Friday Factoid: U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love)”

0-5–By Brandon

As Choir of the Sound gets ready to rock out for spring quarter, our first Friday Factoid offers a transition from our winter gospel and spirituals concert to U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love).” The song, which was released in 1984 and has been named the 388th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone, received mixed reviews when it was first released, most critically from U2’s Bono himself. The song was originally written about American military power, trying to condemn Reagan for his pride which led to nuclear escalation. However, lyricist Bono revised the song after reading books about Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, forcing him to think about the civil rights movement. The first verse can be thought to contrast the two men’s styles. The song contains a mistake in the lyrics, referring to King’s shooting: “Early morning, April 4 / Shot rings out in the Memphis sky,” although King was shot in the evening. The last song on the album The Unforgettable Fire (on which “Pride” was released) is titled “MLK,” also serving as a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.