(Un)Covered: Sunday Bloody Sunday

U2 vs Paramore By | July 12, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Sunday Bloody Sunday”
Writers: U2
Original Release Date: March 21, 1983

It’s not Sunday, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy one of U2’s most popular songs.

I grew up listening to U2, so while I’ve heard “Sunday Bloody Sunday” a million times, I never really thought about its subject, until now: the massacre of innocent people in Northern Ireland during a peaceful protest march. Before I looked into the lyrics, I used to get distracted by how layered the military-like percussion is, especially in the intro, and the way the guitar ripples through the song, and now I can hear how the instrumentation adds to the story. It’s also easy to get caught up in the spirit as Bono and Co. shout and stomp their way through the chorus. And if you happen to be listening to a live version of it—which I was—there’s a moment near the end when the crowd starts chanting “no more” while Bono waves a white flag that makes you understand how powerful the song is.

I know right now everyone is obsessed with new Paramore material (and I don’t blame you), but can we take a step back through time and appreciate how beautiful their U2 cover is? Recorded in 2007, it’s been literally a decade but Hayley Williams’ voice is still as lovely as ever, and she manages to bring up the same kind of emotions that Bono can. The instrumentation is not as intricate as the original, but that’s okay because it lets us focus on the vocals.

Hayley Williams’ voice has always been impressive, but there’s something about the way Bono commands the crowd that makes the original U2 song more compelling.