of a brother who would do anything for his sibling - the word brother could easily stand in for friend here as well. 

The final verse talks of the love between a father and son that perhaps has gone sour.

Collectively these three different settings make for a great story and makes you wonder what kind of person is telling this story and how do those elements relate to one another?

Indeed, there's almost a hint of the Prodigal Son story surrounding the entire fabric of the song. 

I believe in Father Christmas


Written by Greg Lake, I Believe in Father Christmas with a view to making a critque about how Christmas had changed from being a celebration of peace on earth and goodwill to all men, into one huge and disgusting orgy or shopping.

Want to know more about some other U2 lyrics? Check out 10 U2 Love Songs.

Dear Bono, why is Everything I Know Wrong? What do you mean?


Dear Bono, why is everything I know wrong? or 10 Questions to ask Bono!


If I had some kind of miracle opportunity to sit down with U2's Bono I'm not sure where I'd start.

Perhaps we'd start with some red wine, I'd compliment him on his efforts to reduce third world debt and make a joke about George Bush or Trump.

I'd then hit him with these 10 questions about U2, their lyrics and get him to explain why he thinks everything I know is wrong.

10 Questions to ask Bono

  1. What does Salmon Rushie think of the almost surprise success of The Ground Beneath her Feet?
  2. Family is important. What's the most important song in the U2 catalog where the lyrics consider family? It's probably the whole of Songs of Innocence right?
  3. What is the worst lyric you have ever written that was recorded. Is it Salome?
  4. Discuss the lyric 'Dream Out Loud'. Why have you written it into three U2 songs?
  5. Do you ever hear 'lepers in your head'?
  6. If U2 had it's own version Fight Club, what would its rules be? And if anyone in the band had to be Robert Paulson, who would it be?
  7. When I was young and impressionable I had a poster on my wall that featured a Zoo TV concert and its said 'Every Thing You Know is Wrong'. To me as a 17 year old teenager that made perfect sense. As a thirty something with a mortgage, I wondering if should have paid more attention in English class. Bono, how do you know everything I know is wrong?
  8. Have you ever punched The Edge?
  9. Have you ever thrown up on stage?
  10. Does it amuse you that the remix of Even Better Then The Real Thing charted higher than the original version?

10 songs that show Bono's lyrical qualities

10 songs that show Bono's lyrical qualities
What rhymes with achtung?

10 songs that show Bono's lyrical qualities


The one thing that truly stands out for me when thinking about the brilliance of U2 is not their songs, the drums, or riffs.

Nor is it the hype and hyperbole of one of the world's most popular bands.

It's simply Bono's lyrics.

Bono has written the vast majority of U2's lyrics and in many of them you can find some true gems of penmanship, little sparkles of lyrical bliss that took a good song and put it into the territory of musical greatness.

I suggest that while some non U2 fans take any chance to diss Bono, they would be really grumpy buggers if they denied that Bono was a great lyricist.

Like a good poet, Bono's lyrics feature a whole range of subjects - love and loss, drugs, faith, faith in drugs, gods, Elvis and other monsters and of course, politics and its prisoners.

This work leaves ample room for an inquiry into U2's lyrics, especially when The Edge chips in the odd song.


So what are Bono's best lyrical moments and qualities? 



What's his inspiration for putting pen to paper?

What makes Bono's lyrics so well received by millions of listeners and readers around the world?

I can't speak for anyone else but I thought I could share 10 U2 songs which I think highlight Bono's mastery of his craft.

Some things are simply clever word plays, others are stories of delight and irony - a thing which Bono and the boys were very heavy on in the 1990's.

Trabants on stage anyone?

10 songs that show Bono's lyrical qualities


One


Perhaps second only to With Or Without you in terms of popularity, it is arguably U2's finest song and I believe the lyrics are what make this so - I think this is because it's one of those songs where the lyrics can mean anything and everything to anyone.

At work last week a manager did a pop quiz and asked what this song was about. The answers varied from 'it's about a gay couple' or 'two torn lovers'.

I think Bono's actually on record in the U2 by U2 book as One being a song about a couple that's breaking up.

But that doesn't matter as its words are universal and have been taken to heart by so many U2 fans - indeed some have even had it as their wedding song which I'm sure would be a delicious irony for Bono. 

