Back to Cedarwood Road

On September 9, 2014 the very first time I listened to U2’s Songs of Innocence, “Cedarwood Road” immediately stood out from the rest of the songs and was my favorite. Oddly enough not because of the lyrics, which is usually what gets me about a U2 song (I didn’t know the lyrics yet), but the driving bass and hard rock guitar. I thought it was a much more of a ‘hard’ rock song than U2 usually do. Not hard rock like Metallica, but for U2 I thought it was hard rock. That was my very first listen.

The more I listened to Songs of Innocence, the more I learned the lyrics. Then the last week of September, I got some crushing personal news I thought would destroy me. It certainly shook my faith in mankind. (It was not a health or family issue.) The new U2 album could not have come at a better time for me. It was about this time, within a month of its release, when I started loving “Song for Someone.” And when I say ‘love,’ I mean listen to the song on repeat while crying. So when I wrote about SOI for the first time in October, I crowned “Song for Someone” my favorite.

A couple months later, probably right before the New Year, I started to really love “Cedarwood Road” again. I started feeling about it as I had about “Song for Someone.” I would listen to “Cedarwood Road” on repeat, but not crying. Instead, I was excited and happy and really identifying with its lyrics. I was more about “Cedarwood Road” than “Song for Someone,” and I realized I was finally and truly over my personal crisis. “Song for Someone” had gotten me through it and now I was celebrating with “Cedarwood Road.”

Almost five months after its release, I can say without a doubt my favorite song off of Songs of Innocence is “Cedarwood Road.” It has become sort of my anthem for 2015. I no longer think it is a hard rock song, just a great rock and roll song. But now the lyrics, not necessarily the music, are the reason I love “Cedardwood Road.” The music keeps it upbeat for me and makes it more of an anthem than a lament, but it is the lyrics that touch my soul. Especially “All the green and all the gold. The hurt you hide, the joy you hold … If the door is open it isn’t theft. You can’t return to where you’ve never left … a heart that is broken is a heart that is open.” Wow, just brilliant and speaks to me on a level I can barely explain.


I was running down the road
The fear was all I knew
I was looking for a soul that’s real
Then I ran into you
And that cherry blossom tree
Was a gateway to the sun
And friendship once it’s won
It’s won… it’s one

Northside just across the river to the Southside
That’s a long way here
All the green and all the gold
The hurt you hide, the joy you hold
The foolish pride that gets you out the door
Up on Cedarwood Road, on Cedarwood Road

Sleepwalking down the road
Not waking from these dreams
‘Cause it’s never dead it’s still my head
It was a warzone in my teens
I’m still standing on that street
Still need an enemy
The worst ones I can’t see
You can… you can

Northside just across the river from the Southside
That’s a long way here
All the green and all the gold
The hurt you hide and the joy you hold
The foolish pride that sends you back for more
Up on Cedarwood Road, on Cedarwood Road

If the door is open it isn’t theft
You can’t return to where you’ve never left
Blossoms falling from a tree they cover you and cover me
Symbols clashing, bibles smashing
Paint the world you need to see
Sometimes fear is the only place we can call home
Cedarwood Road


I am so happy to get back to Cedarwood Road, a place I never really left. U2 will make it better. U2 will get you through.

5 Comments on Back to Cedarwood Road

  1. Dahna Propst // January 29, 2015 at 11:56 pm // Reply

    I love this, Deena! No need for explaining what the spirit/heart knows. Some things are unquantifiable. Yet, U2 is the only band that can capture such elusiveness and convey it in a soul stirring, memorable way. Their spirit transcends their music and transforms us.

  2. Sharon Ray McDougall // August 18, 2016 at 7:35 am // Reply

    When I first listened to Songs of Innocence I was torn between two songs too, The Miracle of Joey Ramone one Cedarwood Road. I had to listen to it for a few times then I decided it was Cedarwood Road but only just.

  3. Sharon Ray McDougall // August 18, 2016 at 7:41 am // Reply

    When I saw the picture of Bono’s kids outside his old house where he grew up it reminds me of a story that I read. They decided to go back to his old house and get their picture taken outside it and gave it to their dad as a Christmas present and when he received it he was very emotional.

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