40 Songs, 40 Cities

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2023-03-17)

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock today you know Songs of Surrender is out. To celebrate, U2 have sent fans worldwide on a treasure hunt. “40 songs, 40 cities” sees a special display of U2 lyrics in 40 cities worldwide. One city for each song on the album. A special map debuted last night at Fortycities.U2.com leading to different locations around the globe. Although some were up earlier, the event truly kicked off this morning, and at 8AM GMT the event was supposed to kick off in earnest. (Although a technical glitch delayed the true access to things for about an hour.)

What did fans find at the locations? Advertisements for the new album featuring one song. The lyrics for the song were painted on walls, posted on bulletin boards, and even some on digital billboards driving around the White House on the side of trucks.

The fans also could participate in digital activities at each location, which included photo filters allowing you to photograph your own copy of the album cover, a digital fan billboard, and access to a link to exclusive merchandise. The event runs until midnight on March 20 (GMT).

The merchandise in the exclusive shop includes two T-shirts (same T-shirts at each location) and a tote bag.

In Berlin, a special gift for 200 fans was prepared by Universal in Germany. A special fan goodie bag was produced which included a promotional poster, a paper bag printed with the album cover, and two stickers. We have not heard of gifts being given out at other locations.

We’ve been retweeting photos from these locations throughout the day as fans share them on Twitter. You can see them on our Twitter account even if you are not on Twitter yourself. Below you’ll find a list of cities (in the same order listed at U2.com) and the location of the lyrics, as well as what song is highlighted, and the lyrics that are listed in that location. We’re still collecting information, and will fill in the blanks as we go.

Special thanks to Zbyszko from U2-Blog for the photo used for promotion of this article and on our front page.

