Sunday 28 May 2017

'A lot of my early memories of teenage years were of violence' - Bono talks 'Cedarwood Road'

Bono and The Edge on stage in Vancouver on the opening night of the tour
Bono and The Edge on stage in Vancouver on the opening night of the tour
INGLEWOOD, CA - MAY 27: The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr and Bono of U2 performs at The Forum May 27, 2015 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Bono and The Edge have explained the origins of the song 'Cedarwood Road' from their Innocence + Experience album in an interview with Song Explorer.

The song title refers to the street in Glasnevin where Bono grew up and the band reveals it began with a guitar riff the Edge came up with at home.

Initially, however, the intro and chorus didn't cut the mustard and Bono set about writing something about his teenage years as the seven towers of Ballymun arrived in his area, housing many relocated families.

"They were very unhappy, they were angry, they were annoyed — these were the people we would meet as young teenagers," Bono told Song Explorer.

"A lot of my early memories of teenage years were of violence, and the sheer fear of leaving the house, going to catch the bus."

He went on to say that the song is about understanding how your past becomes a part of you.

"My self and my friends dealt with the kind of skinhead, boot boy culture of the time by creating our own reality, and eventually our own rock and roll band," he said.

"That's how we dealt with the fear that we felt. When I was writing about Cedarwood, the big revelation for me was that you can't really leave these things behind because they are who you are, you can never escape your upbringing."

For Bono, his favourite part of the song is the guitar solo.

"That has all the dignity of that neighborhood. Some dark characters indeed, but the general decency of people, the goodness, is in the guitar solo. I couldn't have achieved that."

The Edge added, "Bono loved the solo idea, and later on in the process of recording he couldn't help himself, he started singing over it."

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