"Present Tense" (1986)
“Present Tense” was a song developed while recording The Joshua Tree. It is likely a fan generated title for the song.
A few years back someone appeared on Wire (U2-List) claiming to have three cassettes of demo recordings from The Joshua Tree that had not been released. We detail the story further in our article about Demo sessions from The Joshua Tree. But some short snippets of those tracks did appear on the internet, and based on Bono’s lyrics some of those snippets were given names.
One was called “In the Doorstep” or “Golden Light”, others are “Tell Them the Story”, “Dance With Me Baby” or just “Dance”, “And You Didn’t Make Any Enemies,” “Move Up,” “Present Tense,” and finally “Diamond Store” or just “Diamond”. These are not official titles for these tracks, and were names give to the tracks based on lyrics so that the fans could discuss them.
At the time two of the seven tracks were identifiable as early demos of “Race Against Time” (the song titled “Move Up”) and “Walk to the Water” (the song titled “Present Tense”). With the release of the remastered set in 2007, we can identify another one as an early version of “Rise Up” (the song titled “In the Doorstep” or “Golden Light”) which featured on the bonus disc on that release. A fourth track featured the guitar part that would become “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” (the song titled “And You Didn’t Make Any Enemies” which may have been an early version of “Weather Girls”). The songs here are earlier versions than that which were released as B-Sides. That leaves three tracks that are still unidentified meaning there’s likely some demo tapes still out there to pull some additional material from.