Review of Songs of Experience


This album has been a long time coming. When Songs of Innocence 'fell out of the sky' from no where, 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 a long 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. 

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.  

U2 Songs of Experience and Innocence Tour Dates 2018

U2's Experience + Innocence Tour Dates for 2018


U2 will go on the road in 2018 to support the new album Songs Of Experience with the Experience + Innocence tour

Dates:

May 2: Tulsa, BOK Center
May 4: St. Louis, Scottrade Center
May 7: San Jose, SAP Center
May 11: Las Vegas, T-Mobile Arena
May 15: Los Angeles, The Forum
May 22: Chicago, United Center
May 26: Nashville, Bridgestone Arena
May 28: Atlanta, Infinite Energy Arena
June 5: Montreal, Bell Centre
June 9: Uniondale (NY), NYCB Live/Nassau Coliseum
June 13: Philadelphia, Wells Fargo Center
June 17: Washington DC, Capital One Arena
June 21: Boston, TD Garden
June 25: New York City, Madison Square Garden
June 29: Newark, Prudential Center

This is clearly the first leg of the tour, more dates will be added as U2 goes beyond America. 

"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 studio 

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.

Landlady lyrics


Roam, the phone is where I live til 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

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

What's in an album name? Innocence and Experience

U2

What's in an 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 on how 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 is 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...

Interesting, Bono was proclaimed the album was going to be called Songs of Ascent which I think was a reference to the Psalms of the Christian bible.

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.

Released some 3 years after SOI, it acts as a direct companion album to Innocence - presumably in the same way the Grammy award wining Zooropa was a very close cousin 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. Indeed, the official word from U2 described the album's lyrical meaning as:

'While Songs of Innocence charted the band’s earliest influences and experiences in the late 1970s and early 80s, the new album is a collection of songs in the form of intimate letters to places and people close to the singer’s heart; family, friends, fans, himself

Check out the the Songs of Innocence album on Amazon and the new single from Songs of Experience, You're The Best Thing About Me and the ripper of a track, The Blackout.

"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.

'You’re The Best Thing About Me ' U2 song lyrics

you're the best thing about me cover art and lyrics


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


You’re The Best Thing About Me is from the Songs of Experience album. Official, it was the first single to be released.

A song called Blackout was released as a live video earlier.

The blue cover art features the Edge's Daughter.

A remix on the song has been released. It's called "You're the Best Thing About Me (U2 Vs. Kygo)", Kygo being the remixer. This is a return to past U2 roots - as in the 1990's U2 were really into remixes - the Paul Oakenfold version of Even Better than the Real thing charted higher than the original! U2 have also released two other versions of the song, an acoustic version and a 'sci-fi soul mix' which is intended to be the preferred format for radio stations.

The lyrics meaning are almost cryptic. Bono said this about the song to Rolling Stone Magazine:

"We must resist surrendering to melancholy for only the most special moments. That's a long way to say check our new single out, "You're the Best Thing About Me," it's kind of like punk Supremes."

Poets eh?

'You’re The Best Thing About Me ' song lyrics by U2



When you look so good
The pain in your face doesn’t show
When you look so good
And baby, you don’t even know

When the world is ours
But the world is not your kind of thing
Full of shooting stars
Brighter as they’re vanishing

Oh, you’ve seen enough
To know it’s children who teach
You’re still free enough
To wake up on a bed or a beach

You’re the best thing about me
The best thing that ever happened
A boy
You’re the best thing about me
I’m the kind of trouble that you enjoy
You’re the best thing about me
The best things are easy to destroy
You’re the best thing about me
The best thing about me

I been crying out
How bad can a good time be
Shooting off my mouth
That’s another great thing about me

I have everything
But I feel like nothing at all
There’s no risky thing
For a man who’s determined to fall

You’re the best thing about me
The best thing that ever happened
A boy
You’re the best thing about me
I’m the kind of trouble that you enjoy
You’re the best thing about me
The best things are easy to destroy
You’re the best thing about me
Why am I walking away
Walking away
Why am I walking away

Edge sings this next verse:

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

And back to Bono:

You’re the best thing about me
The best things are easy to destroy
You’re the best thing about me
Why am I
Why am I walking away
Walking away
Why am I walking away

Here's the official U2 video of the song which features the band having a good time in New York.



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 (Much More Better)
  4. Summer of Love

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.

10 of U2's best songs about love

bono with bikini girls

All You Need Is Love - 10 of U2's song lyrics 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? or just America...

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

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.

'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...

