U2's song "Bullet the Blue Sky" was inspired by Bono's trip to El Salvadore in 1986, and America's role on the Salvadoran Civil War. As Bono said in an interview,

And it upset me as a person who read the Scriptures, to think that Christians in America were supporting this kind of thing, this kind of proxy war because of these Communists.

As with certain other U2 songs, the band used religious allusions and imagery, possibly as a way to combat those feelings. In this song, there is a reference to Jacob wrestling with the Angel:

Jacob wrestled the angel
And the angel was overcome

In the Bible, the story is often interpreted as Jacob wrestling with God (though this is not universally accepted). I assume that in this case, Jacob and the angel represent different sides of fighters in the Salvadoran Civil War.

If this is the case, which side does each character represent, and why did U2 choose to represent each side as each specific figure?

Note: This is a test question for song lyrics. I'm hoping we'll get others, so we can have a more extensive meta discussion later on.

  • 5
    Comments regarding downvotes, upvotes, or close votes would be much appreciated. The meta post seems to indicate that people want song lyrics to be on-topic here; the close votes here seem to suggest otherwise. I'd love to get more of a discussion going.
    – HDE 226868
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 2:41
  • 4
    I can't say I'm incredibly enthusiastic about accepting song questions, but it seems like other people want them, and if we are going to take them, this question is a good model for the kind we should accept that I described in my answer to the Meta post.
    – Torisuda
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 1:29


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