I’ve been inspired by listening to U2’s SiriusXM station the past few months. In fact, a lot of new songs I save in Spotify have come from listening to what their channel plays. Often times, they’ll have fans play their top 5 favorite U2 songs, so I thought I’d make a list of my favorites. Because this is my blog and I make the rules, I don’t have to keep it at 5 though 🙂 Here is the first set of my favorite U2 songs, and then check out part 2 here.
“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” – I was an elementary-aged child when I first heard this song… sometime in the mid-80s. I didn’t know who the band was. In fact, I didn’t even think to wonder about them. I just knew I liked this song. A lot. Like, A LOT a lot. It would be years and years later that I would discover it was a band called U2, and the world of music for me changed forever. This song is more spiritually authentic than so much of Christian music.
Favorite line: “You broke the bones and you loosed the chains. Carried the cross and all my shame, all my shame. You know I believe it.”
“With or Without You” – Just like another song on this list (“So Cruel”), the back and forth notes of the piano going through the whole song is one of my favorite things. When this happens in a song, it just mesmerizes me. This song is about that person you can’t stand, but can’t stand to live without. Some people can relate to the struggle, unfortunately. Similar to the well-known phrase, “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” the singer is in a position where it’s a lose/lose situation. When he gets to the line, “…and you give yourself away,” he’s reached a point where he just doesn’t care anymore. The best one got away so what else is there to hope for?
Favorite Line: “…and you give yourself away.”
“Where the Streets Have No Name” – This song was already amazing, but it rooted deeper into my soul after watching the 2002 Super Bowl halftime performance. Note that this was just a few months after the tragedy of 9/11. Amazing song. ONCE IN A LIFETIME PERFORMANCE.
Favorite Line: “Where the streets have no name!”
“So Cruel” – The repeating piano throughout the song is everything. This song might be the only one on this list that stopped me in my tracks. You know the kind of song that you are SURE it was written about you? In this case, and in my life, this song wouldn’t be one I wrote for a lost love but one a lost love wrote about me. I’ve been cruel before. To stay with me, she would’ve been a fool.
Favorite line: “Oh, Love, to stay with you, I’d be a fool.”
“Pride (In the Name of Love)” – I like this one for the references to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jesus, all without even needing to say their names. Great songwriting right there!
Favorite Line: “Early morning, April 4, shot rings out in a Memphis sky. Free at last, they took your life, they could not take your pride.”
“Numb” – I was 41 when I heard this song for the first time in 2020. I think it’s amazing how a song can exist for decades (“Numb” released in 1993) without a person ever hearing it. Especially when it’s from a well-known band like U2. For me this song is so memorable not because of the lyrics per se, but how the song is put together with the crunchy razor-like guitar notes and the heavy drum beat. I loved it the first time I heard it on U2’s SiriusXM station and it quickly became a top favorite.
Thanks for making it this far! These are only 6 of my favorite U2 songs. Check out the rest in part 2.
-Out of the Wilderness