Songs of Innocence 2: The Troubles


Apparently U2 are working on another album called Songs of Experience – it seems as if they have prepared listeners for this with the bittersweet tone of the last group of Songs of Innocence.  The album starts buoyantly but ends with some haunting themes – one (in Sleep Like A Baby Tonight) is clergy abuse – two (in The Troubles) is domestic violence. The haunting chant sung by Swedish singer Lykke Li says it all…’Somebody stepped inside your soul, little by little they robbed and stole till someone else was in control.’  It is so utterly sad and the musicality provides the perfect platform for this haunting.  Yet it is also hopeful – Bono wrestles hope from the chant – ‘I have a will for survival’ – ‘God knows it’s not easy taking on the shape of someone else’s pain, God now you can see me, I’m naked and I’m not afraid, my body’s sacred and I’m not ashamed.’  Beautiful hope!  I guess that the strange album cover with Larry protecting his son indicates why the band have embarked on this theme – when U2 were young they were aware of being surrounded by various forms of violence. Maybe they are bringing the past into the light in the hope of a better day for their children’s generation.  I wonder how Songs of Experience will deal with the difference between hope and reality – especially in an Ireland that is economically hard-hit in a similar way to when they were young.


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