Monday, June 20, 2016

Bono, U2 and the Psalms

It's not too often that you find the Psalms intersecting with pop culture.

I wasn't very tuned into pop music in the 80s and 90s, and only slightly more so now that my kids  occasionally share with me a pop song that they think I might like. (Occasionally they are actually right about this, resulting in a couple of hits by Coldplay or Train or Lindey Stirling sharing space on my jogging playlist with Billy Joel, Kansas, and Orleans hits from my ancient high school days.)

So my familiarity with Irish singer Bono and his group, U2, is patchy. I know maybe two of his songs and could correctly identify his picture. I'd also heard over the years that he is a believing Catholic, has been married to the same woman for 34 years, has four children, and is a great humanitarian.

Today, I was happy to learn from this article that Bono really likes the psalms:

  “First of all, David’s a musician, so I’m gonna like him. … And what’s so powerful about the Psalms are, as well as their being Gospel and songs of praise, they are also the Blues. It’s very important for Christians to be honest with God, which often, you know, God is much more interested in who you are than who you want to be.”

Next, I enjoyed his take on the first few verses of Psalm 40, which you can listen too here. This video starts with a different song, but if you want to get right over to Psalm 40, it starts aroud 4:40.So now I'm wondering whether Bono knows about the Liturgy of the Hours, and wishing there were a way to send him a breviary with a note explaining what it is. Any ideas for how one might do that?


  1. I do not remember who it was, but there was a priest who used to publish a "monthly?" report on scripture themes in popular music...He used to call pop music the 151st psalm - at least some popular music.
    We use U2 music at our school liturgies and pilgrimages all the time...really helps bridge the faith for the youth...great stuff. Nice to read your articles...and congrats on the Lithuanian edition...have a gaelic edition in mind? HAHA

    1. Well, Tom, it was the Lithuanians who approached my publisher and purchased the rights. So the ball is in your court!

  2. Marc's Coffee: Buy Award-winning Indian Organic Coffees from Online Coffee Shop India. Taste the Best Indian Organic Coffee Powder & Coffee Beans in 1 click

  3. Psalm 118:33-37,40 taken from today's Mass
    Lord, teach me your statutes.
    Teach me the demands of your statutes
    and I will keep them to the end.
    Train me to observe your law,
    to keep it with my heart.
    Lord, teach me your statutes.
    Guide me in the path of your commands;
    for there is my delight.
    Bend my heart to your will
    and not to love of gain.
    Lord, teach me your statutes.
    Keep my eyes from what is false;
    by your word, give me life.
    See, I long for your precepts;
    then in your justice, give me life.
    Lord, teach me your statutes

  4. Daria, you may find this interesting regarding U2's lyrics. All the biblical references. In fact, shoirtly before their second album, October was produced, the band nearly split up because Bono and another member couldn't reconcile being rock stars as well as christians! As it happens, October is full of scriptural references. It's possibly my favourite album of theirs.