Friday, 31 December 2010

All is quiet...

U2, the heart and soul of Ireland, wrote this beautiful, emotion-loaded song.

Twenty five years ago, when Ireland was still torn apart by "The Troubles" and the IRA atrocities, the Irish band produced their third album. The album was called simply "War", and contained two of their most powerful songs, both directly related to the problems their country was experiencing at the time. One was "Sunday, Bloody Sunday", and the other was "New Year's Day".

Few people outside the UK will know too much about the origins of these songs, which are seen now as just 1980's pop songs. For those who care about the origins, "the poignant words of "New Year's Day", point to a time when the country would no longer be torn apart by civil war, and people could walk in safety. It is important to point out here, that as a band from Eire (Southern Ireland), U2 may have had totally different views on this to some in Northern Ireland ,- wishing for a united Ireland which many in the North did not agree to.
With it's catchy refrain of "I will be with you again", and soaring guitar, most people now see this song as a love song. A story of new hope, new beginnings, and lovers' reunited. However, the middle verses tell of it's true meaning, - the story of a country mired in bloodshed and fear, and people who look forward to the new year, not with hope, but with fear of more death and destruction, and yet, with their human spirits still hoping for the miracle that "though torn in two, we can be as one".

All is quiet on New Year's Day.
A world in white gets underway.
I want to be with you, be with you night and day.
Nothing changes on New Year's Day.
On New Year's Day.

I... will be with you again.
I... will be with you again.

Under a blood-red sky
A crowd has gathered in black and white
Arms entwined, the chosen few
The newspaper says, says
Say it's true, it's true...
And we can break through
Though torn in two
We can be one.

I... I will begin again
I... I will begin again.

Oh, oh. Oh, oh. Oh, oh.
Oh, maybe the time is right.
Oh, maybe tonight.
I will be with you again.
I will be with you again.

And so we are told this is the golden age
And gold is the reason for the wars we wage
Though I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes
On New Year's Day
On New Year's Day
On New Year's Day

If you realise this song is a wish to live in peace , and reunite the two Irelands, you look at it in a totally different way.

Happy New year, everybody.


  1. Neither Irish nor a big U2 fan, but happy new year!

  2. I always loved the drum into to this song. nice post

  3. happy new year for the new year.

  4. I didn't know the history behind this song
    Pretty cool :D
    Happy New Year to you too!

  5. How appropriate....nicely done..

    Not a big U2 fan, but I will listen to this song today, for you.