The Hands That Built America didn't take the Oscar, but the band performed an outstanding version - with a new lyric.
In a subtle reference to events in Iraq, Bono changed the lyric to the final verse, singing:
'Late in the spring,
yellow cloud on a desert skyline.
Some father's son
Is it his, or is it mine?'
It was Eminem who walked away with the Oscar for Best Original Song, won for his song Lose Yourself for his own film 8 Mile. And despite all the predictions, Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York, for which U2 wrote The Hands That Built America, finished up empty-handed.
Speaking afterwards Bono congratulated Eminem, adding, "We didn't come here to compete for awards, we were just happy to perform. Eminem did well to win his Oscar. He's had a good couple of years and so have we.
'To be honest, there are more important things to worry about in the world at the minute than winning an Oscar.
'But it's good that the event went ahead. We have to stay focused on what really counts, and a big event like this doesn't mean we lose sight of that.'
More on the winners here www.oscar.com