Sunday, November 18, 2018

A Sad Red-Letter Day

Song 434: The week the playlist comes around to Sunday Bloody Sunday by U2, written by Bono, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen and David Howell (the four band members), and you can find a YouTube video of it by clicking on the title. In the fall of 1983, my good friend Eddie Spitzer started a music store in the back of a record shop on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley, so of course, I visited him a number of times there, and in doing so, I kept hearing this new LP by an Irish quartet, and what I heard sounded so good that soon enough, I walked out with my own copy. I liked every track on the album, and I had that 33 on the turntable a lot. This rocker clearly conveys the disturbing brutality that had tormented Northern Ireland for far too long, referencing a well-known massacre and painting an unsettling picture of its horrific aftermath. There's many lost, but tell me, who has won. Certainly, none of the common folk numbered among the winners in that bloodbath. During that era, just like this foursome, I saw no escape route from the violence in their neighborhood, and I would have echoed Bono when he sang, How long must we sing this song? However, The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 brought both sides together, and largely put an end to the casualties, although not completely. For the Irish, the sad story of mothers, children, brothers, sisters torn apart has mostly become a thing of the past, and perhaps the resolution of this conflict has some lessons to offer, and to apply to other battles where The trench is dug within our hearts. On a side note, 2 other cuts from Under a Blood Red Sky have appeared on this list - 11 O'Clock Tick Tock is Song 181, and Gloria is Song 362.

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