The Saints Are Coming

This article is about the song by Skids. For Skids' greatest hits album, see The Saints Are Coming: The Best of The Skids.
"The Saints Are Coming"

Wide Open EP cover
Single by Skids
from the album Scared to Dance
A-side "Of One Skin"
B-side "Night and Day"
Released October 1978
Format 7", 12"
Genre Punk rock, post-punk
Length 2:37
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Richard Jobson, Stuart Adamson
Producer(s) David Batchelor
Skids singles chronology
"Sweet Suburbia"
"The Saints Are Coming"
"Into the Valley"

"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 number 1 hit when it was covered in 2006 by U2 and Green Day. It was covered again in 2008 by Von Thronstahl.

Skids' original version

The single was released as part of a four-track EP, Wide Open, which also featured an A-side and two B-sides. The song was also released on their 1979 debut album Scared to Dance. The song featured Richard 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 of Dunfermline Athletic F.C..

Wide Open track listing

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

1."The Saints Are Coming"  2:37
2."Of One Skin"  2:28
3."Night and Day"  2:35
4."Contusion"  2:42



U2 and Green Day cover

"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 vinyl, digital download, CD
Recorded Abbey Road Studios, September 2006
Genre Alternative rock, punk rock
Length 3:24
Label Mercury
Writer(s) Richard Jobson, Stuart Adamson
Producer(s) Rick Rubin, Jacknife Lee
Green Day chronology
"Jesus of Suburbia"
"The Saints Are Coming"
"Working Class Hero"
U2 chronology
(with Mary J. Blige)
"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 U2 and Green Day were to record a cover version of the song for charitable purposes.[2]

Track listing

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 "The 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. 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 was on the 7th of August, 2009 when the band performed the song in New Orleans. Billie Joe Armstrong also 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

Billie Joe Armstrong and Bono performing 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 an alternate 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 the criticized 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 with Vocal.


Charts (2006) Peak
Australian ARIA Charts[6] 1
Austrian Singles Chart[6] 3
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders)[6] 2
Belgian Singles Chart (Wallonia)[6] 12
Czech Singles Chart 5
Hot Canadian Digital Singles 1
Danish Singles Chart[6] 1
Dutch MegaCharts[6] 1
French Singles Chart[6] 44
Finland (IFPI Finland Top 20)[6] 8
German Singles Chart[7] 6
Irish Singles Chart[8] 1
Italian Singles Chart[6] 1
Japan (Oricon Top 30) 25
New Zealand Singles Chart[6] 4
Norwegian Singles Chart[6] 1
Spanish Singles Chart[6] 1
Swedish Singles Chart[6] 4
Swiss Singles Chart[6] 1
UK Singles Chart[9] 2
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[10] 51
Venezuela Pop Rock (Record Report)[11] 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 Loaf and Marion Raven


  1. Chart Stats - Skids - The Saints Are Coming
  2. BBC News, U2 to join forces with Green Day
  3. Rhapsody Online, Music Rising
  4., All times "The Saints Are Coming" played live by U2
  5. MTV News, MTV News Exclusive: Catch A Sneak Peek Of U2/ Green Day 'Saints' Video
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Hung Medien summary
  8. "Irish Singles Chart". The Irish Charts. Retrieved 2009-11-23. Note: U2 must be searched manually.
  9. " search results: U2". Retrieved 2009-11-17. Note: U2 must be searched manually.
  10. Billboard chart
  11. "Pop Rock" (in Spanish). Record Report. 2006-11-04. Archived from the original on 2006-07-16.
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