Review of U2's Songs of Experience


U2's Songs of Experience album review


This album has been a long time coming. When Songs of Innocence 'fell out of the sky' from nowhere, Bono was quick to mention U2 had actually recorded two albums and would be releasing a companion album as a fast follower.

Well, no one listens to Bono so when he said it was coming in 2016, we knew he meant 2019 so it's with some listening pleasure we are reviewing Songs of Experience in late 2017.

And it is a  genuine companion album to Songs of Innocence by several means.

The inspiration is of course William Blake's book of poetry which casts life into the two groups of innocence and experience, the lyrics of Bono which are hugely introspective of his life (every song could be about himself or his wife) and by way of two songs taking musical cues from Volcano and Song for Someone from the first album.

So, here's our review on a track by track basis:

Love is all we have left


A mild opening track which sets a sombre tone for the album. Atmospheric and it largely works except for the ridiculous vocal manipulation done midway through. Could not be more of a different album opener than Discotheque if you tried. There's clearly going to be no tounge in cheek or village people on album.

Woah, a bomb track straight off the board. Bland, uninspiring, how the heck did this song get through the band's internal vetting processes?

The first single, and a great U2 track. A zippy chorus that gets better and better with each listen. This song is kind of almost by-the-numbers single but U2 has always had better numbers than any band.  It's comparable to Magnificent from No Line on the Horizon in that sense.

Get Out of Your Own Way


Another single, that promises much when it evokes the opening of Where The Streets Have No Name but doesn't get quite to that level of glory. A firm track to back up the first single and a real grower with each listen.

The one with Kendrick Lamar marshaling comment on rich people and maybe Donald Trump. Another American love letter from the band to America. They sure do write a lot about the US of A!

The chorus is a direct lift from Songs of Innocence's Volcano and easily improves on what was a weak track from that album.

Another stray from the rescue home. Could have done with a bit more TLC before being released back into the wild. Has a nice melody.

Now we are talking. The first genuinely brilliant song with a chorus hook to die for. A classic song in the sense that it's a upbeat song where the lyrics focus on the utterly depressing subject of Syrian refugees. The structure and feel also harks back to very early U2 tracks found on Boy and War. Excellent drumming. 

The Showman (Little More Better) 


If ever U2 were ever to write a proper Irish song that could be song across pubs around the world when the punters are up for a tune, this is it. 

This one of the best songs U2 have written in a decade. With a wonderful melody and a sing along chorus to die for. 10 out of 10. Instantly goes into my top 5 U2 songs.

Would have loved to have seen how this would have gone as the first or second single released.

Reminds me of a glorious pop song of the sixties that I just can't recall. 

A love ballad in pace, with lyrics that seem to be about Bono reflecting on his past life. The way Bono sings it is almost confessional. A potential live favourite. 

Landlady

A clear love note from Bono to his wife Ali. Slow and plodding but builds nicely. 

The rocker song on the album, this has STADIUM written all over it. A filthy base line from Adam Clayton and his best in many an album. Strong echoes of Achtung Baby and Zoo Station. 

A filler track, but better than Lights of Home. Like many tracks on this album, a slow starter that land quite well at the end. 

The most beautifully haunting song on this album. Borrowing heavily from the wonderful Song for Someone this is U2's equivalent of Metallica's Unforgiven II.

Simply superb and it continues U2's song tradition of really good album closing tracks. 

Review Summary

U2 will never record another Achtung Baby but we can still expect them to record cracker songs and a handful of those have been delivered with this album.

A genuine surprise that the Lights of Home is so genuinely bad but that can be quickly over looked by the big singles and sing-a-long tracks that far outweigh any complaints.

Despite Bono's rhetoric' about American President Donald Trump being the basis for a lyrical rewrite on many songs, the effect is negligible - maybe there's a dig about him as a dinosaur in The Blackout and a bit of a sledge in American Soul but that would be about it. 

