The Ground Beneath Her Feet (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"The Ground Beneath Her Feet"
U2 Groundbeneathherfeetcover.jpg
Cover of the U.S. promotional single
Song by U2 and Daniel Lanois
from the album The Million Dollar Hotel: Music from the Motion Picture
Released8 February 2000
LabelIsland / Interscope
Songwriter(s)U2 (music), Salman Rushdie (lyrics)
Producer(s)Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno

"The Ground Beneath Her Feet" is a song by U2 from the film, The Million Dollar Hotel, and featured on the film's soundtrack, The Million Dollar Hotel: Music from the Motion Picture. The song was recorded with Daniel Lanois on the pedal steel guitar for the film. However, a different mix than the one heard in the film appears on the soundtrack. The song credits author Salman Rushdie as its writer because the lyrics are taken from his book of the same name.


U2 singer, Bono, came up with the idea for the song after reading a manuscript of Rushdie's novel. In the novel, the fictional character Ormus Cama writes the lyrics as a lamentation for his lover, Vina Apsara. U2 uses these lyrics almost word for word, however omitting the following line:

She was my ground, my favorite sound, my country road, my city street, my sky above, my only love, and the ground beneath my feet.[1]

Rushdie, himself, was very pleased with the song, claiming it had "some of the most beautiful melodies [Bono] had ever come up with." In reference to the song, Rushdie said, "So I always knew, you know, that it wasn't going to be an uptempo foot-tapper, because it's a sad song. I think it sounds like, I hope, one of those big U2 ballads for which Bono's voice, actually, is beautifully well suited."[2]

Promotion and releases[edit]

"The Ground Beneath Her Feet" was originally intended to be a single, therefore a music video was created for the song's release. However, Interscope Records declined to give the song a single release because U2 were on the verge of completing their new album, All That You Can't Leave Behind, and record executives did not want to confuse fans by releasing a non-album single.[3] Instead, a promotional single was released to media sources, but it received very little airplay on both radio and television.[4] After the song's release on the film's soundtrack, U2 hoped to feature the song on their newest album, All That You Can't Leave Behind, but instead the song was only released as a bonus track on United Kingdom, Australian and Japanese releases of the album.

Track listing[edit]

U.S. Promotional release
1."The Ground Beneath Her Feet"3:44
U.K. Promotional release
1."The Ground Beneath Her Feet"3:44
2."The Million Dollar Hotel Trailer" (Video) 

Mnemonic version[edit]

Members of the London band Mnemonic Richard Das and Jonathan Skipp had heard Bono and the Edge perform a verse of this song as they were writing it for the upcoming film The Million Dollar Hotel on a television program in September 1999 and then interpolated verses and chorus from the Salman Rushdie book The Ground Beneath Her Feet to complete their own version of the song. Band members contributed their parts and a final version was mixed and completed in December 1999.

The band released it free on the internet downloadable from in January 2000 before the official U2 version (released 8, February 2000). Hits on the Mnemonic band website at one point peaked at 97,000+ for one day for the download.

The news of their version of the song spread to global news agencies and this was widely reported on various media and a feature on the band was done by The Straits Times.[5] The release of their version of the song as free downloadable media prompted a "surprisingly favourable" response from the Edge.[6]


  1. ^ Rushdie, Salman (2000-03-16) [1999-04-13]. The Ground Beneath Her Feet (paperback ed.). Picador. p. 523. ISBN 0-312-25499-7.
  2. ^ "The Ground Beneath Her Feet". B-Sides & Other Non-Album Tracks. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-04-03.
  3. ^ "Million Dollar Hotel Soundtrack". U2 Wanderer. Retrieved 2007-05-21.
  4. ^ "The Ground Beneath Her Feet (Promo)". U2 Wanderer. Retrieved 2007-04-03.
  5. ^ Singapore Band Beat Irish To The Punch - The Straits Times (January 18, 2000)
  6. ^ Gittins, Ian (2003). U2: The Best of Propaganda: 20 Years of the Official U2 Magazine. Thunder's Mouth Press. ISBN 1-56025-487-4.