"Red Hill Mining Town" as written by and Evans Hewson....
From father to son
The blood runs thin
See faces frozen still
Against the wind

The seam is split
The coal face cracked
The lines are long
There's no going back
Through hands of steel
And heart of stone
Our labor day
Has come and gone

Yeah you leave me holding on
In Red Hill town
See lights go down, I'm

Hanging on
You're all that's left to hold on to
I'm still waiting
I'm hanging on
You're all that's left to hold on to

The glass is cut
The bottle run dry
Our love runs cold
In the caverns of the night
We're wounded by fear
Injured in doubt
I can lose myself
You I can't live without

Yeah you keep me holding on
In Red Hill town
See the lights go down on
I'm hanging on
You're all that's left to hold on to
I'm still waiting
Hanging on
You're all that's left to hold on to, on to

We'll scorch the earth
Set fire to the sky
We stoop so low, to reach so high
A link is lost
The chain undone
We wait all day
For night to come
And it comes
Like a hunter child

I'm hanging on
You're all that's left to hold on to
I'm still waiting
I'm hanging on
You're all that's left to hold on to

Love, slowly stripped away
Love, has seen its better day

Hanging on
The lights go out on Red Hill
The lights go down on Red Hill
Lights go down on Red Hill town
The lights go down on Red Hill

Lyrics submitted by yuri_sucupira

"Red Hill Mining Town" as written by Dave Evans Adam Clayton

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Red Hill Mining Town song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentThis song ranks right up there with Springsteen's "Born to Run" and Live's "Pillar of Davidson" as a poignant commentary of the beauty of an uncelebrated life. The song is about a blue collar family ("The seam is split/The coal face cracked"). The protagonist is a poor miner, perhaps an alcoholic ("The glass is cut/The bottle run dry").

    In a seemingly meaningless existence, the only thing that matters to him, his love, is being driven away by his weaknesses ("Love slowly stripped away/Love has seen its better day"). He's left "Hanging on" to the only thing he's lived for, and realizing that he can't live without her ("I can lose myself/You I can't live without").

    It's sad, but it illuminates how powerful love can be, especially in the absence of anything else.
    ballzofsnoon June 04, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe song is comparing a mining town where the mine has been stripped of value to a love/relationship that's seen its better days but he can't/won't leave because he has alot invested.
    mgiulianoon January 25, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentMy understanding is that it's a love song inspired by the miners' strike in Britain in 1984, and about men having to sacrifice their families' home comforts to fight a point of principle - ultimately because of the love they had for their families , they were fighting to protect their futures. The 'hands of steel and heart of stone' lyric is a direct reference to Ian McGregor, who was a fomer Chairman of British Steel then brought to the National Coal Board to tackle the National Union of Mineworkers, who were perceived to be militants. The strike tore families and communities apart and probably led to lots of relationships breaking up, which is the theme of the song.
    Rozzeron January 28, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI have never heard what this song's about, but if Rozzer is right, which seems pretty probable to me: Watch Billy Eliot if you're still not sure what this song's about. That movie explains the troubles during the strikes perfectly clear.
    Anne Marieon February 25, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBono said that this song was a terrible mix in an interview. I was kind of let down because Bono is my hero and this song is one of my all time favorites. But hes definitely the musical genius its just my personal opinion! i really think this song shows off his amazing vocals and the lyrics were so poetic i loved it!
    bonovox_u2on March 26, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBono has said this song's about the 1984 British miners strike which tore many communities in Northern England apart.
    nuhouseon June 14, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo further clarify, it is worth situating this song alongside "Van Dieman's Land" on the Rattle n' Hum album. It is now very evident that the principle memebers of U2 (Bono and Edge) had begun their rootsy/folk phases around the mid 1980s, and this song was clearly the first product of that phase. Specifically restoring Edge's family's links to South Wales (where he was born), in addressing the Miner's Strike of 1984 Bono employes historical metephor such as the 'hunter child': A speculative link here being the folk hero The Hunter (Lewsyn yr heliwr or 'Lewis the Huntsman'), a South Walian man deported to Van Dieman's Land during the industrial unrest in South Wales in the 19th Century.
    Matt Lewison February 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentInsightful interpretation.

    Now, "We'll scorch the earth, set fire to the sky
    We stoop so low to reach so high " - could be an allusion to the environmental destruction wrought by mining in the reach for profits.
    Distant Sunon June 27, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell yeah, U2 are rather on about the environment and all that
    wilson November 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about Bono's race to find a woman after a visit to a "lady of the night"
    vschtyleon December 16, 2005   Link

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