Bono’s Covid-19 song: ‘You can’t touch but you can sing across rooftops’

U2 singer releases Let Your Love Be Known on Instagram, for those ‘in a tight spot and still singing’

Bono: the U2 singer says his new song is a postcard ‘from Bubbalin’ Dublin’. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty

Bono: the U2 singer says his new song is a postcard ‘from Bubbalin’ Dublin’. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty

 

“For the Italians who inspired it… for the Irish… for anyone... in a tight spot and still singing. For the doctors, nurses, carers on the front line, it’s you we’re singing to.”

Bono, inspired by Italians singing across their balconies while under quarantine during the coronavirus outbreak, has written a ballad and released it via U2’s Instagram account.

The U2 singer says in the online video that it’s a postcard “from Bubbalin’ Dublin” and was written an hour before it was posted: “I think it’s called Let Your Love Be Known.”

The song, about walking through a deserted Dublin, and the isolation and fear caused by Covid-19, appears to have been written at his home in Killiney, in south Co Dublin, and you can see Dublin Bay through the window behind him.

On the post he performs solo on piano, his first new music since 2017’s release of Songs of Experience: “Sing as an act of resistance/ Sing though your heart is overthrown/ When you sing there is no distance/ So let your love be known, oh let your love be known... You can’t touch, but you can sing across rooftops.”

Let Your Love Be Known: Bono’s lyrics

Yes there was silence
Yes there was no people here
Yes I walked through the streets of Dublin and no one was near
Yes I don’t know you
No I didn’t think I didn’t care
You live so very far away from just across the square

And I can’t reach but I can rain
You can’t touch but you can sing
Across rooftops
Sing down the phone
Sing and promise me you won’t stop
Sing your love, be known, oh let your love be known

Yes there is isolation
You and me we’re still here
Yes when we open our eyes we will stare down the fear
And maybe I’ve said the wrong thing
Yes I made you smile
I guess the longest distance is always the last mile

And I can’t reach but I can rain
You can’t touch but you can sing
Across rooftops
Sing to me down the phone
Sing and promise me you won’t stop
Sing and you’re never alone

Sing as an act of resistance
Sing though your heart is overthrown
Sing, when you sing there is no distance
So let your love be known, oh let your love be known
Though your heart is overthrown
Let your love be known