The Wanderer


"They say they want the kingdom but they don't want God in it".

I think that's Bono perfectly capturing the wishes of so many of us.

We want the nice things, but aren't prepared to put in the effort.

Or something.

For me, The Wanderer always seemed like some post apocalyptic dream - and it's perhaps a sign of a great song where it allows you to shape your own thoughts and fantasies around it (well when Bono mentions the 'atomic sky', that's nice nudge).

Indeed, the whole of Zooropa's lyrics seem to take me to a strange other world, where in some places it's OK to feel numb or taste the lemon but spit out antifreeze.

Original of the Species


The title is suggestive of what's to come in this song, a play on Darwin's epic work about evolution - the song's lyrics are possibly a father looking at his daughter's own evolution from - child to woman.

The second half is more likely Bono singing to his wife (and the message in the first half could also before her) - either way both, themes are heartwarming.

If God Will Send His Angels


'Blind leading the blond' is perhaps my favourite U2 lyric ever. It's just a cleverly simply play on words.

Bono does that trick a fair bit in the Pop album - an almost too cute example is from The Playboy Mansion which opens with the lyric "If Coke is a mystery, and Micheal Jackson, history...".

It was a nice play on the failing career of Jackson and a play on the name of his Greatest Hits album.


Sunday Bloody Sunday


Bono defiantly wears this song's lyrics on his sleeve.

A song about soldiers shooting civilians in Northern Ireland - the lyrics capture the moment crisply by invoking a cross fire between religion and the military (and by extension the State) and the sad consequences when both collide.

Featuring a fine use of  a marching drum beat by Larry Mullen, the song's chorus is a defining moment for Bono - it was one of U2's first truly popular 'classic' songs and it many ways this song defined U2 as a band that could carry some political weight.

U2 would return to this theme with "Please" and "The Troubles".
.

Until the End of the World


"In my dream I was drowning my sorrows
But my sorrows, they learned to swim
Surrounding me, going down on me
Spilling over the brim

Waves of regret and waves of joy
I reached out for the one I tried to destroy
You, you said you'd wait
'Til the end of the world"

Simply one of Bono's finest song writing moments.

Water is commonly used as a metaphor life yet here's Bono drowning in his sorrows.

The song can be seen as a obvious story about how Judas betrayed Jesus and thus seen as one of those "U2 going on about God and spiritually" type songs but as with all good lyrics they can mean anything.

I tend to see this one more of a dramatic break up between two lovers where the relationship perhaps has been bit one sided.

The Wanderer


"They say they want the kingdom but they don't want God in it". I think that's Bono perfectly capturing the wishes of so many of us.

We want the nice things, but aren't prepared to put in the effort.

For me, The Wanderer always seemed like some post apocalyptic dream - and it's perhaps a sign of a great song where it allows you to shape your own thoughts and fantasies around it (well when Bono mentions the 'atomic sky', that's nice nudge).

Indeed, the whole of Zooropa's lyrics seem to take me to a  strange other world, where in some places it's OK to feel numb or taste the lemon but spit out antifreeze.

U2 playing live onstage


Not a hugely popular song on release as a single but I think time has shown that Please was a fine song from U2's Pop album.

Lyrically it was a political plea, invoking the captains of Irish politics to sort their messes out.

The listener would perhaps know the song had political connotations if they had seen the cover which featured Gerry Adams and other elected leaders - however this stanza effectively leaves no stone unturned as Bono thows a rock in the air to hit home the issues:

Your Catholic blues, your convent shoes
Your stick-on tattoos, now they're making the news
Your holy war, your northern star
Your sermon on the mount from the boot of your car

Strong stuff from an album many people were quick to write off.


One could be forgiven for thinking that Get on Your Boots was simply a throw away song by U2 ( indeed one wonders why they released it as the first single from No Line on the Horizon when Magnificent probably would have given them a hit single) however the lyrics of this song run deep.

Almost a stream of consciousness, tripping through it's seemingly nonsensical words but when Bono writes "I don’t want to talk about the wars between the nations" he's saying everything or just burying his head in the sand?

This is Bono's finest love letter he has ever written.

