Bono appeals for a more humane world amidst the turmoil of the Syrian Civil War:
I've been thinking about the West Coast Not the one that everyone knows In the rubble of Aleppo Flowers blooming in the shadows For a summer of love
The Edge explained to Rolling Stone: "There was a lot that went into that, but one of the jumping-off points was a CNN story about the gardener of Aleppo. It's about this guy who ran a garden in Aleppo that he kept going through the entire war. It was a political statement to the entire world that he kept this garden going. He was this deeply philosophical character and to him it was an act of defiance to grow flowers in the middle of Aleppo. He actually wound up getting killed in an air raid, so it was a very sad ending, but Bono was really inspired by his defiance. When were looking at that song, we decided that should be the focus geographically."
The song features backing vocals by Lady Gaga and Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic. The latter also co-produced the track.
Bono told Q Magazine that U2 weren't trying to write a war story song. "We just wanted to write a romantic song with really dark clouds overhead," he explained.