The Unforgettable Fire
by U2

Album: The Unforgettable Fire (1984)
Charted: 6

Songfacts®:

  • This song was inspired by an exhibit of the same name the band saw at the Chicago Peace Museum while on tour in 1983. The exhibit featured artwork from Japanese victims of the Hiroshima bombing. The Chicago Peace Museum also had a Martin Luther King exhibit, which would inspire U2's song "Pride (In The Name Of Love)."
  • In the beginning of the song, from :04 to :07 seconds, you can hear Larry Mullen Jr. start to hit his drumsticks early. Immediately after, he mutters out "S-it." Then, at :22 seconds, he starts to drum at the correct time. The small glitch has never been removed from the album nor its inclusions on 'Best of' CDs. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Patrick - Hasbrouck Heights, NJ
  • This was written after U2 decided to use "The Unforgettable Fire" as the title to the album.
  • The strings were arranged by Noel Kelehan, who conducted the RTE Light Orchestra in 2 Eurovision Song Contests.

Comments: 13

  • David from Sonora MexicoIn my Top 10 for sure. I saw U2 five times and has always been the Best Concert I've been to. Love their music up 'til the 90's :) Do not hate the later but just have not gotten into me... yet.
  • Pio from London, United KingdomReally love the moodiness and the string section and agree this is one of Bono's best vocals. I tried singing this at karaoke and made a real mess of it...I think I'll leave it to the Bonomeister!
  • Keith from Pensacola, FlU2's best song ever !!
  • Shawn from Frostburg, MdAngela, I agree, this song is right up there with "40" as one thier best. it is just a song that always puts me at ease when i hear it.
  • Matt from West Miflin, PaCindy sorry the line is directly taken from Stand by Me
  • Patrick from Hasbrouck Heights, NjWhat an atmospheric song! One of U2's finest.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesThe album of the same name was U2's magnum opus of the 1980s. Many will argue, but personally, I don't think they ever bettered it, not even with The Joshua Tree
  • Angela from Hagerstown, MdThis is probably THE most beautiful U2 song.
  • Ashley from Wouldntyalyke2know, In When I think of that line, "And if the mountians should crumble into the sea", I think of the "Stand by Me" song and it also makes me think of when Jesus was talking about faith. I think I understand though how the 'stuff' they told us goes with the music, like "walk on by" the exibit. It does make me wonder though if there was more to it...
  • Jeanette from Elkridge, MdI think this song is Bono's voice at his absolute best. I love to listen to his voice on this song, it gives me chills. Unfortunately, he doesn't sound like that anymore, too bad because it was very unique.
  • John from Madison, WiVery underrated U2 song.
  • Andrew from Kingston, CanadaTrue, but that's also a prevalent theme in a few Psalms from the Bible. So I think that's likely where the inspiration came from.
  • Cindy from Chicago, IlThe line, "And if the mountains should crumble or disappear into the sea" is a metaphor taken from Led Zepelin's song Thank You from LZII.
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