The closing from Rattle and Hum is simply a man tell a woman how he loves her - it's perhaps not the happiest song with undertones suggesting things may have gone awry - indeed the tremendous coda at the end suggests a passionate love affair being ripped apart by uncaring forces.

A good lyric deserves a fine musical backing and All I Want is You has it in spades.

Summary

So that was my attempt to highlight some of the fine lyrical qualities and charms that Bono and U2 have to offer.

Of course with any interpretation of songs, the whole exercise is a subjective journey, indeed a musical journey that could have stopped at a completely different set of songs.

Bono is a bit of a lyrical magpie.

He steals lines from the bible and riffs on the work of others (such as when he tried to write a sequel of sorts to John Lennon's 'God') to make his point. But he does that and gets his unique messages across to the listener very well.

If someone hasn't already printed a book featuring all of U2's lyrics, they surely will as they serve as some fine literature in their own right. Throw in some politcal rallying and a little love making and there's a best seller book of poetry on your hands....

What are your favourite lyrical moments from U2?

What's in a name? Innocence and Experience

U2

What's in a album's name? Songs of Innocence and Experience


Now that the dust has settled somewhat with the release of U2's Songs of Innocence, we can take the opportunity to ponder the album's title. 

What's in a name? Where did it come from and what was the inspiration? A little bit of literary digging reveals the title to be a reference to William Blake's work, Songs of Innocence and Experience

What was this work about?

 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.

So why is this relevant to U2?


Bono has centered several songs of the album's lyrics around growing up in Ireland. He said in an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine:

 "We wanted to make a very personal album... Let's try to figure out why we wanted to be in a band, the relationships around the band, our friendships, our lovers, our family. The whole album is first journeys—first journeys geographically, spiritually, sexually"

Iris is about the early loss of his mother. Cedarwood Road is about childhood friends that group up with Bono in the street. The Miracle reflects the influence of the band that The Ramones had on them as young men and even This is Where You Can Find Me Now as an ode to The Clash's Joe Strummer - a man whose songs greatly inspired them.

Raised by Wolves covers a car bombing in Ireland that Bono personally felt close to - real world experiences creeping in as he and his band mates become men.

The affect of William Black on Bono's song writing subjects has not been a recent observation. For a 1997 review of the 'Pop' album, poet Brendan Keneally noted when discussing that album's lyrics:

"We live in an age when sexuality and spirituality are usually treated as completely separate realities despite the fact that down through the ages some of the greatest poets and song-writers identified the presence of the one in the other. Think of Blake's 'Songs of Innocence and Experience', D. H. Lawrence's poems, stories and novels, and some of W. B. Yeats's greatest poems."

Light and dark? She wore lemon, but never in the day light...

But that's not the half of it


The Joshua Tree album was originally intended to open with a track called "Beautiful Ghost". Bono was to recite "Introduction to Songs of Experience" but the recording was dropped in favour of the album opening with Where the Streets have no name, a wise choice. None-the-less it's clear Blake's writings have been on Bono's mind for some time.

In amongst the madness of the release of Songs of Innocence Bono revealed the existence of a second album U2 intend to release, Songs of Experience. It will act as a sister album to Innocence - presumably in the same way the Grammy award wining Zooropa was to U2's career highlight, Achtung Baby.

Perhaps this second album will tell the kind of tales that Blake thought changed children - it would not be new territory for Bono.

Check out the album on Amazon.

How many Grammy Awards have U2 won?

list of U2's Grammy Ward winning songs

What number of Grammy Awards has U2 won?


When you're a band that makes music as good as U2, the rewards and accolades soon start to come your way. So much so, that the moment you hit big, you also hit big with Grammy Awards.

The most coveted of all music prizes, the Grammy Awards are the true measure of success. If they give one to Michael Jackson, you should want one too.

And funnily enough, U2 have won more Grammy's than Wacko Jacko who took 13.

How many? In total, it's 22.

Here's a list of all the Grammy Awards U2 have won, most recent to first.  