A strong effort from U2 and they should be proud that they have made a true companion album.

Many bands are afraid to try new things so as to not upset the gravy train but yet again the biggest band in the world has got their hands dirty.  

"Get Out Of Your Own Way" lyrics by U2

"Get Out Of Your Own Way" song lyrics by U2


Found on the Songs of Experience album, Bono said of the lyrics "I've tried to use some biting irony to reflect the anger out on the streets."

The official video was recorded in Mexico City. Kendrick Lamar has a spoken word cameo at the end of the song which serves as the introduction to American Soul.

U2's 'Get Out Of Your Own Way' lyrics



Get out of your own way. Hey ay
Get out of your own way. Hey ha

Love hurts
Now you've look out, whose left with no words ?
Your hearts a balloon but then it bursts
It doesn't take a cannon just a pin
Your skin's recovering

And resistance
Love has got to fight for its existence
The enemy has armies for assistance
The amorist, the glamorous, the kiss
A fist, listen to this, oh
Get out of your own way. Hey oh
Get out of your own way. Hey ha

I could sing it to ya all night, all night
If I could, I'd make it alright, alright
Nothing's stopping you except what's inside
I can help you, but it's your fight, your fight.

Fight back, don't take it lying down you've got to bite back

The face of liberty is starting to crack
She had a plan until she got a smack in the mouth and it all went south like freedom. 

The slaves are looking for someone to lead 'em
The master's looking for someone to need him.
The promised land is there for those who need it most and Lincoln's ghost says

Get out of your own way. Oh uh
Get out of your own way. Oh Uh

Your fight, your fight!

I could sing it to ya all night, all night
If I could, I'd make it alright, alright
Nothing's stopping you except what's inside
I can help you, but it's your fight, your fight

Get out of your own way.
Get out of your own way.

Edge does a mini solo.

Get out of your own way.
Get out of your own way.
Get out of your own way.

Kendrick Lamar's cameo part:

Blessed are the arrogant who dares the kingdom of their own company
Blessed are the superstars for the magnificence in their light, we understand better our own insignificance
Blessed are the filthy rich, for you can only truly own what you give away, like your pain...

u2 band

13 (There Is A Light) song lyrics by U2

' 13 (There Is A Light) ' song lyrics by U2

The final track and thirteenth track on Songs of Experience, 13 (There Is A Light) is apparently written by Bono with his sons in mind.

It is a direct call back to Song for Someone which was a key single from Songs of Innocence. The band has taken the melody and a key lyric (there is a light) and used it as a fine ending to the album.

There is a Light song lyrics:


And if the terrace of the night
Come creeping into your days
And the world comes steeling children from your room
Got your innocence from hallucination
I know that darkness always gathers around the light

If there is a light
We can't always see
And there is a world
We can't always be
If there is a dark
Now we shouldn't doubt
And there is a light
Don't let it go out

When the wind screams and shouts
And the sea is a dragon's tail
And the ship that stole your heart away
Sets sail

When all you've left is leaving
And all you got is grieving
And all you know is needing

If there is a light
We can't always see
And there is a world
We can't always be
If there is a dark
Now we shouldn't doubt
And there is a light
Don't let it go out

'Cause this is a song
A song for someone
Someone like me

I know the world is done
But you don't have to be
I've got a question for the child in you before it leaves
Are you tough enough to be kind?
Do you know your heart has its own mind?
Darkness gathers around the light
Hold on
Hold on

There is a light
We can't always see
If there is a world
We can't always be
If there is a dark
That we shouldn't doubt
And there is a light
Don't let it go out

And this is a song
A song for someone
This is a song
A song for someone
Someone like me
Someone like me
Someone like me

It is not a cover of the Smiths' song, There Is A Light, That Never Goes Out

Landlady song lyrics by U2

Landlady lyrics by U2

'Landlady' song lyrics by U2


Landlady is a song on U2's Songs of Experience.

