“Yahweh” by U2
Readers with a bit of in-depth Biblical knowledge would recognize the title of this song (“Yahweh”) as being a transliteration of the official name of God as put forth in the Old Testament. Indeed some people, such as those who subscribe to certain divisions of the Hebrew faith, still to this day refer to the Most High as Yahweh or one of its alternatives, Jehovah.
Lyrics of “Yahweh”
So what appears to be going down in this song is that the vocalist, Bono, is in fact addressing Yahweh. Or put alternatively, these lyrics are akin to him praying. And the vocalist’s related musings are a tad diverse. But for the most part, he appears to be entreating the Most High to make him a better person.
In the first verse, he uses worldly language to get that point across, though it is pretty apparent that the wording is by and large metaphorical, alluding to the singer’s desire to have his soul cleansed, if you will.
But in the second verse, he gets more specific in that regard. Here, he asks for instance to be made more peaceful instead of aggressive and confrontational, as he currently is.
So all lyrics considered, it’s as if Bono is one of those naturally-pessimistic types. In other words, he comes off as the kind of individual who perceives the world, including himself, as being in a sinful state, and that situation being so pronounced that it can only be rectified via the intervention of Yahweh Himself.
And yes, in the third verse for example, the vocalist does take his praying to a more macrocosmic level. But for the most part, he’s focused on his own personal redemption. Furthermore, Bono understands that achieving said goal, i.e. a man transforming his very nature, is not an easy task. So he appears to be genuinely requesting divine assistance, as heart-wrenching as the process may be, in the name of achieving it.
Release of “Yahweh”
Needless to say U2, the long-standing rock group from Ireland, is a permanent A-list act. All but one of their last 10 studio LPs, beginning with 1987’s “The Joshua Tree” and concluding with 2017’s “Songs of Experience”, have topped the Irish Albums Chart, with most of them also replicating the feat on the UK Albums Chart and Billboard 200.
One of those projects which reached number one on all three of those lists was “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb”, which Island Records initially made public on 22 November 2004. It is from that particular outing that we get “Yahweh”, a song that was not released as a single but has still gone on to become one of the band’s most famous songs.
To note, this is the closing track on the standard playlist of “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb”.
The quartet that has been holding down the U2 brand since 1976 – Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. – are all credited with writing this song, as is standard with their tracks. And it was produced by another British musician in Chris Thomas.