VIDEO: U2 Alters Song Lyrics in Las Vegas to Honor Israel’s Victims

Posted on: October 9, 2023, 12:47h. 

Last updated on: October 9, 2023, 01:07h.

On Sunday night at its concert at the Sphere at the Venetian in Las Vegas, U2 honored the more than 700 people believed to have been murdered in terrorist attacks by Hamas by altering the lyrics to its 1984 hit “Pride (In the Name of Love).”

Originally written for Dr. Martin Luther King to commemorate the civil rights leader’s assassination on April 4, 1968, the song now took on a raw emotional resonance in its reconfigured version:

Early morning, October 7, the sun is rising in the desert sky.
Stars of David, they took your life, they could not take your pride.
Could not take your pride, could not take your pride
In the name of love.

“In the light of what’s happened in Israel and Gaza, a song about nonviolence seems somewhat ridiculous, even laughable,” Bono told his 18,000-strong crowd as guitarist Dave “The Edge” Evans strummed the song’s introduction. “But our prayers have always been for peace and for nonviolence. But our hearts, and our anger, you know what that’s pointing to. So sing with us, and those beautiful kids at that music festival.”

During the Supernova desert dance festival in Israel on Friday night, heavily armed terrorists gunned down audience members and threw grenades into the crowd, leaving at least 260 of 3,500 spectators dead and hundreds more wounded. Held in a rural area near Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip, the electronic-music concert was billed as “a journey of unity and love.”

Reports say that some concertgoers were kidnapped and sexually assaulted during the attack, which was part of a multi-pronged campaign by Hamas militants, who surprised Israel during the Sukkot Jewish holiday with an early morning onslaught from the air, sea, and land.

Other Tributes

In front of the Venetian, several hundred people gathered earlier on Sunday to show their support for Israel. Many waved Israeli flags or sang to support the Jewish state at the “Stand Up Against Terror. Stand With Israel” rally.

U2 has a reputation for using ugly geopolitical realities to inform its music and concerts. During its 2001 tour of America, the band ended its shows by performing “One” as the names of each of the fallen 9/11 emergency responders — and the passengers and crews from each of the hijacked flights — scrolled on a giant screen at the back of the stage.

The rest of the 2,996 victims’ names then scrolled during its performance of “Peace on Earth,” a 2000 song U2 wrote about an Irish terrorist attack.