The Landlady Bono is referring to is most likely his with Ali.

It would seem that several songs are inspired by here - as given this is an album about experiences, many pivotal moments in Bono's live are with her but as usual all songs are open to interpretation.

Landlady lyrics


Roam, the phone is where I live till I get home
And when the doorbell rings you tell me that I have a key
I ask you how you know it's me
The road, no road without a turn and if there was
The road would be too long
What keeps us standing in this view
Is the view that we can be brand new

Landlady takes me up in the air
I go, I go where I would not dare
Landlady shows me the stars up there
I'm weightless, weightless when she is there
And I'll never know, never know what starving poets meant
Cos' when I was broke, it was you that always paid the rent

Space, her place is where I found my parking space
And when I'm losing ground, you know she gives it back to me
She whispers don't do just be

Landlady takes me up in the air
I go, I go where I would not dare
Landlady shows me the stars up there
I'm weightless, weightless when she is there
And I'll never know, never know what starving poets meant
Cos' when I was broke, it was you that always paid the rent

Every wave that broke me
Every song that wrote me
Every dawn that woke me
Was to get me home to you to see
Every soul that left me
Every heart that kept me
The strangers that protected me
To bring me back to you
Every magic potion
Every false emotion
I was swerving our devotion
To the lies we know are almost true
Every sweet confusion
Every grand illusion
I will win and call it losing
If the prize is not for you

Check out Book of Your Heart's lyrics which was a bonus track from the Songs of Experience album.

Book Of Your Heart lyrics by U2

U2's 'The Book Of Your Heart' lyrics from Songs of Experience

U2's 'Book Of Your Heart' lyrics from Songs of Experience (Deluxe Version)

Bono said of the song's meaning "Yeats has this phrase, he says he 'desires a poetry as cold and as passionate as the dawn', and I wanted to write about the cold passion of great relationships.... It's about the knowingness that you need to help get your partner through their life, and vice versa."

Lyrics:

Right at the start
You put this into words
How you think we should proceed, yeah

You wanted me alone
With the pictures that you've seen
Of where you haven't been
But where you want to go

Ask the leaf and ask the bird
Not to sing or speak a word
We are not fictitious characters
But we don't belong to this world

The book, the book of your heart
One tiny mark, an entry
In the book of your heart
It's written on skin
To even be in
The book of your heart

You can change your name, or even who you are
That's the beauty of the scar
That is the contract of the heart
This is our wedding day
This is the promise that we'll stay
Through the long descriptive passages
Where we don't know what to say

This song is only available as part of the deluxe version of the Songs of Experience album. 

What songs does The Edge sing on?

What U2 lyrics does The Edge sing?

What U2 songs does the Edge sing on?


The Edge sings on plenty of U2 songs as back up vocalist, often sharing those duties with Larry. 


Here's a couple of songs where The Edge has taken the lead vocal duty. Clicking on the song name with take you to the lyrics.


Numb


"Numb" was released as the Zooropa's first single. Numb is a repeating, monotonous mantra spoken by The Edge with a drumbeat sampled from the Leni Riefenstahl film Olympia. 


"Numb" also features backing vocals by Bono and Larry Mullen, Jr i.e. while the The Edge sings in a slow monotone while Bono sings around it in his 'opera' voice.

Here's the video of Numb as it's a classic!

Van Dieman's Land was the original name used by Europeans for the island of Tasmania, Australia. The lyrics were written and sung by U2's one and only The Edge. 

The song is dedicated to a Fenian poet named John Boyle O'Reilly, who was deported to Australia because of his poetry and Fenian leanings. 

The track itself is from Rattle and Hum.


Sunday Bloody Sunday


During the Pop Mart tour, The Edge took lead vocal duties live on stage for this song. Edge sang alone and without accompaniment from the rest of the U2 band, save for his own guitar.


