American Soul lyrics by U2

American Soul lyrics by U2 from Songs of Experience

Songs of Experience album lyrics by U2

Songs of Experience lyrics by U2


Songs of Experience Lyrics by U2



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

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

The band has since formally committed to the world at large that the next album will be called Songs of Experience.

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

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

What was the subject of Blake’s work? 

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

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

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


This is the guessed track list so far. 
  1. The Little Things that give you away
  2. The Best Thing
  3. Civilisation
  4. Much More Better
  5. Instrument Flying
  6. You're The Best Thing About Me
  7. Red Flag Day
  8. The Showman
  9. Summer of Love
  10. The Blackout


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. The Best Thing About You Is Me
  2. Red Flag Day
  3. The Showman

Lights of Home lyrics by U2

Lights of Home lyrics by U2 from the Songs of Experience album.

Lights of Home is a rumored song that U2 may release on the new album, their first since the Songs of Innocence work.

An apparent line from the song is "hey now, what's your name?"

U2 Blackout Lyrics

u2 blackout song lyrics

Blackout is a song rumored to be on U2's Songs of Experience album.

It's not confirmed at all at this stage but intelligence on these things is usually pretty good.

The Blackout Song Lyrics by U2