I wrote these thoughts last year on Christmas Eve.
One year later, I believe them even more.
“Peace on Earth” has been called U2’s most agnostic song. Recorded as part of the 2000 release, All That You Can’t Leave Behind, the song’s lyrics were inspired by the Real IRA Omagh bombing in Northern Ireland in August 1998. 29 people lost their lives in the bombing, with another 220 injured. The song juxtaposes slow-building, shimmering, calm instrumentation with lyrics of lament, bitter indignation, and grief. Amid such violent extremism, the narrator rejects glib aphorisms in favor of a more biting critique.
Heaven on earth
We need it now
I’m sick of all of this
Sick of sorrow
Sick of pain
Sick of hearing again and again
That there’s gonna be
Peace on earth
Where I grew up
There weren’t many trees
Where there was we’d tear them down
And use them on our enemies
They say that what you mock
Will surely overtake you
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