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This is about the United Kingdom miners' strike of 1984. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had instituted a policy where mines that were considered unprofitable were shut down. Bono wanted to explore the impact the strike had on the miner's friends and families. (thanks, Richard - Newport, Isle of Wight, England)
This was going to be the second single off The Joshua Tree, but they decided not to perform this on tour and could not promote it effectively.
This was dropped from the set list of the Joshua Tree tour when they discovered during rehearsals that Bono could not hit the high notes consistently. As a result, it was never performed live.
A video was shot with director Neil Jordan. It was never released, as they were not happy with it and decided not to use the song as a single.
The song was inspired by Folk music. Bono wanted The Joshua Tree to explore various forms of American music they had encountered while touring there.
Dan cracked the Top 40 with "Ritual," then went to India and spent 2 hours with the Dalai Lama.