"One Tree Hill" lyrics by U2 from The Joshua Tree

"One Tree Hill" lyrics by U2 from The Joshua Tree

"One Tree Hill" lyrics by U2 from The Joshua Tree

"One Tree Hill" is the ninth track and final single from U2's album, The Joshua Tree.

The song is a poignant tribute to Greg Carroll, a New Zealander who became a close friend and roadie for the band. Carroll tragically died in a motorcycle accident in Dublin in 1986, an event that deeply affected the band members, particularly Bono.

The song's dedication to Carroll is not only a reflection of their personal loss but also a celebration of his life and the impact he had on the band. "One Tree Hill," named after a volcanic peak in Auckland, New Zealand, which Carroll had once taken Bono to visit, is imbued with emotional resonance and spiritual significance. The lyrics, "We run like a river runs to the sea/You run like a river runs to the sea," speak to the themes of memory, loss, and the inevitable journey towards an end.

The song's mournful yet hopeful tone captures the essence of grief and the process of coming to terms with the loss of a loved one.

The single was released exclusively in New Zealand in 1988 where it went to number one and was U2's first number one single there. It has remained a favourite U2 song for Kiwis - especially the homesick ones!

The title of the song refers to the actual One Tree Hill, a volcanic peak in Auckland that is a popular landmark. At the time of the song's release, a single Monterey pine tree stood on the hill, hence the common name of the hill. The tree was removed in 2000, 6 years after being chainsawed by a deluded activist protesting about some bullshit.

Everyone in NZ hates that clown.

When U2 returned to Auckland in 2006, the song was played each night, with Bono noting the tree had not yet been replaced, though the local City Council has 5 seedlings growing ready for when it is appropriate to plant a tree.

When U2 returned to NZ in 2010 U2 dedicated it to the miners who lost their lives in the Pike River Mining Disaster. I was in the crowd and it was a pretty special moment.

"One Tree Hill" Lyrics U2

We turn away to face the cold, enduring chill
As the day begs the night for mercy
Your sun so bright it leaves no shadows, only scars
Carved into stone on the face of earth
The moon is up over One Tree Hill
We see the sun go down in your eyes

You ran like a river oh, to the sea
You run like a river runs to the sea

And in our world a heart of darkness
A firezone where poets speak their hearts
Then bleed for it Jara sang his song a weapon
In the hands of love
You know his blood still cries from the ground

It runs like a river, runs to the sea
It runs like a river to the sea

I don't believe in painted roses or bleeding hearts
While bullets rape the night of the merciful
I'll see you again when the stars fall from the sky
And the moon has turned red over One Tree Hill

We run like a river to the sea, run to the sea
We run like a river to the sea
And when it's raining, raining hard
That's when the rain will break my heart
Raining, raining hard, raining in your heart
Raining, rain into your heart, raining

Oh great ocean, oh great sea
Run to the ocean, run to the sea

Want more great lyrics? Check out some classic tracks from The Joshua Tree. "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", "With or Without You" and the, politically charged "Bullet the Blue Sky".

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