Sunday Bloody Sunday

Essay by CelideeuhzCollege, UndergraduateA+, October 2014

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Celina Diaz

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Considered one of U2's signature pieces, ranked 272nd by Rolling Stones on their list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" (Larson), released on March 11, 1983, Sunday Bloody Sunday is one of the most powerful and outrageously political songs in Northern Ireland's history. The lyrics to the song report on the trepidation felt by an onlooker of the troubles in Northern Ireland, particularly emphasizing on the bloody Sunday occurrence in Londonderry where British troops brutally murdered and shot at unarmed, defenseless civil rights protesters and innocent bystanders who were there to march against confinement.

Although they were aware of the possible repercussions and misinterpretations of the lyrics when they decided to record Sunday Bloody Sunday, they were not afraid to convey an incredibly powerful message that blossomed from a catchy melody and compelling lyrics. As Bono told USA today in 2000, "There is a transcendence that I want from rock… I am still drunk on the idea that rock and roll can be a force for change.

We have not lost that idea."

The song commences with U2's talented drummer, Larry Mullen, beating on the drums in an assertive, almost nostalgic soldier like rhythm that suggests the mental imagery of guns, war, soldiers, and bloodshed. The striking beat and formidable riff take the listener to illusions envisioning the horrific, graphic scene that took place on that frightful day. There is a soft violin touch throughout the song that simultaneously adds a sense of compassion and remorse. Bono is intentionally using his incredibly powerful vocals to convey the message against violence and he lets his audience know how truly disgusted and appalled he is by the occurrence when he belts "Broken bottles under children's feet, bodies strewn across the dead end...