You're The Best Thing About Me


From Songs of Experience, The Edge sings a full verse near the end of the song:

"I can see it all so clearly
I can see what you can’t see
I can see you lover her loudly
When she needs you quietly"

The Edge is also noted as singing the the first half of the song "Seconds" from War, dual vocals with Bono in "Discotheque" from the Pop album, and the bridge in the song "Miracle Drug" (though there's some debate about that).

Watch U2's 'You're The Best Thing About Me' video


You're The Best Thing About Me now has an official U2 video!

Featuring the city of New York, the video follows the band checking out the sights of the city, playing pool and downing a few beers, just as you would expect from some Dublin lads.



The imagery of the Statue of Liberty is no coincidence - Bono has said that many of the songs on Songs of Experience are a commentary on the American Presidency of Donald Trump (check out American Soul for example or his live lyric change to Bullet the Blue Sky on the Jimmy Fallon show).


Love Is All We Have Left lyrics by U2

 Love Is All We Have Left song lyrics by U2

 Love Is All We Have Left song lyrics by U2


A song confirmed by Bono to be on the Songs of Experience album.

Bono said this to Rolling Stone Magazine about the song:


"There's nothing to stop this being the best day ever." In the second verse, innocence admonishes experience: "Now you're at the other end of the telescope, seven billion stars in her eyes, so many stars so many ways of seeing, hey, this is no time not to be alive."

It's a chilling moment – in the chorus I was pretending to be Frank Sinatra singing on the moon, a sci-fi torch song "love, love is all we have left, a baby cries on the doorstep, love is all we have left."

Lyrics:


Nothing to stop this being the best day ever
Nothing to keep us from where we should be
I wanted the world but you knew better
And that all we have is immortality

Don't close your eyes

Love and love is all we have left
A baby cries on a doorstep
Love is all we have left
Love and love is all we have left
You argue because you can't accept
Love is all we have left

Now you're at the other end of the telescope
Seven billion stars in her eyes
So many stars
So many ways of seeing
Hey this is no time not to be alive

Love and love is all we have left
A baby cries on a doorstep
Love is all we have left

Love and love is all we have left
The only thing that can be kept
Love is all we have left



'The Lights Of Home' lyrics by U2

'The Lights Of Home' lyrics by U2 THE EDGE

'The Lights Of Home' lyrics by U2 from Songs of Experience 


The Lights of Home song has been confirmed by The Edge in an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine and it will appear on the Songs of Experience album.

The Edge revealed that the original name of the song was "The Lights in Front of Me".

The song also features guest vocals from Haim, in part because it samples their song "My Song 5.

Bit of a theme appearing on SEO when matched with Blackout?

Lyrics

The Edge has revealed in an interview a sneak peak at a line:

"I shouldn't be here cuz I should be dead / I believe my best days are ahead."

It's Bono's reflection of a health scare he had which appears to have been a heart attack.

Lyrics to Lights of Home

Shouldn't be here 'cause I should be dead
I can see the lights in front of me
I believe my best days are ahead
I can see the lights in front of me
Oh Jesus if I'm still your friend
What the hell
What the hell you got for me
I gotta get out from under my bed
I can see again the lights in front of me
Hey I've been waiting to get home a long time
Hey now, do you know my name
Hey now, where I'm going
If I can't get an answer
In your eyes I see it
The lights of home
The lights of home
I was born from a screaming sound
I can see the lights in front of me
I thought my head was harder than ground
I can see the lights in front of me
One more push and I'll be born again
One more road you can't travel with a friend
Saw a statue of a gold guitar
Bright lights right in front of me
Hey, I've been waiting to get home a long time
Hey now, do you know my name
Hey now, where I'm going
If I can't get an answer
In your eyes I see it
The lights of home
The lights of home
Hey now, do you know my name
Hey now, where I'm going
If I can't get an answer
In your eyes I see it
In your eyes alone
I see the lights of home
Free yourself to be yourself
If only you could you see yourself
If only you could free yourself to be yourself
If only you could see yourself
If only you could free yourself to be yourself
If only you could see yourself
If only you could free yourself to be yourself
If only you could see yourself
If only you could see

"Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way" lyrics by U2

"Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way" lyrics by U2

"Love Is Bigger Than Anything In Its Way" lyrics by U2 from Songs of Experience


This is a title of a song that Bono mentioned in the lead up to the release of the Songs of Experience album and it seems very likely that it will make the final album track listing.

