"The Sweetest Thing" (Single Mix) [03:17]

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Video Information

This song was written for Ali, Bono’s wife, after he missed her birthday in 1986. The song was released as a B-side to “Where the Streets Have No Name”, and in 1998 U2 revisited and re-recorded the song for The Best of 1980 – 1990 compilation. The video follows the apology theme, with Bono taking Ali on a horse-drawn carriage ride along Fitzwilliam Place, and Upper and Lower Fitzwilliam Street, and continuing on Leeson Street and Holles Street in Dublin taking about three hours in total to film the video. They travel through the streets under banners professing Bono is sorry, while a street carnival breaks out around them. In order we see the following celebrities:

  • Ali Hewson (Bono’s wife)
  • Bono (with fake flowers, a lightbulb over his head, a stuffed puppy with a white flag, and a halo at the end)
  • All five members of Boyzone
  • The rest of U2 driving beside the carriage in a silver Mercedes (Larry at the wheel)
  • The Artane Boys Band (The parade band which Larry once was a member of)
  • Boxer Steve Collins (takes an Irish flag coloured mouth guard from Bono)
  • The Celtic Knights (Male Strip Troupe on a Fire Engine)
  • Macnas Performance Troupe (with U2 Heads)
  • A flatbed truck with String performers
  • A skywriting jet which makes a heart in the sky
  • Jean Butler and some dancers from Riverdance
  • circus performers including a performer on stilts
  • A chef carrying food (Bono’s brother Norman Hewson)
  • An elephant from Belgium wearing the word “Sorry”

Other appearances were filmed but some did not make it into the final video, including footage of Paul McGuinness being pulled along in a rickshaw. Olympic gold medalist, and world champion boxer Michael Carruth was also on hand but did not make the final cut.

One onlooker said “It was amazing, I’m not sure what on earth was going on but I think that was the point. It looked a bit like an Irish Mardi Gras.” Ronan Keating with BoyZone said: “We know the lads and they asked us to come along and lend a hand and we were happy to do it.” BoyZone was seen singing during their appearance on the car leading many to believe they had contributed vocals to the song, but they had not. Larry Mullen returned the compliments to BoyZone, “Why do we have Boyzone in the video? I guess you gotta have somebody in the video to keep all the girls out there happy!”

Kevin Godley was the director of the video and in the book “I Want my MTV” he talked about the struggle to find an elephant: “I was making a video in Ireland with U2 and decided we needed an elephant. I told Ned O’Hanlon, the producer, “We need an elephant by tomorrow.” Not many elephants in Dublin. Poor Ned somehow managed to fly an elephant from Belgium to Dublin.”

The video made it’s debut on a programme called “Pop On 3” on TV3 in Ireland. It first aired on Saturday, October 3, at 10am in the morning. The video also started appearing throughout Europe and the UK on the same day.

Video Shooting Locations

Google Maps Multiple Markers

Additional Screen Captures

Video Credits

  • Director: Kevin Godley
  • Produced by Ned O’Hanlon and Richard Holling