U2 played this song on their Elevation tour. Bono said it was written about a hangover - the night before appears to be a distant memory. "I had this idea of writing about the temporal nature of being, but setting it in a hangover gives it some comedy and earthiness that balances out the philosophical pretensions."
Bono was running on two hours of sleep when he arrived at the studio to record this and improvised the lyric and melody.
Bono mentions in the book U2 by U2 that the lyrics "A little girl with Spanish eyes/When I saw her first in a pram they pushed her by" refer to his wife, Alison. She was a year younger than him in school, and Bono was often teased as being a baby-snatcher for dating a younger girl.
Suggestion credit: Sara - Minneapolis, MN
This was the last song that Joey Ramone listened to before he died in 2001. Bono said that Joey turned a song about a hangover into something religious.
Joey's brother Mickey recalled to Mojo May 2011 how this song was playing as he watched his bro pass away: "It was just so applicable and sad, hearing these words, 'In a little while, this hurt will hurt no more.' The song ended and the nurse said, 'He's gone now.' He went with the song, I thought, to that place where songs go after they're played - wherever that is."
A man dreams one day to fly A man takes a rocket ship into the sky He lives on a star that's dying in the night And follows in the trail, the scatter of light
Bono explains the above tangent in the book U2 by U2: "It's the divine comedy. Christ described the assembled gathering as sheep, which I think is one of the best metaphors of mankind. There's such comedy to that. Have you ever watched a flock of sheep? No one is in charge. They change direction without any seeming logic. I love the idea of human beings (and don't take this personally because I'm one of them) believing they are in charge of their own destiny. For all the progress and all the enlightenment we have had, I do see us kind of stumbling around. There's a sort of audacious side to human beings that puts himself at the centre of the universe. I'm capable of it in a lot of ways, reasoning with the Almighty, doing deals. The big question, for me, is not if we believe in God but, much more importantly, does God believe in us?"
As the 20th century came to a close, Bono was thinking of all the scientific accomplishments mankind achieved like putting a man on the moon and discovering groundbreaking medicines to cure diseases. But, he says, it still wasn't enough: "The world's problems are not going to be all sorted by science. These huge problems come down to poverty and depression and greed... All this stuff was in my head as I was writing a beautiful little pop song. The tangent makes the song for me. It should be called 'The Pilgrim and His Lack of Progress.'"
Brendan from Dublin, Irelandits such a nice guitar sound in this song,so light and just a nice chill out song and was excellent on the 360 tour
Madalyn from Greensburg, Pajust one of those songs that make you cry... god bless u2
Jon from Sydney, AustraliaThis is written for his wife Ali, the references to the pram etc are because people at school used to accuse him of being a baby-snatcher because she was one year younger, improvised and recorded in the studio hungover after a 6am night.
Fabricio from Buenos Aires, ArgentinaOne of the most beatufiul (if not the most beautiful) song I had ever listened. Listening to this makes you think "What a hell were they doing in the pop era?" Just kidding... I love U2 but I like specially the last two records: All that you can´t leave behind & How to dismantle an atomic bomb.
Lanto from Swansea, WalesOne of u2's best, many people dislike this song for some reason
Andrew from Corning, NyGood song. However, the only part that I can see that seems to be about a hangover is the "friday night running to sunday on my knees" part.
Jen from Boulder, CoAbsolutely love Bono's voice in the lyric "turn me on" when it's last repeated... beaautiful.
John from Madison, WiEven if it is about a hangover, it is still an incredible song that is one of my personal favorites.