We suspect this is the longest U2 song title ever?

Lyrics


The door is open to go through
If I could I would come too
But the path is made by you
As you're walking start singing and stop talking

Oh, if I could hear myself when I say
Oh, love is bigger than anything in its way

So young to be the words of your own song
I know the rage in you is strong
Write a world where we can belong
To each other and sing it like no other

Oh, if I could hear myself when I say
Oh, love is bigger than anything in it's way

If the moonlight caught you crying on Killiney Bay
Oh sing your song
Let your song be sung
If you listen you can hear the silence say
When you think you're done
You've just begun

Love is bigger than anything in its way
Love is bigger than anything in its way
Love is bigger than anything in its way


Songs that are confirmed on the track list of the SOE album thus far are The Black Out, You're The Best Thing About Me, and The Little Things That Give You Away.

Bullet the Blue Sky Live 2017 lyrics from Jimmy Fallon

Bullet the Blue Sky Jimmy Fallon lyrics

As U2 promote the Songs of Experience album, they did another stint on Jimmy Fallon to promote You're the Best Thing About Me and matched it with a revamped set of lyrics to their fan favourite song, Bullet the Blue Sky.

The lefties at Twitter incorporated will not be happy:

BTBS starts with the classic U2 lyrics but when Bono gets to the standard rant about USA meddling in the politics of another country, he ups the ante:

In the howlin' wind
Comes a stingin' rain
See it drivin' nails
Into the souls on the tree of pain.
From the firefly
A red orange glow
See the face of fear
Runnin' scared in the valley below.

Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue
Bullet the blue.

In the locust wind
Comes a rattle and hum.
Jacob wrestled the angel
And the angel was overcome.
You plant a demon seed
You raise a flower of fire.
We see them burnin' crosses
See the flames, higher and higher.

Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue sky
Bullet the blue
Bullet the blue

Suit and tie comes up to me
Face orange as a rose on a thorn bush
Skin as thin as orange crush
And he's peeling off those dollar bills
Slapping them down
One hundred
Two hundred

I can see those fighter planes

I can see those fighter planes

WMD in their veins


Ground shakes but the children can’t weep
Vaporized in a single tweet
The emperor rises from his golden throne
Never knowing, never BEING known
The lights are on the presidents home
Oh my god I’ve never felt so alone
Outside its America
Outside its America

In a far off palace in a far-fetched land
Another baby plays a baby grand
Fingers on the keys of a siren song
Finger on the button of oblivion
And all I can think of is my son

All I can think of is my son
He misses his ma, misses his da
And he runs
And he runs
And he runs
Into the arms of america

-
If you were wondering, the lyrical change is a reference to Donald Trump and that guy oppressing the people of North Korea.

U2's Blackout is coming....

black out u2

Some American U2 fans* have been receiving the above letter in the mail and posting them online. It looks like the marketing for U2's Songs of Experience has begun....

It also implies that Blackout is indeed a new song from the album.

* We guess they are part of the official U2 fan club.

American Soul lyrics by U2

america soul lyrics u2

American Soul lyrics by U2 from Songs of Experience


Bono once mentioned in an interview but that could mean anything however Bono has kept referring to the song in radio interviews and in a Rolling Stone Magazine.

Bono hinted that the lyrical meaning the the song is a comment on the leadership of American President Donald Trump and that is serves as a a 'letter' to the people of America.

