Tuesday, May 10, 2011

U2's Tributes to the Victims of the 1998 Omagh Bombing

On August 15, 1998, a car bomb in the Irish town of Omagh killed 29 people and injured 220 more. It was the worst terrorist attack in the history of the Troubles. It is a terrible story that has only gotten more difficult with the numerous setbacks in the long struggle for justice for the victims' families. If you'd like to learn more, there is a well written, comprehensive account of this atrocity here.

On November 20, 1998, U2 was part of a tribute to the Omagh victims on an episode of The Late, Late Show. The audience included many family members of the victims. The band opened the show with a reworked version of "North and South of the River," a song that they originally recorded as a 1997 B-Side with Irish singer Christy Moore. This version is much better, though every time I see this, I can't help but wonder just where the hell that piano and the horns are coming from.

U2 - North and South of the River (Live - 11/20/98)

After artists including Bob Geldof and The Corrs performed, U2 closed the show with "All I Want is You."

On their 2000 album All That You Can't Leave Behind, U2 included the song "Peace on Earth" about the incident, which referenced some of the victims' names.

U2 - Peace on Earth

At the end of the summer of 2001, U2 played two nights at Slane Castle in Ireland, which were filmed and released as the DVD U2 Go Home. At the end of "Sunday Bloody Sunday," Bono emotionally recited the names of all 29 people who lost their lives before playing the song "Wake Up Dead Man." This was U2 at their very best.

U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday (Live - Slane Castle - 2001)

U2 - Wake Up Dead Man (Live - Slane Castle - 2001)

Thanks for checking this out.

Buy the DVD U2 Go Home: Live at Slane Castle from amazon.com.


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