The Cities

  • City: New York City
  • Location: Video truck at Brooklyn Bridge Park
  • Song: “City of Blinding Lights”
    Oh you look so beautiful tonight
    In the city of blinding lights
    (Truck with exterior LED panels)
  • City: Washington DC
  • Location: Video truck circling White House Park
  • Song: “Get Out of Your Own Way”
    Nothing’s stopping you except what’s inside
    I can help you, but it’s your fight, your fight
    (Truck with exterior LED panels)
  • City: Boston
  • Location: Rose Kennedy Greenway
  • Song: “Bad”
    If I twist and turn away
    If I tear myself in two again
    If I could, you know I would,
    If I could, I would let it go
    (Billboard on top of a building)
  • City: Chicago
  • Location: Billboard at on corner of Clark St & Monroe St
  • Song: “Out of Control”
    I had the feeling it was out of control
    Was of the opinion it was out of control
    (Banner on a side of a building)
  • City: Nashville
  • Location: Posters along Broadway St.
  • Song: “Every Breaking Wave”
    I thought I heard the captain’s voice
    It’s hard to listen while you preach.
    (Poster on a wall)
  • City: Austin
  • Location: Posters along 6th Street
  • Song: “Stories for Boys”
    There’s a place I go that isn’t part of me
    Like a radio with no controls
    (Poster on a wall)
  • City: Atlanta
  • Location: Posters near MLK’s house
  • Song: “Pride (In the Name of Love)”
    In the name of love
    What more in the name of love?
    In the name of love
    What more in the name of love?
    In the name of love
    What more in the name of love?
    In the name of love
    What more in the name of love?
  • City: San Diego
  • Location: Video truck in Gaslamp Quarter
  • Song:
  • City: Las Vegas
  • Location: Giant billboard near MGM
  • Song: “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”
    I have run
    I have crawled
    I have scaled these city walls
    These city walls
    Only to be with you
    I still haven’t found what I’m looking for
  • City: Los Angeles
  • Location: Mural on Melrose Ave.
  • Song: “Where the Streets Have No Name”
    Show me a place
    High on a desert plain
    Where the streets have no name
  • City: San Francisco
  • Location: Video truck in Dolores Park
  • Song: “Desire”
    Lover, I’m off the streets
    I’m gonna go where the bright lights
    And the big city meet
    With a red guitar, on fire
  • City: Vancouver
  • Location: Outside Dublin Calling Pub
  • Song: “Lights of Home”
    I was born from a screaming sound
    I could see the lights in front of me
    I thought my head was harder than ground
    I could see the lights in front of me
    (Painted below the windows)
  • City: Toronto
  • Location: Outside Dublin Calling Pub
  • Song: “With or Without You”
    See the stone set in your eyes
    Am I such a thorn in your side.
    Should I wait for you.
    Sleight of hand and a twist of fate
    On a bed of nails you make me wait
    Without you
  • City: Montreal
  • Location: Video screen in McGill College Path (Underground)
  • Song: “Electrical Storm”
    Allons voir des couleurs que personne n’a encore vues
    Allons là où personne n’est, encore allé
  • City: London
  • Location: Mural at Jersey St, Bethnal Green
  • Song: None on mural.
  • City: Paris
  • Location: Car wrapped in lyrics near Sacre-Coeur
  • Song: “Beautiful Day”
    It was a beautiful day
    Don’t let it get away
    A beautiful day
    Don’t let it get away
    (Attached to the side and top of a blue Peugeot 504 car)
  • City: Brussels
  • Location: Posters outside Accienne Belgique
  • Song: “Miracle Drug”
    I want to trip inside your head
    Spend the day there
    To hear the things you haven’t
    And see what you might see
    I want to hear you when you
    Do you feel anything at all?
    I want to see your thoughts
    And walk right out
    The songs are in your eyes
    I see them when you smile
    The songs won’t be denied
    I’ve had enough I’m not giving up
    On a miracle
    A miracle drug
    I am you and you are mine
    Love makes nonsense of space
    And time, will disappear
    Love and logic keep us clear
    Reason is on our side, love
    Beneath the noise
    Below the din I hear your voice
    It’s whispering
    In science and in medicine
    I was a stranger
    You took me in
    The songs are in your eyes
    I see them when you smile
    The songs won’t be denied
    I’ve had enough of romantic love
    Miracle drug
    Miracle drug
    (Wrapped around columns of the building)
  • City: Madrid
  • Location: Magazine stall at C/ Gran Via
  • Song: “The Little Things That Give You Away”
    It’s the little things that give you away
    The words you cannot say
    Your big mouth in the way
    It’s the little things that tease and betray
    Has the hunter now refused the prey?
    But it’s the little things
    The little things that give you away
    I saw you on the stairs
    You didn’t notice I was there
    That’s cause you were talking at me and not to me
    You were high above the storm
    A hurricane being born
    But this freedom it might cost you your liberty
