One song has threaded together the biggest moments in President Barack Obama’s career: “City of Blinding Lights” by U2, featured on the group’s 2004 album “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.”
Obama first used the music when he announced his presidential campaign at a rally in Springfield, Illinois, in February 2007.
The distorted guitar, heavy bass and four piano notes at the start of the song quickly became synonymous with the then-senator’s campaign. It was frequently heard at Obama’s primary rallies, along with upbeat hits like Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” and Aretha Franklin’s “Think.”
“City of Blinding Lights” played ahead of Obama’s speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, when he formally accepted his historic presidential nomination.
And U2 played the song ― along with their hit “Pride (In The Name of Love)” ― at the “We Are One” concert to celebrate Obama’s 2009 inauguration.
While performing at the Lincoln Memorial in front of several hundred thousand people, members of the band thanked Obama for using their song during his campaign.
“What a thrill for four Irish boys from the North side of Dublin to honor you, sir, the next president of the United States,” singer Bono said.
And in the final days of his presidency, Obama didn’t forget the song. It played once again ahead of his farewell address, which he delivered on Jan. 10 in Chicago.