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This is a rare U2 song with someone other than Bono on lead vocals. It was the first time The Edge sang lead.
The Lyrics about dancing to the atomic bomb is a reference to "Drop The Bomb," a song by Go-Go group Troublefunk, who were U2's labelmates on Island Records.
This is about the threat of nuclear war. The album title was inspired by the global unrest of 1982.
This song incorporates a sample from the 1982 documentary Soldier Girls, which is about women training for war.
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More songs about war

Comments (16):

edge just sing the first verse, just.
- Nathália Juliana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Hey Guys, as Sammy from New York says - Edge sings Lead only in Verse 1, then Bono sings lead in Verse 2, then they both sing the final verse together. They do exactly the same roles when they play it live (see Under A Blood Red Sky). But Yeah, they use to have similar sounding voices at this time in their career but Bono's vocal characteristics are quite distinct once you listen to the band long enough. Bono has a more agressive sounding voice generally & in this song during the lyrics "USSR" you can hear it's Bono. He also is often refered to as having a 'kermit' sounding style of singing right up until the late 80's where Bono really emphasises his vowel sounds & 'n's & 'm's. I love it.
- Justin, Auckland, New Zealand
I saw U2 play at the Omni in Atlanta in 1985 and recall The Edge singing lead on Seconds. Also, they played it very fast -- much faster than on War or at Red Rocks. It was A-mazing!
- David, Phoenix, AZ
O.K. actually you are all right and all wrong when it comes to who sings lead on this song. The Edge sings the first two lyrics. you an clearly tell it is him and not Bono. Then after the first chorus Bono takes over right at "In an apartment on Time's Square" That is a no brainer if you listen to his voice inflection when he says U.S.S.R.
- shawn, Frostburg, MD
If it is Edge I cannot tell. Sounds like Bono to me but I still cannot tell the difference between Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr in the Cars.
- Scott, Palm Desert, CA
The Edge "sings" on the track "Numb" too. I can't tell it's Edge.
- Dawson, Draper, UT
I think Edge is singing in the first verse, Bono in the second, and then they share vocals after that. What does everyone else think?
- Sammy, New York, NY
Well, Kayla, if I deciphered your grammar correctly I think you thought U2 wrote this song "because they thought they would get a good review of it because of the war we're in". First, this song was not released as a single. Second, this album came out in 1983 and the U.S. was not inolved in a war at the time. The Cold War was going on, but that was it. Third, U2 is from Ireland, so they weren't even involved in the Cold War, let alone a physical one. And finally, U2 had yet to make it big in the U.S. at this point (that happened in 1987- Joshua Tree) so I seriously doubt they went around writing unreleased songs to appeal to an American audience when they were still growing a fan base in Europe.
- Emily, Abingdon, VA
Wow. Edge and Bono's voices sound allot alike. It's still pretty easy to tell it's Edge though.
- Trenton, Minneapolis , MN
ok now I really need to go back and listen to this song again, I have always thought Bono sang lead...
- Acrobat, Adelaide, Australia
Edge sings lead on 'Seconds', 'Van Diemans Land' and 'Numb'. I agree that it is very hard to tell him apart from Bono on 'Seconds' but if you listen carefully you can tell.
- Jack Lee, Nottingham, England
Jeremy--yes, Edge is the lead singer of this song. Yes, he's lead singer of Van Diemen's Land, as well as Numb, but this too.
- Grant, Annandale, VA
The Edge is NOT the lead singer in "Seconds",
Bono is. The Edge is a lead singer in the song "Van Diemen's Land",featured on the Rattle and Hum Album and DVD. He is also has a big part in the song Lemon which is on the 1993 album Zooropa.
- jeremy, hopedale, MA
a badaaaaaaaassss song from a baddddddaaaaassss
group. Seconds is one of my top twenty U2 songs!
-Aimiee, San Antonio, TX
- aimiee, San Antonio, TX
I think the band U2 only made this song because they knew they would get a good review about it cuz of the War were in, but watever its okay
- Kayla, Anchorage, AK
it is incredibly hard to tell that edge is singing the lead lyrics in this song,but ive went back and listened to it,and i can tell there is a slight difference in between the two
- Ryan, Albion, NY
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