Song of the Day #5,147: ‘Walk On’ – U2

‘Walk On’ is the fourth single from U2’s 2000 hit album All That You Can’t Leave Behind. The track won Record of the Year at the 2002 Grammys, marking the first time an artist won the award in back-to-back years for songs from the same album (‘Beautiful Day’ was the 2001 Record of the Year).

‘Walk On’ was written for and dedicated to Burmese democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi, who at the time was in the middle of a two-decade house arrest for promoting democracy in Burma.

As a result, All That You Can’t Leave Behind was banned in Burma, with a prison sentence of 3-20 years promised to anybody who tried to import the album into the country.

Aung San Suu Kyi later rose to political power in Burma, only to receive criticism for her indifference to the plight of the Muslim Rohingya population, victims of human rights violations in the country.

U2 released the following statement and re-dedicated the song to “the Rohingya People whose human rights have been so persistently and brutally denied.”

Who could have predicted that if more than 600,000 people were fleeing from a brutal army for fear of their lives, the woman who many of us believed would have the clearest and loudest voice on the crisis would go quiet. For these atrocities against the Rohingya people to be happening on her watch blows our minds and breaks our hearts.

[Spoken intro]
And love is not the easy thing
The only baggage you can bring
And love is not the easy thing
The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can’t leave behind

[Verse 1]
And if the darkness is to keep us apart
And if the daylight feels like it’s a long way off
And if your glass heart should crack
And for a second you turn back
Oh no, be strong
[Chorus]
Walk on, walk on
What you got they can’t steal it
No they can’t even feel it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight

[Verse 2]
You’re packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been
A place that has to be believed to be seen
You could have flown away
A singing bird in an open cage
Who will only fly, only fly for freedom

[Chorus]
Walk on, walk on
What you’ve got they can’t deny it
Can’t sell it, or buy it
Walk on, walk on
Stay safe tonight

[Post-Chorus]
And I know it aches
And your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on, walk on
[Bridge]
Home, hard to know what it is if you’ve never had one
Home, I can’t say where it is but I know I’m going home
That’s where the heart is

[Post-Chorus]
And I know it aches
And your heart it breaks
And you can only take so much
Walk on, walk on

[Interlude]
Leave it behind
You’ve got to leave it behind

[Bridge ]
All that you fashion
All that you make
All that you build
All that you break
All that you measure
All that you steal
All this you can leave behind
All that you reason
All that you care
It’s only time
And I’ll never fill up all my mind
All that you sense
All that you speak
All you dress up
And all that you scheme
All you create
All that you wreck
All that you hate

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,147: ‘Walk On’ – U2

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I knew nothing about this song or it’s subject matter or history. Fascinating stuff!

  2. Peg says:

    And I believe she is back in jail

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