2005 - 48TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS

Album Of The Year
How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own

Best Rock Song
City Of Blinding Lights

Best Rock Album
How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb

Song Of The Year
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own

2004 - 47TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS

Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
Vertigo

Best Rock Song
Vertigo

Best Short Form Music Video
Vertigo

2001 - 44TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS

Record Of The Year
Walk On

Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of

Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
Elevation

Best Rock Album
All That You Can't Leave Behind

2000 - 43RD ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS

Record Of The Year
Beautiful Day

Song Of The Year
Beautiful Day

Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
Beautiful Day

1994 - 37TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS

Best Music Video, Long Form

1993 - 36TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS

Best Alternative Music Album

1992 - 35TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS

Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
Achtung Baby

1988 - 31ST ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS

Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal

Best Performance Music Video
Where The Streets Have No Name

1987 - 30TH ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS

Album Of The Year
The Joshua Tree

U2 have also won a Golden Globe Award for their song, 'The Hands that built America' which was used on the soundtrack to Martin Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York film.

U2 have been nominated for two Oscars for Best Original song being The Hands That Built America and also for 'Ordinary Love'. The latter song was inspired by Nelson Mandela and was included on the Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. movie. Neither song won the gong!

How many number one albums has U2 had?

List of U2 number one studio albums

List of U2's number one studio albums 


When you look back at U2's career thus far you can really get an appreciation for all their albums. Starting out as unknown band from Ireland, album by album U2 grew in popularity in the UK and after relentless touring in America U2 made it big with the number one album, The Joshua Tree.

They then have a clear 'middle period' where they went a bit experimental and then returning to their more classic roots beginning with All That You Can't Leave Behind.

So how many number one albums have U2 had?


There are several ways of cutting this as their are so many countries that U2 had number ones in (does a NZ #1 count if you're an American?) so lets do it first by the United Kingdom and then America.

List of U2 number one studio albums from the United Kingdom

So U2 have had 9 number one studio albums on the UK charts. That's not the most though. The Beatles, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie and the Rolling Stones have done as good or better.

Incredibly, Achtung Baby only hit number 2 on the charts. Songs of Innocence made it to number 6 - a very strong showing because U2 released it for free to I-tunes as part of a distribution deal with Apple.

The Joshua Tree has been U2's best selling album, moving approximately 2.8 million copies, making it the 36th most popular selling album of all time. The most popular? Queen's Greatest Hits.

If you were wondering about singles hitting the Top of the Pops, U2 have had 7 UK number ones.
  So, crossing the Atlantic, lets look at how U2's albums have fared in the American Billboard charts.

How many America number one albums has U2 had?


Here's the list of albums that cracked the top of Billboard:
In total U2 have had 8 American number one albums. U2 have a long way to go if they want to catch the Beatles who have had a staggering 19 number one albums! 

If you are wondering about Original Soundtracks Vol 1, don't fret. It's not an official U2 album at all and it's more properly considered a side project with Brian Eno and a supporting list of singers such as Pavarotti. 

It didn't trouble the world wide charts too much either - the highest charting point was number 9 in New Zealand! It made it to 12 in the UK and 76 on the US Billboard charts. 

'I've got you under my skin' lyrics by Bono and Frank Sinatra

Under My Skin lyrics by Bono and Frank Sinatra

'I've got you under my skin' lyrics by Bono and Frank Sinatra

A song with a pedigree of talent. Written by the great song writer Cole Porter and when first sung by Virginia Bruce it became an Oscar nominated song in 1936. 

Frank Sinatra made it his own in 1946. A re-recording in 1966 prove extremely popular an it became a standard to cover.

And then enters Bono.
i've got you under my skin lyrics Bono and U2
Buy the single from Amazon

Bono and the Chairman of the Board recorded it was a duet in 1993 and released it as a double A-Side with the U2 single, Stay (Faraway, So Close) from the Grammy Award winning Zooropa album.

Bono mae a variant to the lyrics when he sang 'don't you know old blue eyes' - a reference to Sinatra himself.

The Four Seasons also had a round around with as has both Michael Buble and Bolton.

