Bono Contributes Lyrics to COVID-19 Auction, and U2’s Contributions During COVID

Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2020-08-10)

Bono has contributed another item for another auction for COVID-19 relief efforts. This time the auction is benefiting MusicCares, the charitable foundation of the Recording Academy in the USA. The auction is being held to help music industry professionals, currently suffering due to the stoppage of live performances in light of the virus.

Bono is contributing a set of handwritten lyrics for “Love is Bigger Than Anything in its Way”. This is not the image we used to promote this article, but is a handwritten lyric. He is joined in donating items for the auction by Elton John, Tom Jones, Patti Smith, Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones, Cher and more.

Advance bidding starts on August 17, and the items will be auctioned off on September 9 at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, California. More information about the auction can be found on the Julien’s Auction page. A photo of the lyrics has not yet been provided.

Since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown U2 have been contributing in many ways, usually focusing their efforts on helping those in the music industry who are out of work, as well as contributing to auctions where the proceeds go to health care facilities.

To date, we know of the following contributions, but we expect there have been many other donations we are not aware of:

  • €10 Million donation to COVID-19 relief in Ireland. The band contributed to a pool of private and public businesses to source and purchase PPE for hospitals in Ireland. The donation was made in early April.
  • A U2 donation was made to Crew Nation, and reported in early April. This fund is administered by the Music Forward Foundation, and is a Global Relief Fund for Live Music Crews.
  • Billboard reported in July an additional $1.5 Million donation to help live music crews including €200,000 for the Irish telethon, Songs from an Empty Room, to which Bono and The Edge also contributed a performance of “Stairway to Heaven.” This has been described as a new donation, and appears to be separate from the earlier donation to Crew Nation.
  • Larry Mullen made a $100,000 donation to Navajo-Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund. The fund received many donations from residents of Ireland, totaling more than $870,000. The Choctaw Nation sent a donation to Ireland in the peak of the Great Famine there, which has never been forgotten.

The band have also been contributing to other auctions to help raise money at this time.

  • Bono donated handwritten lyrics of “I Still Haven’t Found” to an Island Records One Love COVID-19 Relief Auction, raising £76,000 on the one item alone. The auction benefited NHS Charities Together in the UK and Feeding America in the USA.
  • Larry Mullen contributes used drum sticks to a hand made drum, made from drum sticks of a number of performers including artists from Kasabian, Coldplay, Blondie and Radiohead. The handmade drum was auctioned with proceeds going to the NHS Charities COVID-19 Urgent Appeal.
  • Adam Clayton and Bono both contributed to a Chris Evans (DJ from UK) auction for COVID-19 relief, with proceeds going to raise money for the NHS, as well as to the Glorious Scrubs collective, a voluntary sewing group making non-surgical Scrubs for health workers in the UK. Adam contributed a Pink Adam poster, his Bob Marley T-Shirt, and his personal Claddagh ring from the 1990s. Bono contributed handwritten lyrics to “One” and the Montblanc pen he used to write them.

But the efforts by U2 go beyond the financial. They’ve also been involved in other activities relating to the virus.

  • Bono has lobbied world leaders and industry to assist Ireland in obtaining medical supplies, including the South Korean president, Doug McMillan of Walmart, Marc Benioff of Salesforce and Jack Ma of Alibaba.
  • The Edge joined a group of Irish Musicians, lead by Niall Horan, to read a script urging people to #UniteByStayingApart. U2 also allowed “Where the Streets Have No Name” to be used in the ad.
  • Bono contributed the song he did with at the start of the virus, “Let Your Love Be Known” to World Central Kitchen, and allowed it to be used in a Saleforce commercial. World Central Kitchen is a non-profit, that provides meals in the wake of natural disasters, who were helping in relief efforts. The song made its debut on St. Patrick’s Day, with Bono singing it from his home, accompanied by his son on piano., Jennifer Hudson and Yoshiki joined him for a later release, which is used in the ads.
  • Bono also participated in “Dear Class of 2020” a virtual commencement ceremony to celebrate graduates who were unable to gather for graduations in light of the virus. The band also allowed Finneas to record a new version of “Beautiful Day” used during the event featuring a number of musicians. Bono introduced the performance.
  • Bono also participated in the graduation for the 6th Class, home schooling in Ireland, in a message he recorded for RTÉ‘s Home School Hub, contributing his “Six Thoughts” for the kids at graduation.

It’s hard not to have a bit of pride in the band knowing all of the efforts that we know of that they have been involved in over these last few months. We suspect there’s been many other activities and donations which we do not know about as well. You can see some of the videos that we reference above below, and where you see links above, you can see our coverage at the time of the event.

VIDEO: THe Niall Horan organized #UniteByStayingApart Commercial

VIDEO: From Facebook 1:00 Version
VIDEO: Bono’s “Let Your Love Be Known” in a World Central Kitchen Ad

VIDEO: One of Bono’s “Six Thoughts” for RTÉ‘s Home School Hub

VIDEO: Bono’s Introduction and the FINNEAS Remix of “Beautiful Day”

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