Dirty Day

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"Dirty Day"
Song by U2 from the album Zooropa
Released July 1993
Genre Alternative rock
Length 5:24
Label Island Records
Producer Flood, Brian Eno and The Edge
Zooropa track listing
"The First Time"
"Dirty Day"
"The Wanderer"

"Dirty Day" is the ninth track on U2's 1993 album, Zooropa. It was co-written by Bono and The Edge.

Recording and composition[edit]

"Dirty Day" originates from the band recording "live" jam performances in the studio during the Zooropa sessions on the band's break in the Zoo TV Tour.[1] The song was written about a character who leaves his family and returns years later to meet the son he abandoned. Many of the lyrics are taken from phrases that Bono's father, Bob Hewson, would use, including "I don't know you and you don't know the half of it", "No blood is thicker than ink", "Nothing's as simple as you think", and "It won't last kissing time."[1] The title was inspired by another phrase Bono's father would use, "it's a dirty day".[1]

The lyrics "these days, days, days run away like horses over the hill", repeated over the outro to the song, are quoted by Bono in tribute to Charles Bukowski.[2]

Live performances[edit]

"Dirty Day" made its Zoo TV Tour debut on November 12, 1993, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and it became part of the main setlist of the Zoomerang/New Zooland tour leg. With the Zoo TV effects, blue and yellow appeared in the background, and during the upbeat parts of the song, the stage was lit primarily by strobe lights. It was played a total of ten times and has not been played live since.

In its live performances, the song includes a solo by The Edge which was not originally on the album. Larry Mullen's drum beat for the first verse is also slightly altered from the album version. The Edge played the song both with his Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul in the live setting. This performance can be seen on the video release Zoo TV: Live from Sydney.


Two remixes of the song, the "Bitter Kiss Mix" and the "Junk Day Mix", are on the band's 1997 "Please" single. Those were made by Musician and Producer Butch Vig. The "Junk Day Mix" was featured as well on U2's compilation, The Best of 1990-2000.




  1. ^ a b c McCormick (2006), p. 249.
  2. ^ @U2.com, Bono vs. The Beast

External links[edit]