"The Saints Are Coming" was the third single by the Scottish punk rock band Skids, featured on their 1979 debut album,Scared to Dance. The song became an international #1 hit when it was covered in 2006 by Green Day and U2. It was covered again in 2008 by Von Thronstahl.


 [hide*1 Skids' original version

Skids' original version[edit]Edit

Skids released the song as their second single from their debut album Scared to Dance, released in 1978. The single was released as part of a four-track EPWide Open, which also featured an A-side and two B-sides. The song featuredRichard Jobson singing of a man facing inclement weather and personal fears, and reached number 48 on the UK Singles Chart in the week ending 11 November 1978.[1] The song's lyrics were written by Richard Jobson with music by Stuart Adamson, who later went on to form Big Country. As with the band's following single, "Into the Valley," it is sung by fans ofDunfermline Athletic F.C..

Wide Open track listing[edit]Edit

Track listing for the 1978 EP singleWide Open, which features "The Saints Are Coming."

No. Title Length
1. "The Saints Are Coming"   2:37
2. "Of One Skin"   2:28
No. Title Length
3. "Night and Day"   2:35
4. "Contusion"   2:42



U2 and Green Day cover[edit]Edit

"The Saints Are Coming"
Single by U2 and Green Day
from the album U218 Singles
B-side "The Saints Are Coming" (live from New Orleans)
Released 31 October 2006
Format vinyldigital downloadCD
Recorded Abbey Road Studios, September 2006
Genre Alternative rockpunk rock
Length 3:24
Label Mercury
Writer(s) Richard Jobson, Stuart Adamson
Producer(s) Rick RubinJacknife Lee
Green Day chronology
"Jesus of Suburbia"


"The Saints Are Coming"


"Working Class Hero"


U2 chronology

(with Mary J. Blige) (2006)

"The Saints Are Coming"


"Window in the Skies"


The song's lyrics about storms and drowning came back to light after the events of Hurricane Katrina. In September 2006, it was announced that Green Day and U2 were to record a cover version of the song for charitable purposes.[2]

Track listing[edit]Edit

No. Title Length
1. "The Saints Are Coming"   3:24
2. "The Saints Are Coming" (Live from New Orleans) 3:27


To coincide with the U2 and Green Day recording of the song, both bands performed it together live during the Monday Night Football Pregame show of the New Orleans Saints versus Atlanta Falcons game on 25 September 2006. This was the first game in the Louisiana Superdome since it was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. The live performance of the song was later sold online to benefit Music Rising, a charity created by U2's The Edge in order to bring instruments and music programs back to New Orleans.

In the four song set, U2 and Green Day performed "Wake Me Up When September Ends" followed by a medley of the American folk song "House of the Rising Sun", Skids' "The Saints Are Coming" and U2's "Beautiful Day" as a seven-piece band, augmented by the Rebirth Brass Band, the New Birth Brass Band, Troy Andrews, and Big Sam Williams. The lyrics of all four songs were customized by singers Billie Joe Armstrong and Bono to commemorate the trials, tribulations, and successes that faced the city over the past year. Punctuating the 68,000 fans' first season-ticket sellout of the Louisiana Superdome in its 31-year history, the New Orleans Saints beat the Atlanta Falcons 23-3. Since then, the song has been played at Saints home games before they take the field.[citation needed] The live version of "The Saints Are Coming" was immediately made available for download purchase at Real Rhapsody.[3]

The studio version of the song was released for digital download on 30 October 2006 and released as a CD single on 6 November 2006. The song also appears on the U2 compilation album U218 Singles, which was released on 20 November 2006. The song was played for the first time by U2 alone on the Pacific Leg of the Vertigo Tour in Brisbane, Australia, on 7 November 2006.[4] The only performance of this song by Green Day alone has been when singer Billie Joe Armstrong has ad-libbed lines from the song over the bass solo to Green Day hit single "Holiday" during some performances on their 21st Century Breakdown World Tour in the summer of 2010.

Music video[edit]Edit

[2]Billie Joe Armstrong and Bonoperforming The Saints Are Coming to open the first game in the Louisiana Superdome following the heavy damage it sustained from Hurricane Katrina.

A music video for "The Saints Are Coming," directed by Chris Milk, was released on YouTube on 27 October 2006. The music video shows the two bands playing at the Abbey Road Studio and at the Louisiana Superdome (though the footage from the live performance at the Superdome has been overdubbed with the studio version of the song), intermixed with news footage of the displacement of residents after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The second half of the video shows analternate history in which George W. Bush redeployed troops and vehicles from Iraq to New Orleans to help victims of the hurricane, with the military personnel fulfilling the titular role of the "saints." According to Chris Milk, this was done to "make a commentary on the Katrina disaster ... from the standpoint of how things can and should be done in the future."[5] The video ends with military support vehicles fading out as the camera pans to a sign that reads 'Not as seen on TV', alluding to thecriticized response to Katrina while also parodying restrictions on the media of rescue coverage. The video had more than two million views on YouTube five days after its initial upload.


The single earned a Grammy nomination for "Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group". Billie Joe also performed the song with U2 in Hawaii at the end of the Vertigo Tour.[6][7]


Charts (2006) Peak


Australian ARIA Charts[8] 1
Austrian Singles Chart[8] 3
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders)[8] 2
Belgian Singles Chart (Wallonia)[8] 12
Canadian Singles Chart 1
Czech Singles Chart 5
Hot Canadian Digital Singles 1
Danish Singles Chart[8] 1
Dutch MegaCharts[8] 1
French Singles Chart[8] 44
Finland (IFPI Finland Top 20)[8] 8
German Singles Chart[9] 6
Irish Singles Chart[10] 1
Italian Singles Chart[8] 1
Japan (Oricon Top 30) 25
New Zealand Singles Chart[8] 4
Norwegian Singles Chart[8] 1
Spanish Singles Chart[8] 1
Swedish Singles Chart[8] 4
Swiss Singles Chart[8] 1
UK Singles Chart[11] 2
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[12] 51
Venezuela Pop Rock (Record Report)[13] 3
Preceded by

"Irreplaceable" by Beyoncé

Irish Singles Chart number-one single

9 November 2006

Succeeded by

"The Rose" by Westlife

Preceded by

"I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)" by Sandi Thom

Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single

12–19 November 2006

Succeeded by

"I Don't Feel Like Dancin'" by Scissor Sisters

Preceded by

"Meant to Fly" by Eva Avila

Canadian number-one single

16 November 2006 (10 non-consecutive weeks)

Succeeded by

"Window in the Skies" by U2

Preceded by

"Floden" by Bjørn Eidsvåg

Norwegian VG-lista number-one single

15–22 November 2006

Succeeded by

"It's All Coming Back To Me Now" by Meat Loafand Marion Raven

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