Kendrick Lamar also used a snippet of the song as a sample on his own song, XXX.

Blessed are the bullies
For one day they will have to stand up to themselves
Blessed are the liars
For the truth can be awkward

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

It’s not a place
This country is to me a thought
That offers grace
For every welcome that is sought

You are rock’n’roll

You and I are rock’n’roll
You are rock’n’roll
Came here lookin’ for American Soul

It’s not a place
This is a dream the whole world owns
The pilgrim’s face
It had your heart to call her home

Hold on, brother John
Too many mothers weeping
Dream on, brother John
In your dreams you can’t be sleeping

You are rock’n’roll
You and I are rock’n’roll
You are rock’n’roll
Came here lookin’ for American Soul
American, American

Put your hands in the air
Hold up the sky
It could be too late
But we still gotta try

There’s a moment in a life
Where the soul can die
In a person, in a country
When you believe the lie
The lie, the lie, the lie

There's a promise at the heart
Of every good dream
It's a call to action
Not to fantasy

The end of the dream
The start of what's real
Let it be unity
Let it be community
For refugees like you and me
A country to receive us
Will you be my sanctuary
RefuJesus

You are rock’n’roll
You and I are rock’n’roll
You are rock’n’roll
Came here lookin’ for American Soul

You are rock’n’roll
You and I are rock’n’roll
You are rock’n’roll
Came here lookin’ for American Soul
American Soul, American Soul

Here's the lyric video:




american soul song lyrics by u2

Songs of Experience album track list & lyrics by U2



Songs of Experience Track list order & 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.

Songs of Experience lyrics by U2
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

'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. You're the Best Thing About Me
  2. Red Flag Day
  3. The Showman (Much More Better)

U2's The Blackout song lyrics

the black out lyrics by u2

'The Blackout ' is a confirmed song on U2's Songs of Experience album.


The Blackout was released on 31 August 2017 as a promotional track for Songs of Experience. It features a live performance video of the song at the Gashouder, live venue in Amsterdam.

Bono has said of the lyrics' meaning that the song started "off its life about a more personal apocalypse, some events in my life that more than reminded me of my mortality but then segued into the political dystopia that we're heading towards now.

"Dinosaur, wonders why it still walks the earth. A meteor promises it's not going to hurt" would have been a funny line about an aging rock star. It's a little less funny if we're talking about democracy and old certainties – like truth. "

It's a commentary on Bono's reaction to Donald Trump's politics.

The Blackout Song Lyrics by U2


A dinosaur wonders why it still walks the earth, yeah
A meteor promises it's not gonna hit, yeah
Earthquakes always happen when you're in bed, Fred
The house shakes
Maybe it was something I said, Ned

Go easy on me
Easy on me, brother
Go easy on me
Easy on me now

When the lights go out
And you throw yourself about
In the darkness where you learn to see
When the lights go out
Don't you ever doubt
The light that we can really be

Statues fall
Democracy's flat on it's back, Jack
We had it all
And what we had is not coming back, Zach
A big mouth says the people
They don't wanna be free for free
A blackout
Is this an extinction event we see

Go easy on me
Easy on me, brother
Go easy on me
Easy on me now

When the lights go out
And you throw yourself about
In the darkness where you learn to see
When the lights go out
Don't you ever doubt
The light that we can really be
When the lights go out
When the lights go out
When the lights go out
When the lights go out

Blacked out, it's clear
Who you are will appear
Blacked out, no fear
So glad that you are all still here
Here

When the lights go out
When the lights go out
When the lights go out

When the lights go out
And you throw yourself about
In the darkness where you learn to see
When the lights go out
Don't you ever doubt
The light that we can really be

When the lights go out
When the lights go out
When the lights go out
The lights


You're the Best Thing About Me was released as the official single from the Songs of Experience album on September 8 2017. That was a Wednesday for any of you trainspotters...