  • City: Dublin
  • Location: Posters outside Windmill Studios
  • Song:“Cedarwood Road”
    Northside just across the river
    To the Southside
    That’s a long way here
    All the green and all the gold
    The hurt you hide, the joy you hold
    The foolish pride that gets you out the door
    Up on Cedarwood Cedarwood Road
  • City: Vienna
  • Location: Billboards in Volkstheater Metro Station
  • Song: “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of”
    You’ve got to get yourself together
    You’ve got stuck in a moment and now you can’t get out of it
  • City: Warsaw
  • Location: Mural on Tor Wyscigow Konnych Sluzewiec
  • Song: Walk On (Ukraine)
    Walk on
    Walk on
    Stay safe tonight
    (painted mural)
  • City: Lisbon
  • Location: Billboard at Marques de Pombal Metro
  • Song: “Sometimes You Can’t Make it on Your Own”
    And it’s you when I look in the mirror
    And it’s you when I don’t pick up the phone
    Sometimes you can’t make it on your own
    (Digital display board)
  • City: Berlin
  • Location: Photowall
  • Song: “One”
    We’re one but we’re not the same.
    (Mural with trabant)
  • City: Stockholm
  • Location: Billboard at Drottninggatan
  • Song: “Invisible”
    I’m more than you know
    A body in a soul
    You don’t see me but you will
    I am not invisible
    (Digital billboard)
  • City: Amsterdam
  • Location: Poster outside Paradiso
  • Song: “Dirty Day”
    You’ve already lost it.
    Dragging me down, that’s not the way it used to be
    You can’t even remember what I’m trying to forget
    It was a dirty day
    (Banner on the side of a building)
  • City: Glasgow
  • Location: Billboard near St Enoch Tube
  • Song: None on billboard
  • City: Milan
  • Location: Giant billboard outside Multisala Gloria
  • Song: “I Will Follow”
    A boy tries hard to be a man
    His mother lets go of his hand
    The gift of grief will bring a voice to life
    If you walk away, walk away
    Walk away, walk away
    I will follow
  • City: Derry
  • Location: Billboard at Strand St
  • Song: No song listed.
  • City: Mexico City
  • Location: Painting on magazine stall outside El Diez
  • Song: “Vertigo”
    Hello, hello! (¡Hola!)
    I’m at a place called Vertigo
    (¿Dónde está?)
    (Advertising board)
  • City: Bogota
  • Location: Painting on graffiti wall, Carrera 7
  • Song: “11 O’Clock Tick Tock”
    I hear the children crying
    And I see it’s time to go
    I hear the children crying
    Take me home
    (Side of a building)
  • City: Sao Paulo
  • Location: Painting on a wall by Beco do Batman
  • Song: “Peace on Earth”
    To tell the ones who hear no sound
    Whose sons are living in the ground
    Peace on Earth
    (Black wall with white painted text)
  • City: Lima
  • Location: Mural on building near Boulevad Bordemar
  • Song: “If God Will Send His Angels”
    And if God will send his angels
    Could they hurry here tonight?
  • City: Santiago
  • Location: Billboard in Estadio Nacional Metro
  • Song: “Until the End of the World”
    We were as close together as a bride and groom
    We broke the bread, we drank the wine
    Everybody having a good time
    Except you
    You were talking about the end of the world
  • City: Buenos Aires
  • Location: Mural at corner of Arce & Arevalo
  • Song: “Song for Someone”
    And this is a song, a song for someone.
    This is a song for someone
    Like me.
  • City: Johannesburg
  • Location: Graffiti artists in Bioscope Cinema
  • Song: “Ordinary Love”
    We can’t fall any further if, we can’t feel ordinary love
    And we cannot reach any higher, if we can’t deal with ordinary love
    (Stand up banner)
  • City: Tokyo
  • Location: Billboard at Shinjuku Station
  • Song: “The Fly”
    It’s no secret that the stars are falling from the sky
    The universe exploding ‘cos-a one man’s lie
  • City: Mumbai
  • Location: Bus shelter posters at near Rizvi College, Carter Road
  • Song: “Red Hill Mining Town”
    The lights go down on Red Hill Town
  • City: Jakarta
  • Location: Billboard in Ratu Plaza
  • Song: “All I Want is You”
    You say you want diamonds on a ring of gold
    You say you want your story to remain untold
    All the promises we make
    From the cradle to the grave
    When all I want is you
  • City: Sydney
  • Location: Billboard outside Universal Music Australia
  • Song: “Two Hearts Beat as One”
    They say I’m a fool, they say I’m
    But if I’m a fool for you,
    oh, that’s something
    Two hearts beat as one
    Two hearts beat as one
  • City: Auckland
  • Location: Posters on Karangahape Road
  • Song: “40”
    You set my feet upon a rock
    And made my footsteps firm.
    Many will see, many will see and hear
    I will sing, sing a new song.
    I will sing, sing a new song
    I waited patiently for the Lord
    He inclined and heard my cry
    He lifted me up out of the pit
    Out of the miry clay
    I will sing, sing a new song
    I will sing, sing a new song
    How long to sing this song?
    How long to sing this song?
    How long, how long, how long,
    How long to sing this song?

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