Bullet The Blue Sky
by U2

Album: The Joshua Tree (1987)
Play Video
  • In the howling wind comes a stinging rain
    See it driving nails
    Into the souls on the tree of pain
    From the firefly, a red orange glow
    See the face of fear
    Running scared in the valley below

    The sky
    The sky
    Bullet the blue sky
    Bullet the blue sky
    Bullet the blue
    Bullet the blue

    In the locust wind comes a rattle and hum
    Jacob wrestled the angel
    And the angel was overcome
    You plant a demon seed
    You raise a flower of fire
    See them burning crosses
    See the flames higher and higher

    The sky
    The sky
    Bullet the blue sky
    Bullet the blue sky
    Bullet the blue
    Bullet the blue

    Yeah, alright, hold you
    See, this guy comes up to me
    His face red like a rose on a thorn bush
    Like all the colours of a royal flush
    And he's peeling off those dollar bills
    Lapping them down one hundred, two hundred
    And I can see those fighter planes
    I can see those fighter planes
    Across the mud huts where the children sleep
    Through the valleys and the quiet city streets
    We take the staircase to the first floor
    We take the key and slowly unlock the door
    A man breathes into a saxophone
    Through the walls we hear the city groan
    Outside it's America, outside it's America

    So I'm back in my hotel room
    With John Coltrane and a love supreme
    And in the next room I hear a woman scream out
    Her lover's turning off, turning on the television
    And I can't tell the difference between ABC News
    Hillstreet Blues and a preacher on the Old Time Gospel Hour
    Stealing money from the sick and the old
    Well, the God I believe in isn't short of cash, mister
    I feel a long way from the hills of San Salvador
    Where the sky is ripped open and the rain pours
    Through a gaping wound, pelting the women and children
    Pelting the women and children
    Run, run in to the arms of America Writer/s: ADAM CLAYTON, DAVE EVANS, LARRY MULLEN, PAUL DAVID HEWSON
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 28

  • Michael from Cincinnati, OhHuman's cover is buried about 4:52 into the track "Hand Me Down", starting about 20 or 30 seconds after that song actually ends.
  • Michael from Cincinnati, OhThis song was covered by Christian rock band Human on their 1998 album Out Of The Dust.
  • Rob from Stanwood, Antigua And BarbudaThis riff has been around for a LONG time. Those of you who think that U2 ripped off Ted Nugent should listen to Savoy Brown's "Hellbound train". No matter where the riff originated it is still a great song.
  • Rob from Stanwood, Antigua And BarbudaThis riff has been around for ever. Those of you that think that U2 ripped of Ted Nugent should listen to Savoy Brown's "Hellbound Train". So what. BTBS is still a great song no matter the riff.
  • Jim from Toronto, On(28/05/08) I just heard Ted Nugent's 'Stranglehold' for the first time ever, but only from halfway through on the radio; so I wasn't sure who was singing or when the song was released. Because U2 is one of my favourite bands, my first thought was 'Oh, who's this covering Bullet The Blue Sky?'. But as I listenened, I realized the lyrics were different and then thought, 'Oh!... who is this stealing a U2 classic?' Then the DJ came on and gave the name of the song and the year it was released; now I've read the reviews here and I have to say, BTBS doesn't just sound 'something' like the Nugent song... the similarities are blatant and disappointing. I would love to know what the band has ever had to say about this topic.
  • Mel from Riverbank, CaWhether or not you agree with their message, at least U2 has a message. So many of the songs in every generation are nothing but fluff, random or cheesy lyrics, they mean nothing. They make you feel nothing. That is what makes U2 one of The Great Bands, they can inspire passion, sadness, anger, and, sadly, confusion, for those of the human race who have no idea that the world is not a great wonderful rosy place.. I just bought Rattle and Hum for the second time, still gets me. And please, let's not confuse U2 with Christian Rock.. That's like comparing The Beatles with Oasis (a sad, pathetic attempt at greatness.)
  • Doris from Wilmington, DeActually, so many of you are wrong about U2. They almost didn't survive as a band because they DID and DO consider themselves Christians. They don't like to put themselves into any particular denomination, but they believe in the Bible and as young men, believed in the Bible so much, that they struggled about whether to keep the band together. Adam was always the one who didn't believe as the others, although in later years, I think, even Adam has come to develop some sort of spiritual belief. People who aren't Christians, seem to have a hard time admitting there fans of U2, when they know very well that the boys of U2 believe in Christ and the teachings of the Bible. "Bullet" is a dark song..because it's a dark message. It hits the nail on the head. I think it's one of their best ever! From the greatest album ever!
  • Heather from Los Angeles, CaActually at first I didn't like this song. Too hard, I guess. But after visiting El Salvador myself in 1997 the song became clearer...and the harsh sound fit. El Salvador is a haunted place....that's the way it feels. It is also a beautiful place.
  • Brad from Knoxville, Tnthis song will give you sort of a bad sinister feeling,and for not being a christian they sure do have alot of christian background in thier music ,but the song is actually talking about the bombing in el' salvador,so you are sort of right.not all of the songs are neccesarily christian . . . you do know that bono did claim to be christ though dont you ?
  • Mark from Austin, TxFirst off, U2 is not necessarily a "Christian band." They are a band with mostly Christians in it (at least one of them is not, I think) and Christianity informs their music a lot of the time. But the fact that U2 are GOOD means that they aren't a Christian band. (Heh heh.)
    As for the Mark David Chapman reference, I haven't heard the Boston show yet, but I can't imagine that Bono, a big John Lennon fan, would actually be telling him to "pull the trigger on the rock and roll n------." Not in a disparaging way, anyway. If he uses that word, it's a reference to "Woman Is The N------ Of The World." (I put the dashes because I don't know if I'll get cut off for using that word even in a quote, by the way.)
    I dunno. I'll have to listen to it for myself. But I do know that U2 (and Bono in particular) are huge Beatles' fans, no matter what John said about being bigger than Jesus. (Which was WAY blown out of proportion by our lovely Bible Belt in the 60s. Sigh.)
  • David from San Salvador, CaThis song is written about El Salvador,in fact 'Rattle and hum' was the how bono would describre the experience he lived there when the the bombs drop...'you first fell a rattle then comes the hum' it's obious, the song says it and you can find them in every u2 biography.The Edge also said that this song needed to be hard,that's how bono felt when he came back from El Salvador...
  • Mark from Worcester, MiRoger, please you can't rip anything off Led Zep. Cripes they didn't write when the levee breaks. That song is a thousand years old.
  • David from Youngstown, OhThis is a pretty lame bit of trivia, but the father of the teen actor Corbin Blue (High School Musical) wanted to name him Bullet Blue after this song. See what watching the Disney Channel with your kids teaches you.
  • Ryan from Windsor, CanadaGreen Day's Novacaine, off on American Idiot sounds a lot like this song beat wise.
  • Dawson from Draper, UtI went to a U2 concert yestarday, and they played this song, and the lighting was amazing.
  • Willie from Omaha, NeI am interested in U2's comments about this song and then POD's comments. has anyone heard them specifically explain the song?
  • Shehryar from Islamabad, Pakistanthe comments Bono makes at the end of the song on the boston DVD end up with him repeating mark chapman's name... and i think it actually goes 'pull the trigger (on) the rock and roll n***er...'