U2 songs that reference nuclear bombs and other horrors

u2 protesting nuclear power plant

U2 songs that reference nuclear bombs and other horrors


U2 are known for their political views and agitation to get policy change but where as a band like Rage Against the Machine would be all in your face – U2 are just as obvious but less angry – their last tour featured members of Amnesty International coming out on state during Walk On – a song dedicated to Aung San Suu Kyi,  a Burman political prisoner and Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Both band’s lyrics also push the barrel of whatever agenda they have – a long standing on for U2 has been referencing atomic war and nuclear issues.

U2 also once famously protested against the Sellafeild nuclear plant by colluding with Greenpeace to stage an event on a beach near the site that was contaminated with radiation as the result of the power plant’s activities.

As far as I can figure the earliest U2 song lyrics that refers to atomic bombs is from the non album single, Celebration where Bono sarcastically shares that he believes in the following three things:

“I believe in the third world war
I believe in the atomic bomb
I believe in the powers that be but they won't overpower me”

That was as far back as 1982.

Seconds from the popular War album is another early U2 songs to make direct references to atomic bombs

“And they're doing the atomic bomb
Do they know where the dance comes from
Yes, they're doing the atomic bomb
They want you to sing along

Bono said to the NME music magazine in 1983 of the song:

 "There is a line in 'Seconds' about a fanatic assembling a nuclear device in an apartment in Times Square, New York, but it could be anywhere. We are now entering the age of nuclear terrorism where a group of fanatics could have the capabilities of bringing a bomb into a city and holding millions of people to ransom."

The Unforgettable Fire was released in 1984 in a time when the world was worrying itself sick about the arms race between the US and the Russians. Bono was inspired by a collection of paintings collectively known as The Unforgettable Fire which was a reference to atomic bombs being dropped in the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Ngagasaki. 

Says the Edge of the art display (in the book U2: Into the Heart: The Stories Behind Every Song) "the image of that purging quality, coupled with the insight it gave into the horror of nuclear holocaust, stuck in Bono's mind".

It is perhaps ironic then the lyrics to song The Unforgettable Fire do not reference anything nuclear or atomic!

The Wanderer, featuring country and western legend Johnny Cash from the Zooropa album was definitely suggestive of being set in a post apocalyptic world set under an 'atomic sky'. Lyrically it featured a character that appeared to be struggling to find some kind of spiritual identity.

Another U2 album title also referred to atomic bombs in a most direct fashion – How to Dismantle An Atomic Bomb was a popular album that had a bonus track Fast Cars which gave the answer to the album’s question – one dismantles an atomic bomb with love.

Are there any other U2 lyrics that refer to nuclear issues?

Check out this other article that discusses Bono's lyric writing abilities

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

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.

'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

Found on the Songs of Experience album, it's U2 reach fine form. 

'Summer of Love' song lyrics by U2


The winter
Doesn't want you
It haunts you
Summer serenadings
A long way
From this frozen place
Your face
Our teacher
Our preacher
It's nature
And like flowers growing in a bomb crater
From nothing
A rose
It grows

I've been thinking about the West Coast
Not the one that everyone knows
I'm sick of living in the shadows
We have one more chance before the light goes
For a summer of love
A summer of love

We're freezing
We're leaving
Believing
That all we need is to head over somewhere
In a summer
To come
So we run

I've been thinking about the West Coast
Not the one that everyone knows
I'm sick of living in the shadows
We have one more chance before the light goes
For a summer of love
A summer of love

Oh and when all is lost
When all is lost we find out what remains
Oh the same oceans crossed
The suns pleasure
The sun it's pink

I've been thinking about the West Coast
Not the one that everyone knows
In the rubble of Aleppo
Flowers blooming in the shadows
For a summer of love
A summer of love


'Red Flag Day' lyrics by U2

'Red Flag Day' lyrics by U2

'Red Flag Day' lyrics by U2 from the Songs of Experience album.


