Rumours of a new(ish) U2 album are swirling about. And a track may have been leaked by–wait for it–Nancy Pelosi.

There’s online buzz about the possibility that U2 has delivered a record called (we think) Songs of Surrender, a collection of re-recorded songs to Universal Music. We even have a possible release date: November 18, 2022. A single could be delivered to radio sometime in October.

I thought that this might be some kind of April Fool’s prank, but then I did some digging. There’s a lot of smoke here.

The rumours say that this project began just before the pandemic and was massaged over the last couple of years. The record is said to contain songs from across U2’s career, re-recorded and re-arranged into new forms. Some may even be acoustic versions.

A variety of producers are said to have been involved, including Canadians Daniel Lanois and Bob Ezrin. And then there’s the Nancy Pelosi story.

You may remember that back on St. Patrick’s Day, Bono gave Pelosi–a massive U2 fan–a poem inspired by the war in Ukraine. We now hear that on March 24, Bono sent her a song called “Peace Talks to Hold,” a rough mix of a remake of “Silver and Gold.” That song first appeared on the Artists Against Apartheid album in 1985 and then showed up as part of the Joshua Tree onslaught.

The song came with a note: “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear” but also asked that she keep the song to herself. A rumour going around says that she played it for people around a DC restaurant on Saturday night. So much for discretion, eh Nanc?

Back to U2. “Peace Talks to Hold” is one of five songs that Daniel Lanois has been involved with recently. And look at this! Lyrics! (Via Oreo)

Peace Talks To Hold

In the art school a bomb blast
The cruise missile comes down
Only civilians are hunted
In this scorched-earth town
Scorched-earth town

Emerge from the black nights
Looks like the sky fall down
Quench fires in the daylight
See the blood spilled on the ground
Spilled on the ground
Everyone knows
Starvation grows
If you wanna way out
Peace talks to hold

Broken dreams, broken windows
Broken ceasefires and lives
I look at the evil, it’s moving
A pariah surprise
There’s a war criminal
And there’s people who resist
Jesus, say something
They will persist!
They will persist!
They will persist!

The hellscape grows
Atrocities show
The only way out
Peace talks to hold
Peace talks to hold

Seen empty baby strollers
Seen dead children and their moms
Seen them army uniforms
Seen them bright and shiny bombs
Bright shiny bombs

Hypersonic missiles fired
Their speed Mach 5 hot
Mister, Ukrainians have souls
And it’s more than you got

Chains will never bind them
Nor will shackles at their feet
Russians are the prisoners
And the West is free
They are free
They are free

A great leader in a crisis is bold
Press to the goal
Peace talks to hold
Peace talks to hold

Spoken:

Yep, when are the peace talks?
This song was written about a man named Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, the new St. Patrick.
His goal? To drive out those old snakes once again.
A man who’s sick of seeing Mariupol under siege.
A man who said droppin’ a bomb on a maternity hospital is the ultimate proof of Ukrainian genocide.
A man who’s sick of lookin’ down the barrel of the Russian army.
A man who has rallied his countrymen to take up arms against an unprovoked invasion.
A man who said, “I need ammunition, not a ride.”
A man who is askin’ more from the leaders of the West, and from those in the Middle East, like Israel.
A man who said Jerusalem is the right place for peace talks with Russia.
Am I buggin’ you? I don’t mean to bug ya. …
OK Edge, play the blues!

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

4 thoughts on “Rumours of a new(ish) U2 album are swirling about. And a track may have been leaked by–wait for it–Nancy Pelosi.

  • April 1, 2022 at 11:19 am
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    I’m in the April Fool’s camp. We know the band has been re-recording some of their old material as part of some “experiment”, but why would they deliver an album 7 months ahead of the release date, especially when U2 notoriously tinkers with their material up until the last minute?

    Reply
  • April 1, 2022 at 7:39 pm
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    Why would they deliver 7 months in advance? Because that’s how long it takes these days if you want your vinyl coming out on the same day as the CD and digital…typical time to get into the queue is six – nine months now.

    Reply
  • April 1, 2022 at 11:09 pm
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    I seriously doubt this is an April Fool joke. These lyrics are too high quality to be a mere prank. And Bono is clearly passionate about the tragedy of Ukraine. In his recent acceptance speech for the Fulbright Prize, he stated: “Putin thinks democracy is done – [but] he is done. He is like a bad Bond villain.” The lyrics of the new song certainly ring true, as a reflection of his passion and eloquence.

    Reply
  • April 5, 2022 at 8:30 pm
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    There’s already an album called “Songs of Surrender” by June Hunt. U2 are always recording material. Creating an acoustic set is likely but not necessarily part of a new album… I think they were hoping to do some acoustic sets in smaller venues down the road. So this, to me, is like all good April Fools rumours – containing elements of truth but not fully accurate and more than likely misleading. Regardless, can’t wait for a new album. I know Edge was recording in studio during the pandemic. No doubt there is new music coming. Can’t wait. R

    Reply

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