Bono's personal lyrics about his upbringing in new U2 song Cedarwood Road has prompted the rocker's former Dublin neighbours to offer up memories of what it was like living on the same street as a future rock superstar.

The song, named after the road Bono - aka Paul Hewson - lived on as a child, was released as a free download following U2's surprise performance at an Apple iPhone 6 launch on Tuesday (09Sep14), and now reporters for Ireland's RTE Radio One have tracked down some of the people who knew the singer before he became a star.

Bob Conway, who grew up just doors away from the Hewsons, says, "We grew up at a time when younger people were looking for a new way forward. Then on Cedarwood Road we started hearing Bono and the three boys practising in the garage."

Another former neighbour, Angela Massey, reveals Bono inadvertently ran over her dog, adding, "I had a little dog and he knocked him down. He came to my door the next day and he wanted to know how the dog was. He was a terribly nice young fella."

And Conway admits the lyrics to Bono's personal new song brought back fond memories of the rock star's late mother: "The lyrics of the song paint a nice picture of the person Iris was. Right to this present day you can see the power that she still has on his life - she was a wonderful woman.

"She was very quiet in her own way, you would nearly say reserved. She was a very charitable, giving woman, and very bubbly and pleasant as well... Bono's ma was dead cool... There was something very calming and assuring about her."

U2's new album, which was available as a free download for a day, also features another very personal track, Raised By Wolves, which chronicles the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974, which cost 34 people their lives.

Bono tells Rolling Stone magazine he would have been part of the carnage had it not been for a fateful decision he made earlier that day: "It was a real incident that happened in our country where three car bombs were set to go off at the same time in Dublin on a Friday night (at) 5.30.

"On any other Friday I would have been at this record shop, just down the corner, but I cycled to school that day."