During the White House’s annual Friends of Ireland luncheon – celebrated each year to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) – US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered a poem by U2 frontman Bono.
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Bono noted in a tweet that he typically sends Pelosi a humorous limerick to read at the luncheon, however opted to offer an “irregular” one that was “not funny at all” for this year’s event. The speech elicited laughs nonetheless, as Pelosi read aloud the singer and multi-instrumentalist’s rumination on the current war between Russia and Ukraine.
In his poem, Bono made mention of “Ireland’s sorrow and pain” – likely referencing The Troubles, the ethno-nationalist conflict between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which lasted from the late 1960s until ’98 – likening it to the current situation in Ukraine, and musing that “saint Patrick’s name is now [Ukraine President Volodymyr] Zelenskyy”.
Bono said the poem “wasn’t written to be published”, but shared it on Twitter through the U2 account – alongside a message of solidarity with the Ukrainian peoples, saying, “We stand with the people of Ukraine and their leader” – after Pelosi’s narration of it was uploaded by C-SPAN.
Have a read of Bono’s poem in full below, then watch Pelosi deliver it at the Friends Of Ireland luncheon:
‘I’ve a tradition of sending a limerick to @SpeakerPelosi’s St. Patrick’s Day lunch over the years. This year the limerick is irregular & not funny at all. We stand with the people of Ukraine & their leader. It wasn’t written to be published, but since it’s out, here it is.’-Bono pic.twitter.com/pLkE59DSxU
— U2 (@U2) March 17, 2022
Meanwhile, Bono said back in January that he dislikes U2’s name, most of their songs and his own singing voice. During an appearance on the Awards Chatter podcast, the frontman explained that he turns off the radio when the group’s tracks are played because he can’t listen to his vocals. He also claimed that he had only learnt how to sing “recently”.
Last November, U2 guitarist The Edge revealed that the band were working on a new album. The update came shortly after the four-piece released the track ‘Your Song Saved My Life’, their first new material in two years. Their most recent studio album, ‘Songs Of Experience’, came out back in 2017.