Bono and U2’s search for God – News

The Washington Times,

WASHINGTON, January 1, 2013 — Humans have praised God through many means throughout our history. Science has ventured tentatively into these waters, but God remains a mystery, and some would argue that this is the way that it is meant to be.

My views on this are well documented: I believe that science has a role to play in our spiritual development – as Jacob Bronkowski said, knowledge is our destiny, and science’s raison d’etre is surely to obtain that knowledge. Science and Religion don’t have to be in opposition, they are sides of the one coin, and ultimately, if we foster the advance of both of them, their description of that coin must converge.

But because it is the new year, and perhaps a time to eschew controversy in favor of community, let me talk about music. Except in the most puritanical religions, music has always been one way that we have agreed we could seek to commune with God, and share our experience of that seeking. Gospel and hymns are the traditional forms of praise, but pop music is also gathering its own rich tradition.

To the surprise of many, U2, arguably the world’s most popular rock band, is not afraid to release songs which have a spiritual emphasis. They wear their Christianity on their sleeves if you know where to look.

I have included some excerpts below from two of their earlier songs which are particularly clear in their message.

They touch on our need for God, and their popularity seems to suggest that they have a universal appeal, irrespective of your own particular religious belief.

Released in 1981, Gloria is one of U2’s very first singles. Not to be confused with Thems’ (with Van Morrison at the helm) ode to carnal love of the same name, U2’s Gloria is a barely disguised hymn to God. Here is an excerpt from it:

“I try to sing this song

I, I try to stand up

But I can’t find my feet

I try, I try to speak up

But only in you

I’m complete

Gloria, Gloria

Oh Lord, loosen my lips

I try to sing this song

I, I try to get in

But I can’t find the door

The door is open

You’re standing there

You let me in”

A superficial glance at the lyrics could confuse it with a love song. Perhaps Bono is simply singing to a girl named Gloria? Undoubtedly that meaning exists in the song, but the real meaning is revealed by the chorus “Gloria in te Domine / Gloria exultate” translates to “Glory in you, Lord / Glory, exalt” which is a reference to Psalm 30:2. The song also contains references to Colossians 2:9-10 (“Only in You I’m complete”) and James 5:7-9 (“The door is open / You’re standing there”).

Similar feelings are expressed in the song 40, from their 1983 album, War. The song is called 40 after Psalm 40. Indeed the chorus is loosely based on the first two verses of Psalm 40:3, which reads “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God…”

In it, Bono refers to an inability to “find my feet”, to “stand up” or to “speak up”, which is an acknowledgement of our fallen state and a cry for help to God:

“I waited patiently for the Lord

He inclined and heard my cry

He brought me up out of the pit

Out of the miry clay

I will sing, sing a new song

How long to sing this song?

He set my feet upon a rock

And made my footsteps firm

Many will see

Many will see and fear”

Again U2 are making it clear how important it is to defer to the Lord – it is only “He” that will bring humanity “up out of the pit” or out of the darkness, and out into the light. It is only in God that we can find a firm foundation in our lives.

The question of “How long to sing this song” is one we are probably all asking ourselves here at the beginning of the new year. Ever since Adam and Eve were thrown out of the Garden of Eden humanity has stumbled in the darkness, trying to one day find our way home; and it seems that the further we have come, the more lost we have become – and so it would be easy to lose heart.

Today humanity is facing greater challenges than it ever has in its history, and it can seem overwhelming. ‘How long?’ asks Bono. Who can truly say? All we can do is have faith, and just put one foot in front of the other for a bit longer – and if we do that we will yet come out the other side.

My only caveat is that with the strength of our faith we continue forward rather than retreat – though retreat might seem like the safer way to get home. Though going forward seems fraught with uncertainty and danger, it is only in going forward that as a species we will fulfill the potential that God has given us. As a community, as a people, as a species, let us not hide our light under a bushel.

Surely a wonderful future awaits us if we but hold the course – a beautiful day no less. Happy new year!

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Bono busks again on Grafton Street Dublin, Christmas 2012 – News

Glen Hansard along for the song on a night of nights

It has become an annual ritual, the great Bono busk in Grafton Street on Christmas Eve. This year the U2 front man was accompanied by Glen Hansard of “Once” fame and singer Lisa Hannigan.

It looks like a few thousand revellers who had gathered all day to see the great man joined them and Grafton Street was a throng of happy faces.

Bono did not disappoint, belting out ‘Desire’ among others. The fans joined in and it was another Bono night to remember.

