"Happy Birthday Oscar Wilde" - Various Artists
U2 Related Content:
- "Picture of Dorian Grey" (An Excerpt) - Larry Mullen (00:06)
- "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" (An Excerpt) - Bono and Gavin Friday (00:42)
“Happy Birthday Oscar Wilde” was a 2004 television special produced by RTE for Irish Television, and originally aired in December 2004. The documentary marked the fact that October 2004 would have been Oscar Wilde’s 150th birthday. The documentary captured 150 different quotes from the books and poems of Oscar Wilde, read by artists of the stage, screen and music including Annie Lennox, Martin Sheen, Joan Rivers and Liam Neeson.
There are two contributions from U2. Up first is Larry Mullen reading just one line from Wilde’s “Picture of Dorian Grey” and barely clocking in at six seconds.
The second is a 0:42 clip of Bono and Gavin Friday having some fun reciting lines from “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” back and forth from memory and changing things up in places. Gavin had previously recorded the words from “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” as part of the title track to his 1989 album “Each Man Kills the Thing He Loves”. Gavin also recorded this piece for “Voices and Poetry of Ireland”. These are spoken word pieces with the exception of some subtle background music in places.
The program was collected on DVD for Amnesty International in the US in 2005. The documentary was nominated for the Rose d’Or award in the Arts and Specials category, presented in May 2005 in Switzerland, but did not win the award.