"A Man's A Man" (2001)

Demo Song

Background Information

“A Man’s A Man” was an early title for the song, “The Hands That Built America.” The title was first mentioned in an interview with Bono in 2001. The song would be developed into “The Hands that Built America” which was released on The Best of 1990 – 2000 compilation, released in 2002.

Bono first mentioned this song in the January 2002 issue of SPIN, released on December 3, 2001:

I just started writing two days ago. I went to Bali for six days. I really haven’t had time to grieve for my father, who died a few weeks back, so I went to this place, and I was just really moved by these very religious people who give offerings, like, every hour of the day. Their whole life is a sort of ceremony, and they seem happy to see you because I think they know that they’re teaching you. So I just started writing down five or six songs, mostly lyrics. I worked on a song about my dad that Noel Gallagher and I had started, called “One Step Closer to Knowing,” and I think that’s going to be very special. Another one is called “Electrical Storm,” and another is called “You Can’t Give Your Heart Away,” and there’s this thing called “A Man’s a Man,” for a movie called Gangs of New York, which Martin Scorsese is directing.

“Electrical Storm” and “A Man’s A Man”, now called “The Hands That Built America” were both released on The Best of 1990 – 2000. “One Step Closer to Knowing” became “One Step Closer” and was released on How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb in 2004. “You Can’t Give Your Heart Away” remains unreleased.

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