“Don’t dream it’s over” becomes Alexei Navalny anthem


In a stirring act of musical activism, rock superstars U2 united with a virtual Neil Finn for a special performance of the 1986 Crowded House hit “Don’t Dream It’s Over”. The artists were honouring the late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his wife Yulia’s continued fight against Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Song of Freedom and Resilience

As Bono explained, the band purposely revived the enduring Crowded House classic for its inspirational essence:

“The idea is to record something special to honour Alexei Navalny’s widow, Yulia, who is continuing the fight against Vladimir Putin” Bono told the audience.

“It’s a song about freedom, that’s the truth.”

The iconic New Zealander gave his full blessing, feeling honoured that his uplifting lyrics carry such a powerful message.

“The other day, we got a beautiful e-mail from Neil Finn who wrote this bewilderingly beautiful song” said Bono.

“Attached to the e-mail was a version of the song he said we could play whenever we wanted.

“It’s a new version that he did, and we’re going to try and record it. Neither party has spoken to our record label [about releasing this], so this might be the only recording that might ever exist.

“Please take your phones and send it to whoever loves freedom you know.

“Maybe send it to people that don’t. There’s a few of them around.”

With that, the band kicked off the song’s recording, which featured Finn singing the verses, thereby allowing U2 and their fans to sing the chorus.

Unsurprisingly, the crowd was happy to participate, resulting in an emotion-filled collaboration.

Poignant words that resonate

The soaring 1986 hit has resonated across generations with its message to keep persisting through struggles:

“Don’t dream it’s over, ’cause every night I will lie awake…”

For Navalny’s wife Yulia, continuing her husband’s democracy movement requires resilience.

Trailblazing virtual collaboration

The collaboration took place on March 3rd during the final night of U2’s Las Vegas residency.

Finn told RNZ’s Culture 101 that he was grateful for the enduring popularity of Don’t Dream It’s Over.

“I just see it as a great privilege for it to communicate so much to so many people.”

Finn’s mother, a devout Catholic, moved to New Zealand from Ireland at the age of two. She maintained a religious influence over the family.

Speaking of Catholicism, Finn stated “It’s a great fertile ground for pulling lyrics out.

“[There’s] lots of good stuff going on in there, good rituals and imagery and lots of guilt. It’s a very potent combination.

“I think you’re blessed, really, to be brought up with some kind of weird dogma like that.”

Finn and his brother Tim were educated at Sacred Heart College, Auckland and Te Awamutu College in Te Awamutu, Waikato, New Zealand.


Additional reading

News category: New Zealand.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,