U2’s Bono Wrote a Song About Spider-Man That Was Supposed to Make Fans Cry

U2’s Bono and The Edge wrote classic rock songs on many topics — including Spider-Man. During the creation of the song, Bono said he wanted it to be akin to one of the greatest songs ever written. In addition, he said he wanted the song to make people cry.

A wax figure of Spider-Man with one arm raised
A Spider-Man wax figure | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

U2’s Bono and The Edge wrote songs for a musical

Broadway has given the world many shows that are based on popular characters like Superman, Mary Poppins, and Lestat. In the same vein, popular musicians have composed musicals for Broadway. These two trends collided with Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Based on the beloved comic book character, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark featured original songs from Bono and The Edge. The co-writer of the musical, Glen Berger, wrote a book about it called Song of Spider-Man: The Inside Story of the Most Controversial Musical in Broadway History.

In his book, Berger revealed Bono and The Edge wanted to write an anthem for Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. “Bono and Edge had pinpointed a mood for the song they were going to write that would carry an audience from the nihilism sparked by Uncle Ben’s death toward the musical’s defining moment — when Peter vows to fight in the name of love and justice as Spider-Man,” Berger said. “‘Rise Above,’ suggested Bono. ‘Rise above the difficulties around you. Above the sadness within you. Be your better self.'”

U2’s Bono wanted this Spider-Man song to sound like ‘one of the greatest songs ever written’

Bono and The Edge created a song about Spider-Man called “Rise Above” and Bono had high hopes for it. “If I’m gonna actually plop something like that onto a f****** page, it better be something that people will sing in football finals in 10 years and make everyone cry,” Bono said. “I just mean it has to be a classic. In the ‘rising-above-it’-type genre, if you follow me.'” 

Bono wanted the song to be as good as another song from a Broadway musical. “It better be as good as ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone,’ which is one of the greatest songs ever written,” Bono said. For context, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is a song from Rodgers and Hammerstein‘s musical Carousel. In Ireland, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is commonly used as a football anthem. 


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The way the world reacted to ‘Rise Above’

Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark featured two versions of “Rise Above.” “Rise Above 1,” a conventional power ballad, and “Rise Above 2,” a version of the song with vocals from a choir. Bono and The Edge released “Rise Above 1” featuring vocals from actor Reeve Carney as a single. It peaked at No. 74 on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining on the chart for a week. “Rise Above 1” wasn’t much of a hit; however, maybe fans will someday use it in sporting events as Bono hoped.