U2: MLK (1984)


Sleep tonight
And may your dreams
Be realized
If the thunder cloud
Passes rain
So let it rain
Rain down him
So let it be
So let it be

‘MLK’ is the second tribute to Martin Luther King on U2’s album ‘The Unforgettable Fire’ – the other is ‘Pride (In the Name of Love)’. Bono wrote the song as a lullaby about non-violence, a concept that Bono felt was disappearing in his home country of Northern Ireland in the 1980s. Bono took his inspiration for the song from Martin Luther King who, despite all the humiliation he experienced, refused to give himself over to hatred and kept believing in love.

‘MLK’ is the last song on the album but was initially performed at concerts as the intro to the title song of ‘The Unforgettable Fire’. After a few world tours the song somewhat faded into the background but was revived in 1997 when Bono dedicated it to Princess Diana, who had just died. When Rosa Parks, the heroine of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, died he also sang the song as a tribute to her courage and non-violent resistance.
To this day Bono continues to dedicate the song to people who devote themselves to peace and justice, also those who are still engaged in the fight. During a recent concert, for example, Bono expressed his respect for Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese winner of the Nobel Peace Prize:

For the video, click here.