"I Will Follow" is a song by rock band U2. It is the opening track from their debut album, Boy, and it was released as the album's second single, in October 1980. Bono wrote the lyrics to "I Will Follow" in tribute to his mother who died when he was 14 years old.
"I Will Follow" was written three weeks before U2 began recording Boy. U2 singer Bono has said that he wrote the song from his mother's perspective and that it was about the unconditional love a mother has for her child. His mother died following her own father's funeral when Bono was fourteen, which the singer says plunged him into emotional turmoil for the next few years. The song features the lyrics "his mother takes him by his hand" and "If you walk away, I will follow". Throughout the song, Boy producer, Steve Lillywhite plays a glockenspiel.
Edge has acknowledged John McGeogh as an influence on his early sound; the guitar line on this tune does evoke comparison to Magazine's "Because You're Frightened".
In 2005, Blender ranked the song at number 214 on its list "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born". The magazine wrote, "The first song on U2's first album introduced the guitar sound that would define their work. [...] The arena-ready clarion call also established Bono's trademark lyrical earnestness, one of the reasons the song remains a fan favorite and a staple of the band's recent tours."
"I Will Follow" (Live from Glastonbury, June 24, 2011 (2011-06-24))
The Netherlands release was recorded for the Veronica TV concert series Countdown, and was reissued in Germany in 1983. The cover of the Canadian and US releases feature the same image as the North American release of Boy, to avoid accusations of pedophilia due to the image of the naked boy. The 1983 release was in a generic red sleeve with no cover artwork.