An Cat Dubh
by U2

Songfacts®:

  • "An Cat Dubh" is Gaelic for "The Black Cat." English is the common language in Ireland, but schoolchildren are also required to learn Gaelic. Bono never picked it up though - in 2011 there was an awkward moment when he met Queen Elizabeth II and she spoke some Gaelic to him, which he didn't understand.

    The song's lyrics are all in English.
  • Bono sings about a cat and a blackbird in this song, but never gets too specific. He admitted, "It's definitely about sex," and in the book U2 By U2, elaborated: "This image of temptation, a cat sleeping beside a dead bird in suburban Dublin, and playing with it, the way they do, cat stalks the bird, kills it, and then shakes it about. And somehow knowing the sexual side of that, desire and innocence, and the way it can play with you."
  • The third track on U2's debut album, Boy, "An Cat Dubh" segues together with the next track, "Into The Heart." For live performances, the band always played them together.
  • Bono's lyric may have been inspired by an affair he had after a falling-out with his girlfriend, Ali. He married Ali in 1982.

Comments: 4

  • Miraleo from GaRyan -- I have always thought he was saying (at the point you are referring) "She thinks she's so good.....something something".
  • Mickey D. from Fremont, Caabout 2:55-3:02, the lyric goes like "two sides sing song then...to fight"
  • Ryan from Rochester, Nydoes anyone have any idea what Bono is saying after the second "Woah-oh-oh
    Yes, and I know the truth about you
    She cat." at about 2:55-3:02 min into this song? it comes right after his....grunting....I've been trying to figure it out for years.
  • Sarah from Cork, IrelandWe don't call it Gaelic in Ireland, it's either Irish or Gaeilge!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Bob Daisley

Bob DaisleySongwriter Interviews

Bob was the bass player and lyricist for the first two Ozzy Osbourne albums. Here's how he wrote songs like "Crazy Train" and "Mr. Crowley" with Ozzy and Randy Rhoads.

Desmond Child

Desmond ChildSongwriter Interviews

One of the most successful songwriters in the business, Desmond co-wrote "Livin' La Vida Loca," "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)" and "Livin' On A Prayer."

Curt Kirkwood of Meat Puppets

Curt Kirkwood of Meat PuppetsSongwriter Interviews

The (Meat)puppetmaster takes us through songs like "Lake Of Fire" and "Backwater," and talks about performing with Kurt Cobain on MTV Unplugged.

Ian Astbury of The Cult

Ian Astbury of The CultSongwriter Interviews

The Cult frontman tells who the "Fire Woman" is, and talks about performing with the new version of The Doors.

James Bond Theme Songs

James Bond Theme SongsMusic Quiz

How well do you know the 007 theme songs?

Grammar In Lyrics

Grammar In LyricsMusic Quiz

Lyrics don't always follow the rules of grammar. Can you spot the ones that don't?