January 30 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” event that later prompted legendary Irish rock band U2 to write one of their most famous songs, “Sunday Bloody Sunday.”
On the anniversary of the massacre, U2 shared a new acoustic rendition of the track, which you can hear below. The new version shows the band’s frontman Bono and lead guitar player the Edge performing together. It also shows footage from that horrid moment in time, which took 14 lives.
The band shared the song on social media, taking to Twitter to provide the link to its 1.5 million followers and writing, “30 January 2022 – With love, Bono & Edge”
In the new version, Bono changes the lyrics to reflect the current times, singing, Here at the murder scene / The virus of fiction, reality TV/ Why so many mothers cry/ Religion is the enemy of the Holy Spirit guide/ And the battle just begun/ Where is the victory Jesus won?
50 years ago, on January 30, 1972, 13 civilians were killed by the British Army’s Parachute Regiment at a protest rally against imprisonment without trial in the Northern Ireland town of Derry. A 14th person later died from injuries sustained.
The original “Sunday Bloody Sunday” is the first song on U2’s famed 1983 album, War.
In more recent U2 and Bono news, the lead singer and political activist said that he was “just so embarrassed” by the band’s earlier work, and especially his singing voice back then decades ago. The admission raised eyebrows amongst many of his fans.
Speaking on the Awards Chatter podcast, Bono sais he’s “embarrassed” by his band’s older catalog and that he hates his band’s name. He added that he only “recently” learned to sing.
“I really don’t” like the name, Bono said. “But I was late into some kind of dyslexia. I didn’t realize that The Beatles was a bad pun either.”
Bono added, “In our head, it was like the spy plane, U-boat, it was futuristic—as it turned out to imply this kind of acquiescence, no I don’t like that name. I still don’t really like the name.” However, he added, “Paul McGuinness, our first manager, did say, ‘Look, it’s a great name, it’s going to look good on a T-shirt, a letter and a number.’”
Nor does he like or want to talk about the band’s older catalog—which has to be a surprise to fans and even the band’s harshest critics.
“I’ve been in the car when one of our songs has come on the radio and I’ve been the color of, as we say in Dublin, scarlet. I’m just so embarrassed,” Bono said. “The band sounds incredible,” but the issue comes down to his “Irish macho” voice, which to him always sounds “strained.”
“The one that I can listen to the most is [the song] ‘Miss Sarajevo’ with Luciano Pavarotti,” Bono said. “Genuine, most of the other ones make me cringe a little bit. Although ‘Vertigo’probably is the one I’m proudest of. It’s the way it connects with the crowd.”
“The big discovery for me,” Bono went on, “was listening to The Ramones and hearing the beautiful kind of sound of Joey Ramone and realizing I didn’t have to be that rock and roll singer.”
He said, “I only became a singer like recently, maybe it hasn’t happened yet for some people’s ears and I understand that.”
U2 Photo by Sam Jones