Recently I’ve been discovering more of the Blues—chiefly in its incarnate form, B.B. King. In the late 1980s, U2 wrote “When Love Comes to Town” for King and played it with him multiple times on tour. The song tells a very Christian story of redemption within a typical blues narrative. The video below is of B.B. King and U2 performing in Australia in 1989. Just the kind of thing to pick up a slow Friday afternoon . . .

I was a sailor, I was lost at sea.
I was under the waves
Before love rescued me.
I was a fighter, I could turn on a thread,
Now I stand accused of the things I’ve said.

Love comes to town I’m gonna jump on that train.
When love comes to town I’m gonna catch that flame.
Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down,
But I did what I did before love came to town.

I used to make love under a red sunset.
I was making promises I would soon forget.
She was pale as the lace of her wedding gown,
But I left her standing before love came to town.

I ran into a juke joint when I heard a guitar scream.
The notes were turning blue, I was dazing in a dream.
As the music played I saw my life turn around;
That was the day before love came to town.

When love comes to town I’m gonna jump on that train.
When love comes to town I’m gonna catch that flame.
Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down,
But I did what I did before love came to town.

I was there when they crucified my Lord.
I held the scabbard when the soldier drew his sword.
I threw the dice when they pierced his side,
But I’ve seen love conquer the great divide.

When love comes to town I’m gonna catch that train.
When love comes to town I’m gonna catch that flame.
Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down,
But I did what I did before love came to town.

Articles by Nathaniel Peters

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