U2 christens Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show with song of reconciliation

Josh Larsen

Among the many Christian themes that have coursed through the career of U2 is that of reconciliation, a taste of which could be had Monday when the band performed "Ordinary Love" during the premiere episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Written for last fall’s biopic, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, “Ordinary Love” has been nominated for an Academy Award as Best Original Song. The band, who had a relationship with the late Mandela, told The New York Times that the song refers both to the fraught love of Nelson and Winnie Mandela and the brotherly love of which we’re all capable. As The Edge put it, Mandela believed “the human heart finds it easier to love than to hate.”

On The Tonight Show, the band performed an acoustic version of the song that was quiet and mellow at the start but eventually erupted into a communal celebration (see video below). Not to make too much of it, but how sweet that fellow guest Will Smith happened to be on the couch, at first watching politely and then leading the clapping when Bono and The Edge picked up the pace and jumped to their feet.

And Bono's shout-out to Fallon’s house band, The Roots, incorporating leader Questlove's name into the song and encouraging them to join in the performance? Sublime.

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