During the “We Are One” inaugural concert in Washington, D.C., the always-political Bono made sure that we don’t forget that Obama’s inauguration isn’t just meaningful for Americans, but for the world.
“This is not just an American dream, but also an Irish dream, a European dream, an African dream … an Israeli dream and a Palestinian dream,” Bono said in the middle of [artist id="1022"]U2′s[/artist] performance of their 1984 hit “Pride (In the Name of Love).”
“One of the interesting things about ‘Pride’ in this rendition was his speech in the middle that freedom is an American dream,” Stephen D. Winick, writer and editor at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress told MTV News. “But also an Irish and African dream, which of course ties it to Obama’s heritage.”
(Read our analysis of Jon Bon Jovi and Bettye LaVette’s rendition of “A Change Is Gonna Come” and Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising” performance at the “We Are One” concert.)
Winick added that this performance showed “U2′s constant engagement in what’s going on in the world, and shows why Obama wanted them to be a part of it.”
“They are very topical,” he added of the band, which also performed “City of Blinding Lights.”
Winick had some interesting trivia that shined some light on why they may have picked “Pride” as one of their songs (other than the obvious: that it’s about Martin Luther King Jr.). “One of the things that I’ve heard about that song is that they started writing it in [Obama's home state] Hawaii.”
Winick also noted why it made sense for an Irish band to be performing at this very American event.
“They’ve always engaged with America and American issues,” Winick said. “I think it’s something Obama is very interested in. I think Obama can learn some stuff from Bono, given the way that Bono has interacted with American politicians. They are so popular and have been a part of the American soundtrack since the 1980s.”
“Be the Change: Live From the Inaugural” will air live on MTV on Tuesday, January 20, at 10 p.m. ET/PT. MTV News will have wall-to-wall coverage of the event and of the scenes in Washington, D.C., New Orleans and Kenya in the days leading up to the event and in the days that follow.