Silver And Gold
by U2

Album: Rattle And Hum (1988)
Play Video
  • In the shit house a shotgun
    Praying hands hold me down
    Only the hunter was hunted
    In this tin can town
    Tin can town

    No stars in the black night
    Looks like the sky fell down
    No sun in the daylight
    Looks like it's chained to the ground
    Chained to the ground
    The warden said
    "The exit is sold
    If you want a way out
    Silver and gold"

    Broken back to the ceiling
    Broken nose to the floor
    I scream at the silence, it's crawling
    It crawls under the door
    There's a rope around my neck
    And there's a trigger in your gun
    Jesus say something
    I am someone, I am someone
    I am someone

    Captain and kings
    In the ships hold
    They came to collect
    Silver and gold
    Silver and gold

    Seen the coming and the going
    Seen them captains and the kings
    See them navy blue uniforms
    See them bright and shiny things
    Bright shiny things, yeah

    The temperature is rising
    The fever white hot
    Mister, I ain't got nothing
    But it's more than you got

    Chains no longer bind me
    Not the shackles at my feet
    Outside are the prisoners
    Inside the free
    Set them free
    Set them free

    A prize fighter in a corner is told
    Hit where it hurts
    Silver and gold
    Silver and gold

    Yeah, silver and gold

    This song was written in a hotel room in New York City
    Right about the time a friend of ours, Little Steven
    Was putting together a record of artists against apartheids
    It's a song written about a man in a shanty town outside of Johannesburg
    A man who's sick of looking down the barrel of white South Africa
    A man who is at the point where he is ready to take up arms against his oppressor
    A man who has lost faith in the peace makers of the West
    While they argue and while they fail to support a man like Bishop Tutu
    And his request for economic sanctions against South Africa
    Am I bugging you?
    Don't mean to bug ya
    Ok Edge, play the blues Writer/s: Adam Clayton, Dave Evans, Larry Mullen, Paul Hewson
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 4

  • Peter from Buffalo, NyAfter doing a project for my 10th grade global class, i came to realize that Bono wrote this song to remind the world of the Apartheid that was going on in South Africa. It was written in 1988, just before the "iron curtain" was lifted from Europe and the Berlin Wall was taken down. Bono wanted to remind the people of the world that there were still human rights violations going on around them, and even though the Soviets had just about split up and the troubles in Europe were just about over. Nelson Mandela had been arrested for his Anti-Apartheid actions in the ANC in the 1960. He was imprisoned for 27 years, which would have him coming out in 1987. Being written in 1988, this song is about him. On the album rattle and hum, the song is preformed live. at the end, bono explains the significances of the song.

    "This is a song written about a man in a shanty town outside of Johannesburg. A man who's sick and tired of looking down the barrel of white South Africa. A man who is at the point where
    he is ready to take up arms against his oppressor. A man who has lost faith in the peacemakers of the west while they argue
    and while they fail to support a man like bishop Tutu and his request for economic sanctions against South Africa."

    this is what Bono says after preforming the song. He really wanted the world to rememeber Mandela. and in 1994, Mandela became the 1st Black president of the new South Africa, that was NOT under apartheid. Bono and U2 have always been good for songs about human rights violations and this time it paid off
  • Marius from Lüneburg, GermanyAmy, don't you confound that with "desire"?!
  • Amy Friel from Barrie, CanadaI like the "Money, money, money, money" line. It's very bitter, almost mocking. Kudos to U2 for having the balls to tackle apartheid.
  • Ted from Los Angeles, NyThis is a remake of the Burl Ives hit sung by Sam the Snowman in "Rudolph the Reindeer."
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Amy Lee of Evanescence

Amy Lee of EvanescenceSongwriter Interviews

The Evanescence frontwoman on the songs that have shifted meaning and her foray into kids' music.

Curt Kirkwood of Meat Puppets

Curt Kirkwood of Meat PuppetsSongwriter Interviews

The (Meat)puppetmaster takes us through songs like "Lake Of Fire" and "Backwater," and talks about performing with Kurt Cobain on MTV Unplugged.

Rick Astley

Rick AstleySongwriter Interviews

Rick Astley on "Never Gonna Give You Up," "Cry For Help," and his remarkable resurgence that gave him another #1 UK album.

The Police

The PoliceFact or Fiction

Do their first three albums have French titles? Is "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" really meaningless? See if you can tell in this Fact or Fiction.

Kristian Bush of Sugarland

Kristian Bush of SugarlandSongwriter Interviews

Kristian talks songwriting technique, like how the chorus should redefine the story, and how to write a song backwards.


AdeleFact or Fiction

Despite her reticent personality, Adele's life and music are filled with intrigue. See if you can spot the true tales.