The story behind U2 songs

As a teenager, I listened to U2’s Joshua Tree album innumerable times. However, I never really grasped what most of the songs are about. Thanks to the FAQs of the Internet, here are answers for two.

2.3.2 What’s the story behind "Where the Streets Have No Name"?
[SW] Back during the time of the whole Ethiopia starvation crisis, Bono and his wife Ali did a 6 week deal over there as volunteer relief workers or something of the such. The tent cities that were set up for the people were just lined up in rows, and that was how these people lived, hence there were streets without names. ‘high on a desert plain’ would be referring to Ethiopia, as well as the mentions of being ‘blown by the wind’ and ‘trampled in dust’, as it was a drought and I’d imagine, awfully dusty. Also, I would assume that ‘and when I go there, I go there with you…’ would be referring to Ali. IMO, the beginning lines are written in frustration at the misery and hopelessness of the situation and his inability to make very much of a difference.

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And then…

11. Who are the "Mothers of the Disappeared"?

In 1976, a military coup brought Argentina under the violence and terror of a dictatorship. Approximately 30,000 citizens were kidnapped by military death squads and disappeared. The mothers of those kidnapped united in a search for their missing children, and courageously stood up in a lone resistance against the dictatorship. They demanded the "re-appearance alive" of their families then and to this very day, in which Argentina is again democratic, but those responsible for the genocide go unpunished.

At U2’s first PopMart show in Buenos Aires on February 5, 1998, the Mothers of the Disappeared came on stage holding signs and pictures of their missing loved ones, and after the performance of the song put their white scarves around Bono’s neck. The crowd began to sing their national anthem. [AC]

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