Here’s footage of Bono and Glen Hansard busking on Grafton Street:

© Copyright 2012 IrishCentral LLC. All rights reserved.

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Bono’s Beautiful Daughter Quietly Stuns In NYC Appearance – News

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By Wendy Geller, Stop The Presses!

U2 frontman Bono may be one of the world’s highest-profile musicians, but you wouldn’t know it from the low profile his family tends to take. Case in point: The rocker’s 21-year-old daughter, Eve Hewson, who’s been building an acting career in an understated, non-splashy fashion. Not too many people are familiar with Hewson’s stunning looks–have you seen her before?

The beautiful blue-eyed brunette–the second-oldest of Bono and wife Ali Hewson’s four children–stunned onlookers in New York at a screening of her new film, This Must Be The Place, which co-stars Sean Penn and Frances McDormand.

The movie competed at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and will go into limited release domestically on November 2. Hewson plays the teenaged Mary, a friend to Penn’s portrayal of an aging Dublin rock star seeking revenge for his father’s torment at the hands of a Nazi guard.

The Irish-born Hewson, who lives in Brooklyn, made her feature-length acting debut in the 2008 drama The 27 Club. She also features prominently in Irish band the Script’s music video “For The First Time.”

Copyright © 2012 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.

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The Edge spotted with Bryan Ferry on stage – News

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On September 27, 2012, U2’s The Edge was seen on stage performing with Bryan Ferry at the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital Friendship Ball in London, England. They played the Irish folk song “Carrickfergus”, named after the town of Carrickfergus in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

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U2’s Bono and wife Ali bonded with Matthew McConaughey in Ibiza – News

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by Irish Central

Bono and his wife Ali usually spend their summer vacays in the south of France, but this year they’ve also added Ibiza to their itinerary. While there they met up with Matthew McConaughey and his pregnant wife Camila, as you can see from our picture, with Bono taking plenty of protection from the scorching sun with his hat and black shirt.

Here’s no surprise – Simon Cowell would love to have Bono appear on his reality singing competition The X Factor. Bosses at American Idol and all the other shows feel the same.

“Bono is one of the top choices each year when shake-ups on these shows come around. He has repeatedly shrugged off talk of appearing as a judge as he hasn’t the time and it’s not really up his street at the moment,” a source told The Irish Sun.

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“As far as producers are concerned, who better in the world to judge you than someone considered a kind of God of the music world?”

© Copyright 2012 IrishCentral LLC. All rights reserved.

Bono and Ali’s daughter gets ‘Telephone’ for 21st – News

By Richie Taylor, Irish Examiner

Bono and Ali Hewson’s youngest daughter Eve was shocked when her parents gave her an unusual 21st birthday present at her coming of age party in a glitzy Las Vegas club.

Eve was also celebrating wrapping up the filming of her next movie, the gangster film Blood Ties, with Clive Owens and Mila Kunis.

The U2 frontman and his wife unveiled their own unique recorded version of the Lady Gaga song ‘Telephone’ at the club, where it was played to all star guests as well as music business moguls Jimmy Iovine and Wilmer Valderrama.

Bono himself introduced the track, originally performed by Lady Gaga and Beyoncé in a Bonny & Clyde-themed video, before sending two bottles of Dom Pérignon champagne over to his daughter’s table in the club at the famous Mirage Hotel.

According to the New York Post, other guests at the event included Transformers director Michael Bay and basketball star Kobe Bryant, while rapper Fabolous dedicated a song to Eve from the stage. Eve’s big sister Jordan, who is studying in New York, was also at the bash.

Knocking back her first legal drink in the US, Eve laughed and shouted: “!Alcohol tastes weird!”

It was the second leg of celebrations for Eve, who earlier in the day had enjoyed a dinner with her family and close friends in the Tao Las Vegas restaurant.

Bono and Ali left the young folk to party into the early hours and the next day attended Cirque de Soleil’s Love show at the Mirage, which is based on the music of The Beatles.

The couple later posed for pictures with members of the outfit, whose show is enjoying a lengthy run in Las Vegas.

Eve made her big screen debut in 2008 in the cult movie The 27 Club, which took its name for the alleged ‘club’ of dead rock stars who died at the age of 27. These include Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Brian Jones.

More recently, she filmed This Must Be the Place, mainly on location in Dublin, with Sean Penn and Frances McDormand.

While Bono and Ali were shocked when Eve told them she wanted to be an actress while still a schoolgirl, they soon decided to give her their complete support.

© Examiner Publications (Cork) Limited

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