Red Hill Mining Town

The brief meaning of U2’s classic song from “The Joshua Tree”

In 1984, the British National Coal Board — with the support of Margaret Thatcher — closed an array of unprofitable mines. Especially impacted were Wales, the Midlands and the North. The National Union of Mineworkers declared a strike. The result was political discord and violence between the union pickets and the UK police force.

U2 frontman Bono worked on a song about this. Feeling unqualified to speak about the political specifics, he instead wrote of the devastation the economic uncertainty brought to families. The song became “Red Hill Mining Town” on their album “the Joshua Tree.”