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"Every review should have, below the name of the critic, their 10 current favorite works in the medium. That way you have some chance of seeing their prejudices." — Brian Eno

U2 Bible References: The Unforgettable Fire

The Unforgettable Fire (1984)

With its fourth album, U2 made a significant shift in style, moving toward a more ambient and experimental sound, and also began tackling social themes, including heroin addiction in “Bad” and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in “Pride (In The Name Of Love).”

Each song may show up in one, two or three of the following categories:

Direct Quotes (lyrics that are clearly taken from specific verses in the Bible)

Indirect References (lyrics that are likely referencing the Bible but without quoting specific verses)

Possible Influences (lyrics that hint at biblical themes and influences, but have no overt connection).



"A Sort Of Homecoming"


U2 lyric

Oh come away, oh come away, oh come / Oh come away say I


Possible influences

Song of Solomon 2:10 & 13 Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away. (ESV)

Revelation 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. (NIV)

The concept of “come” is used an amazing 43 times in Revelation.




"Pride (In The Name Of Love)"


U2 lyric

One man come he to justify


Possible influence

Isaiah 53:11 After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. (NIV)

"Justify" is a key verb in Christian theology referring to how the grace of Jesus makes believers right with God and is found throughout the Bible.



U2 lyric

One man washed on an empty beach


Possible influences

Jonah 2:10 And the Lord ordered the fish to spit up Jonah on the beach, and it did.



U2 lyric

One man betrayed with a kiss


Indirect reference

Luke 22:48 But Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” (NIV)




"The Unforgettable Fire"


U2 lyric

A dry and waterless place


Possible influence

Deuteronomy 8:15 He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. (NIV)



U2 lyric

And if the mountains should crumble / Or disappear into the sea


Possible influence

Psalm 46:2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way / and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.



U2 lyric

Stay this time, stay tonight in a lie / I'm only asking but I, I think you know / Come on and take me away


Indirect references

Song of Songs 1:4 Take me away with you—let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers. We rejoice and delight in you; we will praise your love more than wine. (NIV)

Song of Songs 7:11 Come, my beloved, let us go out into the country, Let us spend the night in the villages. (NIV)






U2 lyric

Words that build or destroy


Possible influence

Proverbs 11:9 With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors, but through knowledge the righteous escape. (NIV)

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)




"Indian Summer Sky"


U2 lyric

So wind go through to my heart / So wind blow through my soul


Possible influence

John 3:8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. (NIV)