"Heartland" as written by and Dave Evans Adam Clayton....
See the sun rise over her skin
Don't change it
See the sun rise over her skin
Dawn changes everything
And the delta sun
Burns bright and violet

Mississippi and the cotton wool heat
Sixty six a highway speaks
Of deserts dry
Of cool green valleys
Gold and silver veins
Of the shining cities

In this heartland
In this heartland soil
In this heartland
Heaven knows this is a heartland
Heartland, heartland

See the sun rise over her skin
She feels like water in my hand
Freeway like a river cuts through this land
Into the side of love
Like a burning spear
And the poison rain
Brings a flood of fear
Through the ghost ranch hills
Death valley waters
In the towers of steel
Belief goes on and on

In this heartland
In this heartland soil
In this heartland
Heaven knows this is a heartland
Heartland, heaven knows this is a heartland
Heartland, heartland
Heartland, heaven's day here in the heartland

Lyrics submitted by archmastermind

"Heartland" as written by Dave Evans Adam Clayton

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Heartland song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentIt's amazing how an Irish band can capture America better than any American band. Or more accurately, they capture the myth of America, the open spaces ("Deserts dry, of cool green valleys/Gold and silver mines, and the shining cities") and beautiful frontiers ("66 the highway speaks"); the romantic version of the South ("The Delta sun burns bright and violent/Mississippi and the cotton wool heat"). The thrill of the open highway ("Freeway like a river cuts through this land/Into the side of love"); and the optimism for the future ("In the towers of steel, belief goes on and on"). And the music ... a fantastic beat, a mystical opening hook, and a penatrating baseline. This song is pretty close to flawless.
    ballzofsnoon April 29, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"Heartland" is by far my favorite U2 song. This one is absolutely beautiful. There is so much more to it than just the lyrics. In fact, this is a classic example of truly fantastic songwriting ability. Most of the beauty and meaning behind the song isn't conveyed in the lyrics but more so in the mood and tone behind the words. In it, you can tell that the lyricist (Bono) is fascinated with the land and you can almost imagine him jotting down haphazard notes from the window of the tour bus while cruising down Route 66. Mostly what I feel when I hear this song is that Bono was deeply homesick when he wrote it. He's experiencing a foreign land completely behind the glitz and glamour of what America is made out to be in the media. In the way he describes every curve and feature and the way "belief goes on and on", you can't help but wonder if he isn't really yearning for his own home after having been away for nearly two years.

    This song is extremely powerful because you can feel his emotions. You can feel that he's awestruck, he's tired, he's homesick, and he's lonely. Notice that the lyrics are very different from other U2 lyrics. This song stays on one track and doesn't waver. It isn't about anything in particular. He's using the land laid out before him as a palette to paint a picture of how he feels in that moment. It's almost as if he's reaching out toward something in this song. I love it because it conveys raw emotion. It's not about anything; it just is.
    eirenightshadeon December 29, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFlawless indeed! "Heartland" moves me to tears. Rattle & Hum has been a favorite "road trip" CD of mine for quite some time, and this haunting lullaby has become my favorite song from that album. Calm, yet searching, the music totally and utterly backs up the lyrics. The opening stanza is incredibly moving, specifically the lines "See the sun rise over her skin/Dawn changes everything, everything." In some ways, this has deeper meaning to the way we are constantly changing and each new day brings new revelations. Bono apparently can't help but be amazing.
    emann333on June 12, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt has the same energy as a sort of homecoming.
    Gladiator01on February 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti dont even own this song on CD but i do own 7 U2 albums, and this is my favourite U2 song. every time i hear it, every single time it very nearly makes me cry. but not quite.
    i actually didnt know it was about the USA and i just didnt listen to the lyrics properly until recently.
    U2 are odd like this, they love america and hate it at the same time, its the same with the UK. and this is also how i feel even though im british.
    man, they did one london date on the elevation tour and tickets were gone in half an hour! 30 fucking minutes!
    i love U2, probably more than i should.
    and i especially love this song. its so emotional.
    joeytheboyon September 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is such an amazing song until recently I have gone back to listen to it and I can't help but just smile and close my eyes to take in all that is being said. And MAN does Bono have a nice range in this song!!! Especially the last HEAART!!!!
    prisz25on April 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWatch the video version on the Rattle and Hum DVD, it adds more to the aura of an already great song.
    BonoVox87on March 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAwesome song. To think, this was the first song U2 attempted to record for The Joshua Tree, but it didn't end up on there. Thematically and sonically, it would have fit so well.
    rager1969on March 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think edge's echoing in the background accomodates the song brilliantly. A trully moving song, making up a near perfect album.
    deankavanagh1234on April 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentprisz25, the particular tone range in the last heaaaart is bono's false tone... but awesome, none the less
    dhatterikion May 15, 2007   Link

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