Bono and the Edge have released an acoustic version of U2‘s “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” complete with updated lyrics in the final verse, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the titular Bloody Sunday massacre. You can watch the performance below.
The opening track on the band’s landmark 1983 album War was inspired by the Bogside Massacre, which took place on Jan. 30, 1972, when British soldiers shot 26 unarmed civilians during a protest march in Derry, Northern Ireland, ultimately killing 14 people. The black-and-white performance video is intercut with footage from the massacre.
Bono gives the song’s final verse a topical update, 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?“
U2 released War on Feb. 28, 1983. The LP became the band’s global commercial breakthrough, topping the U.K. charts and reaching No. 12 in the U.S. The album sold more than 11 million copies worldwide and set the stage for U2’s evolution from scrappy post-punk band into stadium rock titans.
Bono recently confessed that he was “embarrassed” by his vocals on U2’s 1980 debut album, Boy. “The band sound incredible, though I just found the voice very strained and kind of not macho, and my Irish macho was kind of strained by that,” he told The Hollywood Reporter‘s Awards Chatter podcast.
“I’ve been in a 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 embarrassed.”
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