This is most likely about the conflict in Northern Ireland. Before they played it on their Popmart tour, Bono said, "Mexico, say a prayer for our country then. Please, please."
Suggestion credit: Bill - Johnstown, PA
In the book U2 by U2, Bono explained that this is about "a certain kid of person you'd meet in the middle-class Dublin suburbs, who are very sympathetic to the IRA paramilitaries and provide the intellectual support base for militant Republicanism. It's people who think ideas are more valuable than people. 'Love is hard and love is tough, but love is not what you're thinking of.' It is a song about terror, really. Are there ever any excuses for it? 'September, streets capsizing, spilling over, down the drains. Shards of glass just like rain...' It was the Docklands bombing in London that it referred to and the breakdown of peace talks in Northern Ireland but after 9/11 it became impossible to sing."
The cover of the single shows four Irish politicians involved in the Northern Ireland peace talks. They are: Gerry Adams, John Hume, David Trimble, and Ian Paisley.
U2 performed this at the MTV Video Music awards on September 4, 1997.
Nick from La Paz, BoliviaOne of my all time favorite U2 songs. So dark and honest, filled with pleading. It always feels right to quote this song while listening to the news and to the politicians around the world.
Simon from London, EnglandI always thought this was about Northern Ireland and the Troubles. Bono describes broken glass, streets capsizing, peace talks and gangsters with stick on tattoos that are the face of the paramilitaries in NI. Just my opinion
Acrobat from Adelaide, AustraliaThis song is my unltimate favourite U2 song. Bono sings with an absoloute longing in his voice, a pleading to everyone to cease the fighting, to look beyond. It is definately about the conflict in Northern Ireland.
"Your Catholic blues, your convent shoes, Your stick-on tattoos now they're making the news Your holy war, your northern star Your sermon on the mount from the boot of your car."
A 'sermon on the mount, from the boot of your car' is a metaphor for a Car Bomb...
A very deep and moving song, the pain is so easily heard... it awes me every time I hear it.
Angela from Hagerstown, MdThis song creeped me out the first time i heard it. i didn't get Pop until after 9/11 and these lyrics seemed a bit prophetic: "September, streets capsizing/ Spilling over down the drains/ Shards of glass, splinters like rain/ But you could only feel your own pain./ October, talk getting nowhere./ November, December; remember/ We just started again."
Ted from Loveland, CoPlease (Live): Music by U2. Lyrics by Bono and the Edge. Recorded live at Feyenoord Stadium, Rotterdam on July 18th, 1997. Recorded by Andy Rose. Mixed by Mark 'Spike' Stent.