10 U2 songs that reflect on American culture and politics

Bono wearing an American flag jacket
Outside is America

10 U2 songs that reflect on American culture and politics


U2 are no strangers to having a say on America, its people and its politics. They are fairly big on political activism,.

In fact, making political commentary is almost second nature to Bono, if he's not singing about troubles in Ireland, he's trying to convince someone like George Bush Jnr to reduce the debt owed to America by third world countries. He shares his views because he earnestly cares.

U2 toured America many times early in their career and appear to have fallen under its spell - so it's no surprise really that Bono has chosen to write about what he's seen and heard and learned.

Here's a selection of 10 U2 songs that feature some form of lyrical comment or celebration of the one of the world's most dynamic countries.

Angel of Harlem


A song about singer Billie Holiday, Bono was trying to throw the kitchen sink at this song, referencing all kinds of musical figures related to the city of New York - even a popular radio station was mentioned!

U2 appeared to be trying to 'get into' the blues on Rattle on Hum - this song was a clear step in that musical genre and the dropping in of names from artists that helped shape it were an attempt to give an air of authenticity.

America is after all, the home of the blues.

A less cynical reader might simply see the lyrics of Angel of Harlem as a celebration of the city.

The Saints Are Coming


While not written by U2 or Green Day (it was a cover of The Skids song), The Saints Are Coming is a song both bands recorded together to deliver a blunt political message about the U.S. Government's response to Hurricane Katrina which many felt was negligent and that the Bush administration was "Stuck on Stupid".

The promotional video deliberately played on popular feelings of utter disbelief and dismay at the way the U.S. government had responded to the event.

Stuck on stupid indeed.

Bullet the Blue Sky


Perhaps the archetype political song by U2 (arguably Sunday Bloody Sunday could take that role too) the lyrics describes the unintended consequences of US President Ronald Reagan's foreign policy decisions in South America.

The song lyrics are a overt criticisms of the American policy of "stop communism at all costs".

Such policy lead the Reagan Administration to provide financial and political support to the Salvadoran regime which required them to ignoring that regime's abuse of human rights. 


Is it really any surprise that U2 ended up writing a song about New York?

Bono has stated that the song is a tribute of sorts to both Frank Sinatra and Lou Reed.

The Play Boy Mansion


The Play Boy Mansion is possibly a symbol of all that is wrong and right with America - either way Hugh Hefner is as popular as ever.

The songs lyrics are perhaps a tongue-in-cheek run down of some American icons.

Certainly Bono would not be deliberately suggesting the route to happiness is a visit to Hefner's pad.

Or is he?

Elvis Ate America and Elvis Presley And America


Two for the money here - U2 have often sang about Elvis - and these songs were a celebration of the man and his legacy on music.

The lyrics that 'Elvis would have been a sissy without Johnny Cash' was a great piece of commentary - the use of the word 'nigger' was a brave move.... did Chuck D approve?

Zooropa


Many of the verse lyrics are borrowed from the slogans of American companies and corporations.

These slogans include "Be all that you can be" from the United States Army), "Fly the friendly skies" from airline United Airlines), Colgate's "Ring of confidence (the lyric being "We've got that ring of confidence"), and Fairy's "Mild green Fairy liquid" (the line being "We're mild and green and squeaky clean").

This could be simply viewed some kind of meta commentary on American consumerism (admittedly the song has slogans from other European countries) and perhaps hints at some kind of moral confusion where the morals of a society may be dictated by the corporate dollar spend on advertising.

Pride (In the Name of Love)


Pride has become an international anthem for peace, freedom and human rights.

It's inspiration was civil rights movement in the United States in the 1950s and '60s.

The song is a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. who has become the symbol for equal rights in America for all persons.

U2 also wrote the song MLK about the same subject.

Seconds


While the lyrics are a loose story of a terrorist trying to arm a bomb and perhaps set it off, the context for the song is that it was written by Bono in the 1980s.

This was a period where the Cold War between the USSR and America had reached an all time freezing point in relations (save for the Cuban missile crisis!).

The song evokes the fears that people had that this Cold War could potentially lead to nuclear war and the own kind of cold winter that would bring.

That's just a taste of songs that U2 have used to make a comment on America.

There's almost a duplicity to U2 in this regard - they tour America and revel in it's people and then at the same time they make sharp criticsm of its leaders, their institutions and Coke but take the ticket sales and sponsorship opportunities.

I trust U2 fans are in on it but it might be hard to tell in a country where many people think Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA is a patriotic song.....