The U2 Effect
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Politics and Activism

The U2 Effect

U2's music and their impact on the world will last long after they retire.

The U2 Effect

Not only is U2 known today as one of the most musically innovative bands in history, but ever since U2 was formed by four classmates from a high school in Ireland, they've also always been active voices of change in the world as well.

Their latest album, Songs of Innocence has emotional lyrics all throughout the album and seems to be solemnly reflective about the world as a whole. One of the songs, "Raised by Wolves" has very deep and emotional lyrics about how the lead singer, Bono (his birth name, Paul Hewson) just missed being caught in the blast of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974, and most of the lyrics also describe the aftermath of a particular car bombing. Rolling Stone uses the lyrics to describe and analyze tracks from the Songs of Innocence album.

Two of their other and more well-known songs are "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "Bullet The Blue Sky", the former released in the album War, and the latter released in The Joshua Tree album. Irish history tends to be rather bleak, and as The Huffington Post informs that the Bloody Sunday mentioned in "Sunday Bloody Sunday" is actually the third in Irish history, which took place in 1972. This particular Bloody Sunday didn't involve war conflict, unlike the other two, but the context was that it was a civil rights protest where twenty-six unarmed protesters were shot by British troops.

"Bullet The Blue Sky" had originally been about Bono's eyewitness experiences involving famine and conflict present in Central America. In an interview, Bono explains more about his feelings and about how his experiences in El Salvador and other countries affected him. Those feelings then became part of the song, "Bullet The Blue Sky".

"Pride (In the Name of Love)" is a song known for its dedication to Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s in general. U2 was selected as one of the artists who performed at the We Are One concert, which celebrated the inauguration of President Obama.

A few decades later, on November 19, 2001, U2 released the song "Walk On" as part of their album, All That You Can't Leave Behind. The song has taken on at least a couple meanings over the years, including being a symbol for the resilience of the US after the 9/11 attacks. It was originally written about Aung San Suu Kyi, who was elected as Burma's pro-democracy leader. The results of the election were nullified, and she was put under house arrest for almost 15 years, until her eventual release in 2010.

Recently, "Bullet The Blue Sky" has been reinterpreted to apply to both the Paris attacks last year, and Donald Trump's presidential campaign. U2 was in the middle of performing in Paris for three nights when the Paris attacks happened in September of 2015. Their outspokenness on the latter issue, in particular, gives me a sense of hope that people from all around the world have America's back and that they care about who we are as a nation.

I'm certain that U2's music and their impact on the world will last long after they retire.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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