10 Things You Might Not Know About U2's 'Pride (In The Name Of Love)'

Photo: Getty Images

It’s April 4th, the day that Martin Luther King, Jr. was tragically assassinated in 1968. Many rock fans remember the date because U2 mentions it in the lyrics to “Pride (In The Name of Love).” Here are 10 things you might not know about the tune off of 1984’s The Unforgettable Fire:

1. In the song, Bono sings “Early morning, April 4, shot rings out in the Memphis sky,” however Reverend King was actually shot in the evening. The singer has acknowledged the mistake and sometimes sings “early evening” when performing live. 

2.Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders provided back-up vocals on the track. She was thanked on the album as “Mrs. Christine Kerr” since at the time, she was married to Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr.

3. When U2 began working on “Pride,” it was about Ronald Reagan with lyrics criticizing the president’s pride, which led to nuclear escalation. Bono decided he didn’t want to give Reagan importance with a song so he changed the tune to be about a more deserving positive figure, MLK.

4. Recording the song was difficult for the group. They laid it down many times before scrapping them all, taking a break, and getting one they liked after starting over.

5. The band came up with the music for the tune during the soundcheck at the Hawaii gig of their 1983 tour. The engineers recorded soundchecks in case something just like this happened.

6. U2 was inspired by King after seeing an exhibit on him at the Chicago Peace Museum in 1983. At that same museum, there was a display on the victims of the Hiroshima bombing. It was called “The Unforgettable Fire,” a title the band would use for another song and the album title.

7. While the song is about Martin Luther King, Jr., it's also about anyone who resisted non-violently and who died for preaching about the equality of men. MLK is the primary example of such a person.

8. The song became the band’s first top 40 hit in America.

9. After the release of the song, King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, invited the group to the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta. They took her up on it during their 1984 US tour.

10. The track wasn’t the only tribute to King on the album. The last song on the record, “MLK,” was also created as an homage to the civil rights activist.

Be sure to listen to "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" today and remember what a special man the world lost on this day 49 years ago. 

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content