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U2 Share Acoustic ‘Sunday Bloody Sunday’ to Mark 50th Anniversary of Massacre

Bono and the Edge perform emotional rendition of War song 50 years after Jan. 30, 1972 incident

U2 have shared an emotional, acoustic rendition of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” to mark the 50th anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” massacre that inspired the 1983 hit.

On January 30, 1972, 26 people were shot — and 14 killed — when British soldiers opened fire on a protest march in the Northern Ireland city of Derry. All of the protestors killed in the “Bloody Sunday” massacre were unarmed, and the soldiers involved largely escaped justice for their role in what became one of the deadliest days of “the Troubles” between Northern Ireland and England.

“It was a day that caused the conflict between the two communities in Northern Ireland — Catholic nationalist and Protestant unionist — to spiral into another dimension: every Irish person conscious on that day has a mental picture of Edward Daly, later the bishop of Derry, holding a blood-stained handkerchief aloft as he valiantly tended to the wounded and the dying,” Bono wrote of the massacre in a 2010 op-ed.

A decade after the incident, U2 recorded their “Sunday Bloody Sunday” for their 1983 LP War; as Bono noted of the song’s legacy in that 2010 op-ed, “The song will be sung wherever there are rock fans with mullets and rage, from Sarajevo to Tehran.”

Watch U2’s historic 1983 performance of the song at Red Rocks below:

From Rolling Stone US