Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday with U2

U2, “Pride” off Unforgettable Fire album

Bono describes the songs origins, both the sound and the lyrics.

“‘Pride in the name of love’ came out of a soundcheck in Hawaii, the melody and the chords. Around about that time I met a journalist … he had given me a book called Let the Trumpet Sound: A Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Personal note – I read this while training to be a Baptist pastor, and it certainly widened my eyes about what Baptist ministry could look like), a biography of Dr King, and another on Malcolm X. They were covering different sides of the civil rights discussion, the violent and the non-violent. They were important books to me. The next album started there in Hawaii, with thoughts of man’s inhumanity to his fellow-man on my mind.” (U2 by U2, 145)

The song focuses on Martin Luther King, but honours the Christianity so central to King’s vision and passion.

One man betrayed with a kiss
In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
– U2, Pride lyrics

And a story of willingness to sacrifice, from within the band itself. Bono talks about being the recipient of a death threat in the US, and being advised by the FBI to cancel the concert, or at the least not to sing Pride.

“”I remember actually, in the middle of “Pride,” thinking, for a second: “Gosh! What if somebody was organized, or in the rafters of the building, or somebody, here and there, just had a handgun?” I just closed my eyes and I sang this middle verse, with my eyes closed, trying to concentrate and forget about this ugliness, and just keep close to the beauty that’s suggested in the song. I looked up, at the end of that verse, and Adam was standing in front of me. It was one of those moments where you know what it means to be in a band.” (Bono on Bono, 122)

Personally, I think Good Friday asks us not only to find the beauty in love, but insists we find it with our eyes open, fully aware that in Christ it grows stronger no matter man’s inhumanity.”

In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
– U2, Pride lyrics

For entire U2 at Easter catalogue keep coming back over next few days of Easter (Maundy Thursday is here). For more of my U2 and theology reflections check the backcatalogue. For another popular culture take on Easter, see my Holy week at the movies.

Posted by steve at 12:23 PM

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