"The Magic Carpet" (1979)
“The Magic Carpet” was one of U2’s earliest songs, recorded during their third demo session at Eamon Andrews Studios in Dublin. At that session it is believed the band worked on five songs including “Another Time, Another Place,” “The Magic Carpet” also sometimes called “Life on a Distant Planet”, “Twilight,” “Alone in the Light,” and “False Prophet”. A number of these songs have appeared on bootlegs over the years, often with incorrect titles. “The Magic Carpet” is known under a number of names including “Judith”, “Life on a Distant Planet”, “Lost on a Distant Planet” and “No Man’s Land”.
The song “The Magic Carpet” is also known as “Life on a Distant Planet” both from recognized sources and possibly even “No Man’s Land”. Bono calls the song by the title “The Magic Carpet” when introducing it in concert, most notably in February 1980 when playing it at the National Stadium in Dublin. The Edge refers to the song in U2 by U2 under the title “Life on a Distant Planet.” Bono did have a song by the name “No Man’s Land” in his notes that were stolen in 1981. Other names applied to the song include “Judith” due to the introduction or “Lost on a Distant Planet”, but neither of these names have been mentioned in an official source that we can locate thus we expect those two names came from bootleg recordings of the song.
We have taken an in depth look at U2’s pre-Island Records demo sessions in two parts. Part One dealt with 1978 – February 1979. Part Two dealt with the latter part of 1979 until early 1980. “The Magic Carpet” is discussed in Part One.