I thought it might be interesting to point out the history behind the music of Sunday, Bloody Sunday. The song was written at a time when the Edge was considering giving up Rock and Roll, I think due to some religious conflicts. He remained by himself, in his house for three days, contemplating whether or not to give up music. It was during this time that he recieved the inspiration for and wrote the music to Sunday...he presented the song to Bono, who supplied the words.
I think the lyrics condemn the terrorist acts taking place over in N. Ireland. The line how long must we sing this song questions when the violence will stop.
Mike mprovidence.edu (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)
The original Bloody Sunday occurred in Dublin when 14 people were shot by the "Black and Tans" in response to an IRA assasination campaign against government officials. I don't know the exact date for this but round about 1920. The second Bloody Sunday occurred in the city of Derry on 30 Jan 1972 when soldiers from the Parachute Regiment attempted to break up a Civil Rights demonstration. 13 civilians were shot dead and all were unarmed. There is a great deal of controversy surrounding this incident and a British inquest cleared the soldiers involved of any responsibility claiming that they had been fired on first and that the crowd had been throwing nail bombs. Republicans assert that this was a whitewash and the aftermath of Bloody Sunday provided ideal recruiting conditions for the Provisional IRA.
Brian Russell brianrspider.co.uk (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)
There has been numerous references, and contributions, to different 'Bloody Sundays' through history, and although mankind have been quite apt att killing each other, there is only one 'Bloody Sunday' that U2 had in mind. In an interview for Los Angeles Times on the 8:th of August 2004, Bono comments that 'The idea was to contrast Bloody Sunday, where 13 peaceful Irish protesters were killed by British paratroopers, with an Easter Sunday,' Bono says. 'I had started to discover the principle of nonviolence at the time, and there's also a piece of that in there.' which pretty much settles it. The 'Bloody Sunday' is the 30:th of January 1972.
Jonas Steverud (Maintainer of U2MoL) (3rd of January 2005)
As well as the obvious connotations of this song, it has also been explained by the band, Bono and the Edge in particular, as a commentary on the divisions within Christianity and its various sub churches. It highlights how a young Bono and Edge were segregated due to Edge having to attend Protestant service, while Bono went to Catholic Mass, and their frustrations felt towards this situation which arose every week - hence 'sunday bloody sunday'
Dave McAtamney dmcatamneyhotmail.com (28th of September 2007)
"Sunday Bloody Sunday was a song we needed to do. As we went around the world, we were being asked, "What about the war in Northern Ireland?" and we needed to know what our position was. We felt that was a valid subject, as apposed to happy, shiny pop music." - Adam Clayton, quoted by Antony DeCurtis in Revolver Magazine, Issue #3 / Winter 2000
From Salvation in the Blues, compiled by Chris Taguchi christaguchi.ca (3rd of April 2007)
You probably know this already, U2 was not the first band to write and record a song about the January 30 1972 event in Londondery. That distinction belongs to Mike and Maurice McGettigan, plus Patsy Fayne of The Paddywagon Showband. Their song Sunday Bloody Sunday was in the Irish pop charts in March/April 1972 and actually made it to number one during that period.
I have the documentation supporting this statement. Why? Because I am Patsy Fayne, and I played bass guitar on the 45rpm record. I'll be happy to chat about those days to anyone who'd like to hear about it.
[Jonas, Maintainer of U2MoL adds: I usually get submissions about what the songs might be about, but sometimes I get something that isn't about the song, but equally interesting. This is even more interesting as the Bloody Sunday inquiry, or the Saville inquiry, has now been published.]
Patsy Brichta patsynetyahoo.com (15th of June 2010)