Peace-loving rockers U2 managed to sneak an anti-war protest into their appearance at Sunday's (23MAR03) Academy Awards ceremony - without anyone noticing.

While OSCAR-winners Michael Moore and Adrien Brody took their chance on stage to deliver a message to the world, the Irish rockers were pipped to the Best Song award by rapper Eminem.

But renowned anti-war protestor Bono, who had previously vowed to give an anti-war speech if victorious at the Oscars, still managed to have his say - by incorporating a protest into the lyrics of his song.

While performing their nominated track THE HANDS THAT BUILT AMERICA - from Martin Scorsese movie GANGS OF NEW YORK - to the star-studded crowd at Hollywood's KODAK THEATER, sharp-eared sources realised the band had subtly changed a verse that doesn't feature in the original version.

Bono sang, "Late in the spring.Yellow cloud on a desert skyline. Some father's son. Is it his, or is it mine?"