U2's I've got you under my skin song lyrics:


I have got you under my skin
I've got you deep in the heart of me
So deep in my heart you're really a part of me
I've got you under my skin

I have tried so not to give in
I have said to myself this affair, never gonna go so well
But why should I try to resist when baby, I know so well
That I've got you under my skin

I would sacrifice anything come what might
For the sake of holding you near
In spite of a warning voice comes in the night
And repeats, and it shout's in my ear

Bono

"Don't you know blue eyes, you never can win
Use your mentality, wake up to reality"
But each time I do just the thought of you
Makes me stop before I begin
Because I've got you under my skin

I'd sacrifice everything come what might
For the sake of having you near
Inspite of a warning voice that comes in the night
And repeats, and it shout's in my ear

"Don't you know you fool, you never can win
Use your mentality, wake up to reality"
But each time that I do just the thought of you
Makes me stop before I begin
'Cause I've got you under my skin
And I love you under my skin

The Real Meaning of 5 U2 Song Lyrics

meaning of U2's song lyrics


The real meaning of 5 U2 Song Lyrics





A classic rock song, can say anything and mean everything.

Look at Oasis's Wonderwall lyrics for example. It's basically a love song but without really actually meaning or saying anything.

To my mind, a really good song is one which has hidden depths - and those depths can usually be found in the lyrics and often in U2 songs.

Here's 5 U2 song lyrics that have some real meaning, and some real bite to them.

God Part II


People often wonder why this song is called Pt II as they've never heard of a U2 song called God before. It's actually intended as a sequel to John Lennon's song called God.

Lennon's song refers to things he didn't believe in such as Hitler - Bono's version also refers to things that he also doesn't believe in but also goes on to refer to how pissed he was at the author Albert Goldman who wrote an unflattering biography of Lennon (and also a bio of Elvis, and given U2's love of Elvis, I'm not surprised Bono made the reference).

Sunday Bloody Sunday 


This one is a pretty obvious song, but newer U2 fans may not realise the historical context and meaning of this song.

It's an exploration of the conflict that can exist between the State, it's people and when religion gets thrown into the mix.

Inspired by two terrible occasions where soldiers shot civilians in Northen Ireland - the lyrics capture these moments crisply by invoking the cross fire that occurred between Ireland's conflicting religions and the military action that was taken - and by extension the State's role in the massacres.

Walk On


This is one of those songs that stray into the say anything, mean anything territory but U2 have put some real context around it to to ensure that it's lyrics are not misunderstood.

Dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi, this song is a freedom song, dedicated to the exponent of democracy and freedom in Mynamar.

Poignantly during the 360 degree tour, U2 played this song at every concert and had supporters of Amnesty International come out on to the stage to show their support for Aung San Suu Kyi and U2's support for the people of Mynammar and their efforts to become a truly democratic society.


Spanish Eyes



Despite stealing lyrics from "She's a rainbow" by the Rolling Stones, Spanish Eyes is a love song to Bono's wife Ali - and she is actually Irish thus confusing the heck out of many U2 fans.

However, it's often thought that Irish people do have eyes that have a hint of Spanish about them so perhaps that's want Bono's lyrics were trying to convey.

This b-side from The Joshua Tree era kind of complements The Sweetest Thing in the sense that it was also a b-side and also a love letter to Ali.

Zooropa


Zooropa is a really crazy song that opens the album of the same name.

Some fans have been confused by the lyrics of the song - they seem so mumble jumbled and make no sense.

The real meaning of the song can be determined when you realise the lyrics are a hodge podge of slogans from famous brands.

Zooropa's lyrics have a running theme of irony, tying in the "media overload" themes of the Zoo TV Tour into the context of a post-Berlin Wall Europe.

The song's lyrics touch on how modern technology can unite people as well as separates  them from each other.

Want more? Check out U2 lyrics that explore Jesus, Yahweh and The Good Book.

'Instrument Flying' song lyrics by U2

'Instrument Flying' song lyrics by U2 from the Songs of Experience album

This is a rumoured title for a new U2 track. Well it's not so much of a rumour, it exists as recorded song. This was confirmed by The Edge and Adam in a recent magazine article as being a thing. 

Is not however confirmed if the 'Instruments Flying' song will make the final cut and appear on U2's next album, Songs of Experience.

Other rumored new U2 songs include, Civilisation, Much More Better and the curiously titled The Little Things That Give You Away.

'Civilization' song lyrics by U2 from the Songs of Experience album


'Civilization' song lyrics by U2 from the Songs of Experience album

'Civilization' song lyrics by U2 from the Songs of Experience album

This is a rumoured title for a new U2 track. Well it's not so much of a rumour, it exists as recorded song. This was confirmed by The Edge and Adam in a recent magazine article. 

