Steve Stockman is looking at U2 songs about Africa in a series marking the World Cup. The first, not surprisingly, is "Silver and Gold." Excerpt:
"There is a sinister twist to the slavery in Bono’s opening lines – 'praying hands hold me down.' One of the many foibles of apartheid was that it had been theologized. The theologians at Dutch Reformed Stellenbosch University had given a Biblical mandate for the institutionalised apartheid of the Africaaner government. Evidence of the belief that blacks were less than human can be found on a visit to Robben Island where prisoners who were black got no meat in their diet, compared the coloured who did, because they were seen as less than human! There is indeed a mental slavery when you are constantly told you are less than human. This is not just political oppression. It is psychological oppression and Bono, having a faith himself, is disturbed that 'praying hands' played their part in this horrendous injustice. For the answer he turns to another black voice, Jesse Jackson, who apparently used the phrase 'I am someone' in his own civil rights campaigning in the USA."