I’ve just seen U2’s performance of Bullet the Blue Sky on last night’s Fallon.

Oh. My. God.

That’s no expletive. But a prayer. A Prayer of Rage. A prayer I prayed this morning because I was struggling to pray, for whatever reason. A prayer when things seem truly mad. In the Cold War sense of Mutually Assured Destruction. All while hurricanes brutally pummel away a people and places I love. The world is heating up. In every sense.

Bullet is one of U2’s tried and tested, stadium rage-conduits (as, for example, are Sunday, Bloody Sunday; Exit; perhaps also Wake Up Dead Man). It was written in response to US military and CIA interventions in Latin America in the 80s, a time Bono by described as when ‘there was a lot to despise about America’. Are we in similar times? Well, Bono is always fiddling around with his lyrics live – and this is no exception. But this time, there was no doubting his intentions, since they posted the variations online.

I hadn’t realised it until I watched it – but I really needed this rage today.

In case you missed them, these are the new words. With the words the punched me in the gullet in bold.

I can see those fighter planes 

WMD in their veins

Ground shakes but the children can’t weep
Vaporized in a single tweet 
The emperor rises from his golden throne
Never knowing, never BEING known
The lights are on the presidents home
Oh my god I’ve never felt so alone
Outside its America
Outside its America

In a far off palace in a far-fetched land
Another baby plays a baby grand
Fingers on the keys of a siren song
Finger on the button of oblivion
And all I can think of is my son

All I can think of is my son
He misses his ma, misses his da
And he runs
And he runs
And he runs
Into the arms of america

Header image from @u2 article

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