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

Red Flag Days can several things  - no parking days, a warning sign, fire danger.  Bono seems to be talking about swimming between the flags, as one does in the presence of swimming life guards at the beach.

The lyrics of this song possibly have a call back to Every Breaking Wave from Songs of Innocence.

U2's Red Flag Day song lyrics


I am made of all that I'm afraid of
I'm most afraid of losing you
Hell's a season
You're the reason that I even dreamt of getting through
I, I can feel your body shaking
I, I will meet you where the waves are breaking

Baby it's a Red Flag Day
Baby let's get in the water
Taken out by a wave
Where we've never been before

Baby it's a Red Flag Day
Baby let's go a bit further
Paradise is a place
You can see when it's yours
Red Flag Day
Red Flag Day

Sun comes here and oceanic feeling
Sky will soon be clear
Today we can't afford to be afraid of what we fear
I, I can feel your body shaking
I, I will meet you where the waves are breaking

Baby it's a Red Flag Day
Baby let's get in the water
Taken out by a wave
Where we've never been before

Baby it's a Red Flag Day
Baby let's go a bit further
Paradise is a place
You can see when it's yours

Red Flag Day
Baby it's a Red Flag Day
Red Flag Day

Not even news today
So many lost in the sea last night
One word that the sea can’t say
Is no, no, no, no

Baby it's a Red Flag Day
Red Flag Day
Baby it's a Red Flag Day
Baby let's get in the water

Other tracks from Songs of Experience:

"The Showman" lyrics by U2

U2's The Showman lyrics

U2's The Showman (Much More Better) 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." Which sounds fair as most U2 lyrics are about subjects other than the band (Bono has written a lot about his mom and dad though!)

Sure it isn't Bono! There's no way U2 can pull out some Rubber Soul magic at this point in their career, they've already had Achtung Baby and The Joshua Tree success! Right?

Bono also made a tellingly contradictory comment on the lyrical meaning of the song  in an interview he gave to Rolling Stone Magazine, prior to the release of the Song of Experience album,:

"There's a song called "The Showman" which is a letter to our audience, it's kind of about performers and how you shouldn't trust them too much. It's about me, haha."

Which just like the line in the song about trusting singers, you can't trust Bono when he is waxing lyrical!

The Showman (Much More Better) lyrics


Baby's crying cause it's born to sing
Singers cry about everything
Still in the playground falling off a swing
But you know that I know

Walk through the room like a birthday cake
When I am all lit up, I can't make a mistake
And there's a level of shallow that you just can't fake
But you know that I know

Oh you don't care
But you know I'm there

You think you look so good
A little more better
Look so good
Just a little more little more
Look so good
That's what's gonna get you
Look so good
Just a little more little more

You know you're chasing the sunlight
That's why I'm stayin' up all night
You think you look so good
A little more better
Look so good
A little more

It is what it is but it's not what it seems
This screwed up stuff is the stuff of dreams
I got just enough low self esteem
To get me where I want to go

The showman gives you front row to his heart
The showman prays his heartache will chart
Making a spectacle of falling apart
Is just the start of the show

Oh you don't care
But you know I'm there

You think you look so good
A little more better
Look so good
Just a little more little more
Look so good

That's what's gonna get you
Look so good
Little more, little more

I'll be chasing the sunlight
That's why I'm staying up all night
I lie for a living, I love to let on
But you make it true when you sing along

You think you look so good
A little more better
Look so good
Just a little more little more
Look so good
That's what's gonna get you
Look so good
Just a little more, little more

You think you look so good
A little more better
Look so good
Just a little more little more
Look so good
That's what's gonna get you
Look so good
Just a little more, little more

Other songs from SOE:
You're The Best Thing About Me was the first single to be released from the Songs of Experience album.

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 by 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. It definitely had nothing to do with anything Darth Vader said in Star Wars.

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.