What is not confirmed is if 'Civilisation' will make the final cut and appear on U2's next album, Songs of Experience.

'Much More Better' song lyrics by U2

'Much More Better' song lyrics by U2 from the Songs of Experience album

This is a rumoured title for a new U2 song. Well it's not so much of a rumour, it exists as a song title. This was confirmed by The Edge and Adam in a magazine article. What is not confirmed is if 'Much More Better' will make the final cut on U2's next album. 

10 of U2's best songs about love

bono with bikini girls

All You Need Is Love - 10 of U2's songs about love

The Beatles sang that All You Need Is Love and just about every band since has as well so it's no surprise that U2 have song a few songs that ponder the mystery and muscle of it all.

Here's a few songs that either feature the subject love in their lyrics or are clearly love songs or are romantically inclined.

Love is Blindness


A haunting tracking that closed the mighty body of work that was Achtung Baby - the lyrics suggest an quite desperate love where nothing else matters but that love - a deep play on the phrase love is blind but the neighbours aint joke perhaps?

Jack White did an amazing cover of the song.

When Love Comes to Town 


Some men are afraid of love. They'd prefer to hit it and quit before they have to contend with their feelings.

At least that's what this duet between Bono and B.B. King might leave you thinking....

Love Rescue Me


A desperate man calls out for love. It's an aching love lorn fellow that sings this ballad from Rattle and Hum.

Love And Peace Or Else


A rocker from U2 from the How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb album, this is U2's Give Peace A Chance effort - it's basically Bono asking why can't we all just get along in peace and harmony with some peace loving mung beans thrown in for good measure.

Or something.

The deluxe edition of the album has a liner note which says 'don't become a monster in order to defeat a monster' which I think sums up the lyrical intent behind the song and it ties in with Bono's Coexist mantra

So really it's not a love song per say but one that promotes love?

So Cruel


Not all songs don't need to be of a happy kind of love.

 So Cruel's lyrics tell of a person in love with a person that is breaking their heart with their thoughtless ways.

As I listen to the singer's lament, I can't help but feel some sorrow for them.

Hawkmoon 269


Allegedly 269 takes were required to record this song - the character seems to be a love drug addict and needs some love badly and Bono lists the ways he needs it.

Sweetest Thing


This U2 love song is definitely one inspired by real life events for Bono  - it was written for his wife Alison as an apology for missing (or forgetting) her birthday during the recording of The Joshua Tree record.

I wonder if Bono owed Alison another song after the featured picture of Bono above with the two bikini girls came out?

Originally featured as a U2 b-side on the Where the Streets Have No Name single, The Sweetest Thing was revamped and released as a single to support U2's first Greatest Hits album. Bono gave the rights to the song to his wife Alison who then used the royalties for charitable purposes.

One Love

A strident, upbeat love song that celebrates the characters's love for his woman - or indeed possibly love for his god.

That's a classic song writer's trick - making the lyrics open to interpretation helps increase the song's broad appeal amongst listeners.

The lyric "I was born I was born to be with you " is a nice romantic line to tell a woman - however the verse below is suggestive of praise to the character's creator..... 

"I was born
I was born to sing for you
I didn't have a choice
But to lift you up
And sing whatever song you wanted me to"


The first verse of this song suggests sentiments of falling in love for the first time or perhaps truly, madly, deeply falling for someone - the lyric "I have a lover, a lover like no other" suggests the later perhaps is true - indeed that line would be a great compliment to any woman (or man!).

The second verse refers to the love of a brother who would do anything for his sibling - the word brother could easily stand in for friend here as well.

The final verse talks of the love between a father and son that perhaps has gone sour.

Collectively these three different settings make for a great story and makes you wonder what kind of person is telling this story and how do those elements relate to one another?


A love song made famous by the Righteous Brothers, this was covered by U2 as a b-side on the With or Without You single. My wife and I played it at our wedding so enough said!

There plenty of other U2 songs out there that refer to love or sing about it without saying the words - what are your favorites?

Check out the lyrics to Ordinary Love by U2 as well.

Sick of love and lust? Want to bite your teeth into something more serious? How about some U2 songs's with lyrics about nuclear politics?