"The Lights of Home" (2017)
“The Lights of Home” is a song that has been developed for the Songs of Experience album.
The song was first mentioned as part of a series of listening sessions that U2 held prior to the release of the album. While on The Joshua Tree 2017 tour, prior to most shows on the first two legs, U2 invited media and music industry people to listen to select tracks from the album they were working on. “The Lights of Home” was one of the songs that was routinely played at these sessions. It was mentioned that it was a favorite song of The Edge during these sessions.
The song also was played for fans during the filming of the video for “The Blackout.” At that video shoot, fans got Bono to return to the stage after the video shoot by singing “40”. Bono returned and spoke to someone at the back of the room and asked for permission to play a new song, and then asked if they had the “Lights of Home”. The song was then played over the PA system in the club while the band made their exit.
Edge discussed the development of the song further in an interview with Rolling Stone in September 2017:
The process is that we slowly sort of start to put the cornerstone songs in place and then we fill in around them and get clues about the overall identity of the record. For me, one of the breakthrough tune was “The Lights in Front of Me,” which is now called “The Lights of Home.” We had very rock & roll verses in it that sounded really great, but it was a little retro. We kind of knew it was in the running because we just loved it so much, and then Jacknife did a more stripped-down arrangement. The drums were sort of an open question, so Larry went in and played drums, so it had the discipline of a very contemporary production, but then with this amazing, very beautifully played human drum part on top of it. I think because it was recorded on its own it can kind of occupy the sound spectrum that it does. It still sounds really modern, but it almost sounds like it has a hip-hop influence or rather an R&B influence than a rock one. Anyway, those small little clues sometimes make you go,
So we know “The Lights of Home” started development as “The Lights in Front of Me”, but it may have started under the title “The Light,” a song Bono discussed in 2014 as a possible song on the new album.