10 of U2's best songs about 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 has sang a few songs that ponder the mystery and muscle of it all.

U2's exploration of love in their songwriting spans a spectrum that ranges from the intensely personal to the broadly universal, reflecting not just romantic love, but also love's many other forms – fraternal, spiritual, and altruistic. Their approach to the theme of love often intertwines with their other central themes like faith, hope, and human struggle, creating songs that resonate on multiple levels. In tracks like "With or Without You" from "The Joshua Tree," love is portrayed in its most vulnerable and raw form. 

The lyrics depict the complexities and paradoxes of romantic relationships – the pain and joy, the presence and absence. The song’s haunting melody and Bono’s impassioned vocals capture the agony of being caught in a love that is both sustaining and suffocating. This nuanced portrayal of love is a signature of U2’s songwriting, inviting listeners to reflect on the multifaceted nature of human relationships.

bono with bikini girls  u2

Love is Blindness

A haunting tracking that closed the mighty body of work that was Achtung Baby - the lyrics suggest a quite desperate love where nothing else matters but that love - a deep play on the phrase love is blind but the neighbors 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 lovelorn 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? Want to choose the best synthetic oil for a lawnmower? How about some U2 songs's with lyrics about nuclear politics? or just America...

Beyond romantic love, U2 delves into the theme of love as a force for change and healing in the world. Songs like "One," from the album "Achtung Baby," while often interpreted as a love song, also carry undercurrents of unity and reconciliation. Its lyrics can be seen as a call for compassion and understanding in a fractured world, suggesting that love can bridge divides and heal wounds. This broader, more altruistic interpretation of love is echoed in "Pride (In the Name of Love)," a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. and his philosophy of love and nonviolence as tools for social change. 

In these songs, U2 articulates a vision of love as a powerful agent for good, capable of transforming both personal relationships and larger societal issues. Their ability to capture the many dimensions of love in their music is part of what gives their songs a lasting, universal appeal, transcending time and cultural barriers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice work - I enjoy how Bono's best work is often about some kind of tormented love - the best songs often are tinged with double meaning as well.