Heartland – my spiritual journey with U2

My fifth favorite U2 song is Heartland. To me this song is about Memphis, my favorite city. I always think about the scene from Rattle and Hum when Edge and Bono are on the hill overlooking the Mississippi River and then U2 tour Graceland while Heartland is playing in the background.

The chorus of Heartland is spiritual – “In this heartland heaven knows. This is a heartland. Heartland, our heartland.” This place is so beautiful, it must be what heaven is like. Memphis is beautiful, not necessarily physically beautiful all the time, but the feel of the city and its music history is heavenly to me. The lyric in Heartland “Through the ghostranch hills” refers to a spiritual place in New Mexico where many religious conferences take place.

See the sunrise over her skin
Don’t change it.
See the sunrise over her skin
Dawn changes everything, everything.
And the delta sun
Burns bright and violent.
Mississippi and the cotton wool heat
Sixty-six – a highway speaks
Of deserts dry
Of cool green valleys
Gold and silver veins
All the shining cities
In this heartland
Heaven knows
This is a heartland.
Heartland, our heartland.
See the sunrise over her skin
She feels like water in my hand
Freeway, like a river
Cuts through this land
Into the side of love
Like a burning spear
And the poison rain
Like dirty tears
Through the ghostranch hills
Death Valley waters
In the towers of steel
Belief goes on and on
In this heartland
Heaven knows
This is a heartland.

Now that I’ve written about my five favorite U2 songs in relation to theology, next I will go through each U2 album chronologically backwards starting with No Line on the Horizon and discuss U2’s most religious songs.

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