by U2

Album: Rattle And Hum (1988)


  • Bono was inspired by a trip he and U2 bassist Adam Clayton took to New Orleans to visit producer Daniel Lanois, who had just worked on Bob Dylan's Oh Mercy album. "The song is full of little bits of travelogue from my journal," says Bono.
  • U2 wrote this about Ireland, but they were also inspired by the American heartland. It talks about the "Mississippi delta sun, Mississippi and the cotton wool heat, Sixty-six a highway speaks." Route 66 is a historic interstate highway in the USA. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Richard - St. Louis, MO
  • This was written in 1986 and intended for The Joshua Tree. It was bumped by "Trip Through Your Wires," which they felt was a better song to perform live.

Comments: 6

  • Lisa B from St. Petersburg, FlSee the sun rise over her skin. Don't change it. - I always believed her skin was the horizon of Earth in the Heartland of America, and the sun rise over her skin meaning the sunrise in the early morning in the Heartland of America. "Don't change it", I interpret: Don't change the natural beauty of the Heartland which most areas are unlike that of the big city, fast pace life, rude people and violence, ect. The rest of the lyrics have been covered by others. Just like to say thank you to U2 for this beautiful song which I danced to so many times during shows. I believe in natural beauty and I also believed "don't change it", meaning in my case fake boobs. It kept me from many bookings, but it's all about the journey.
  • Jim from Long Beach, CaThis song is about The American Heartland. THey talk about the Mississippi River and Route 66. Love this song...
  • K_cool from Costa Mesa, CaThis song talks about the American Heartland and more specifically the Mississipi River Delta the band saw while visiting "GraceLand", Elvis's estate. The first verse sets up the image of the delta which he uses to set up the image of the crucified christ in the last verse.

    John 19:34

    But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came (flowed) out.

    See the sun rise over her skin
    She feels like water in my hand
    [Freeway like a river cuts through this land
    Into the side of love ***John 19:34
    Like a burning spear] ***John 19:34
    And the poison rain
    Brings a flood of fear
    Through the ghost-ranch hills
    Death valley waters
    In the towers of steel
    Belief goes on and on

    The song "HeartLand" is set up on this scripture. Keeping in mind that U2 started out as a "Christian Band" most of their songs have a reference to Jesus Christ in it. Bono offers a resolve that sums up his experience their which is in the last line of the last verse

    "Belief lives on"

  • Angela from Hagerstown, MdIn the video Rattle and Hum, this song is played while they visit Graceland.
  • Richard from St. Louis, MoThis song talks about the American heartland

    it mentions route 66 a historic interstate highway and pop culture symbol.

    It mentions the Mississippi river and cotton feilds.
  • Oscar from Mexico City, OtherIt's a very soft song that makes you feel peace.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Terry Jacks ("Seasons in the Sun")

Terry Jacks ("Seasons in the Sun")Songwriter Interviews

Inspired by his dear friend, "Seasons in the Sun" paid for Terry's boat, which led him away from music and into a battle with Canadian paper mills.

Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root

Michael Glabicki of Rusted RootSongwriter Interviews

Michael tells the story of "Send Me On My Way," and explains why some of the words in the song don't have a literal meaning.

Victoria Williams

Victoria WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

Despite appearances on Carson, Leno and a Pennebaker film, Williams remains a hidden treasure.

Pete Anderson

Pete AndersonSongwriter Interviews

Pete produced Dwight Yoakam, Michelle Shocked, Meat Puppets, and a very memorable track for Roy Orbison.

Corey Hart

Corey HartSongwriter Interviews

The Canadian superstar talks about his sudden rise to fame, and tells the stories behind his hits "Sunglasses At Night," "Boy In The Box" and "Never Surrender."

90210 to Buffy to Glee: How Songs Transformed TV

90210 to Buffy to Glee: How Songs Transformed TVSong Writing

Shows like Dawson's Creek, Grey's Anatomy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer changed the way songs were heard on TV, and produced some hits in the process.