The Joshua Tree

Bullet The Blue Sky

  1. Well, as in many things, it is slightly open to interpretation. But from reading the lyrics and reading a few books where Bono talks about the song... It is musically supposed to represent the bombings of El Salvadorian towns during its civil war by US planes. It is about the United States' policy of supporting dictators in 3rd world countries to oppose the spread of communism. But more than all this, it is about the way war destroys people. When originally writing the lyrics, Bono was not sure if he should say, And we run, into the arms...of America. or Into the arms of the world so as not to offend Americans. Obviously he stuck with the first. Bono and Edge say his guitar solo in it is supposed to be the keen of the bombs being dropped, and the rage of the war machines....

    Jester jjarvis@netcom.com (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)

  2. It seems that many people get confused with this song thinking that it was written solely about the Salvadorean Civil War. I was born in El Salvador and lived that horrible time. It is a great honor for us to hear that one of the best rock n' roll bands still standing makes a remark of our country's struggle at that time in one of their songs. What I would like to add is that yes, there was much influence by the U.S. government to stop the spreading of communism in our country. What is not true is that there has never existed any dictatorship of any kind in our country and there wasn't any U.S. planes bombing any part of our country. If there was a plane bombing it was our's. The rumors say that U2 came to visit the guerrilla headquarters and even offered a private concert to them. They saw the suffering of all of these people living in the open country trying to survive from several diverse encounters with the former government. It is understood that if this really happened it might have caused a strong impact on each of their minds, enough to make a public statement in one of their concerts, heard on the "Rattle and Hum" version. Also it is known that each member of the band is, before celebrities, humanitarians. The song it may have been influenced by what they saw, but I can assure you that it was a big human rights shout out directed to the U.S. government for putting their noses, like always, where they are not supposed to.

    Gino Mondini tmondini@cyt.net (17:th of March 2001)

  3. "In a way, what started on War really came together on Joshua Tree. 'Bullet the Blue Sky,' for example, was a culmination of looking at the wider political picture." - Adam Clayton, quoted by Antony DeCurtis in Revolver Magazine, Issue #3 / Winter 2000

    From Salvation in the Blues, compiled by Chris Taguchi chris@taguchi.ca (3rd of April 2007)

  4. "America seems to be everything that's great about the world, and everything that's terrible about the world all rolled into one. That's what 'Bullet the Blue Sky' is all about." -- Bono, 1987

    From Salvation in the Blues, compiled by Chris Taguchi chris@taguchi.ca (3rd of April 2007)