    lennon did actually infamously say that the beatles were bigger than jesus...
  • Darrell from Cottage Grove, Mnwhat is up with the comments at the end of the song in the boston dvd?
    'pull the trigger on a rock n roll 'n' bigger that jesus on bumper sticker.'
    not sure what the signifigance is?
  • Roger from Los Angeles, CaI always thought Edge, Clayton, and Mullen Jr. ripped off the music for this song from Led Zeppelin's "When the Levee Breaks". It sounds too similar for them not to have been influenced by it. It doesnt sound identical by any means, just similar enough to make you think they got the idea from that song.
  • Mark from Phoenix, AzI believe that the Nugent song that this may sound like is called "Stranglehold." There are portions of the songs that do indeed sound similar.....also many contemporary Christian bands not only cover U2, but also cite them as a huge influence.
  • Richard from Newport, Isle Of Wight, EnglandPeter - U2 are a Christian band! I think their songs "40" and Gloria are pretty clear testament to that, if you'll pardon the pun.
  • Marcelo from Campinas, BrazilTheir best and most passionate song, no doubt about it. Bono wrote it right after witnessing a bombing raid at El Salvador, so the verses describe a bit of what he saw then.
    Wonder what he thinks about the current US foreign policy...
  • Ryan from Albion, Nymy friend's dad said this sounded alot like a ted nugent song..i dont remember what song it was,but he showed me the ted nugent song, and it KIND of sounds like it...nothing like plagiarism..you have to be thinking of bullet the blue sky when you hear this song, and you can kind of make it out
  • Rob from Santa Monica, CaThis song is pretty unique not just among rock songs but among U2 songs. The beat is heavier and slower than their other stuff. It presages the heavy, more electronic sound they would visit on Achtung Baby, particularly in the way the solo builds up with addtional layers of guitar continually added in.
  • Steven from Congers, NyOn stage Bono sings "Outside is America." This is on the Slane Castle DVD.
  • Peter from Fort Worth, Txmaybe they covered it because of the religious refeerences or something, they're a christian band( p.o.d., not u2)
  • Darian from Farmington, MiIt's actually on The Fundamental Elements of Southtown, not P.O.D.'s debut album. They had a few albums before that one. I was at the CD release party for Southtown, and saw them perform Bullet The Blue Sky live, but I'm not sure if that was the first time they did or not.
  • Erik from Crazy Town, CtP.O.D. has a tremendous cover of this song on their debut album. What inspired them to cover this song?
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"They're Playing My Song

Dean's saga began with "Ariel," a song about falling in love with a Jewish girl from New Jersey.

Kevin Godley

Kevin GodleySongwriter Interviews

Kevin Godley talks about directing classic videos for The Police, U2 and Duran Duran, and discusses song and videos he made with 10cc and Godley & Creme.

Victoria Williams

Victoria WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

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

Scott Stapp

Scott StappSongwriter Interviews

The Creed lead singer reveals the "ego and self-fulfillment" he now sees in one of the band's biggest hits.

Tanita Tikaram

Tanita TikaramSongwriter Interviews

When she released her first album in 1988, Tanita became a UK singing sensation at age 19. She talks about her darkly sensual voice and quirky songwriting style.

Joe Ely

Joe ElySongwriter Interviews

The renown Texas songwriter has been at it for 40 years, with tales to tell about The Flatlanders and The Clash - that's Joe's Tex-Mex on "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"