Dalkey Church, Dalkey, Ireland

Set List of Show:

Bono Reads:

  • "Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your Own"

Additional Music

Snippets of Other Songs Performed by Bono:


Bono participates in the Dalkey Book Festival, sharing lyrics from “Sometimes You Can’t Make it on Your Own”.

Show Details:

Bono’s appearance at the 2023 Dalkey Book Festival saw Bono in conversation with Fintan O’Toole, at the Dalkey Church. O’Toole is a columnist for The Irish Times. The session was described as “What can we say about this event? Two Dubliners, two lives, two books- Bono and Fintan O’Toole. Beg, borrow or steal to be at this one. Enough said.” Admission was €40 and the tickets sold out quickly when sold in advance.

The talk turned to fathers, being held on Father’s Day, and the defiance, and having the Irish fight in you. As part of the conversation, Bono shared the lyrics from “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own” a song he wrote for his own father, Bob. The lyrics were spoken, and not sung. And Bono shared the first couple of verses of the song.

Also in attendance was Bono’s sons John and Eli, his wife Ali, and Ali’s mother, and longtime friend, Guggi. Also present was The Edge, who had been involved in two sessions earlier in the day himself. The first with Brian Cox was described as “Meet the rockstar who wanted to be a scientist and the scientist who wanted to be a rockstar. Edge was an engineering student then a band got in the way; Brian was in a band , then science got in his way. Join this extraordinary pair as they explore the wonders of science, from how the earth looks from space to black holes, quantum mechanics and maybe a few riffs on music too. Their first demo. Don’t miss it! Brian…” The second session The Edge participated in was with Oliver Jeffers, who helped create the lyric video for “Ordinary Love”, which was described as “Artist Oliver Jeffers (Here We Are) is the mind behind Our Place in Space, an epic sale model of the solar system that inspired his latest picture book, Meanwhile Back on Earth – a story that explores the universe. Go on a journey with Oliver, who will be joined by The Edge, someone who certainly knows a thing or two about science.” The session with Cox was held at the Seafront Marquee, and the session with Jeffers was held at Town Hall.

Earlier in the week Bono was in attendance for Tom Hanks’ session at the festival (Friday), as well as attending Masha Gessen’s session with Ali (Saturday), and The Edge stopped in with Morleigh for an earlier session with Brian Cox. (Saturday) While Bono and The Edge were in sessions at The Dalkey Book Festival, Adam Clayton was off as part of a session with John Kelly at the Borris House Festival of Writing and Ideas in Co. Carlow discussing music education, addiction, gardening, and U2.

Thank you J, Beth and Harry for your reports.

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