Until The End Of The World
by U2

Album: Achtung Baby (1991)

Songfacts®:

  • Bono sang this as Judas in a biblical setting. It contains sexual imagery between Judas and Jesus that is open for interpretation.
  • U2 also released this on the Until The End Of The World soundtrack in 1991. Bono and film director Wim Wenders collaborated together on the soundtrack. They asked contemporary artists to imagine what they would sound like in 2001, the time that the film is set.
  • There is another version of this song on the Shalom three-disc bootleg called "I Feel Free." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    James - Knoxville, TN, for above 2
  • This was used in the trailer for the 2000 movie Proof Of Life.
  • U2 played this when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005. Bono introduced the song by saying it was, "A little pop diddy - a conversation between Jesus and Judas."
  • Although never released as a single, this song quickly became and still remains a fan favorite. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Leon - Waterbury, CT
  • Bono woke up at his father-in-law's house with the idea of a conversation between Jesus and Judas already in his head. Coincidentally, the Irish poet Brendan Kennelly was also writing a book of poems about the betrayal of Jesus called Book of Judas. "It was an epic coincidence, because I was given the poems to review after the album was finished," Bono recalled in the book U2 by U2. "The whole Zoo TV tour that followed owes much to one of Brendan Kennelly's great lines: 'the best way to serve the age is to betray it.' That became our theme for the next couple of years, to do everything U2 weren't supposed to."

Comments: 15

  • Justin Devereux from Auckland, New ZealandAn incredibly powerful song and truly amazing lyrics. After the ecstatic guitar solo with it's sweeping sonic climaxes we hear Judas calling out to Jesus with longing and regret, and then we hear a gravely and slithery/poisonous voice of Judas (not unlike Johnny Cash at points) speak his testimony.

    In my dreams I was drowning my sorrows...but my sorrows they learn to swim
    Surrounding me...going down on me...spilling over the brim (alcohol washing over him - but with a hint of sexual innuendo)
    Waves or regret and waves of joy
    I reached out for the one I tried to destroy
    You...you said you'd wait until the end of the world...

    And then the drums and bass (and the previous sea analogy) pound Judas into madness and oblivion
  • Daniel from BerlinAlthough it was not a single, an official video was made for it with footage of the film and also of the band using the same special effects used for the film directed by Wim Wenders, of course. U2 never released this video in any if their video compilations. They used a live version instead.
  • Sarah from Tampa, FlIn response to Leon, Waterbury CT: I believe the song IS indeed repressing Judas' screaming/crying. I knew there was some sort of struggle in the song during the guitar riffs when I watched the 2001 Elevation Boston concert. Bono and The Edge almost had this sort of "battle". Bono was trying to push The Edge "back" on stage. Very interesting.
  • Jose from Guadalajara, MexicoIn my dreams I was drowning my sorrows, but my sorrows they learned to swim.

    Strong, my favorite sentence in this song.
  • Eric from Cincinnati, Oh"Until the End of the World" is also the name of a 1991 film. Bono wrote this song for use in the movie.
    In the "Achtung Baby" album booklet, after this song's lyrics, is the comment, "for Wim Wenders." He is the director of that film, and (I have read) a friend of Bono.
  • Larry from San Francisco, CaWow....I loved this song before, but knowing it's true origin gives it a power I didn't realize it had
  • Leon from Waterbury, CtI agree with Matthew - terrific song live. I saw them live in December (2005) and this was their opening song for their ZooTV set. I've heard somewhere that the opening guitar is suppose to represt Judas' screaming/crying - does anyone know if that's true?
  • Matthew Doroshow from Philadelphia, PaGreat song when performed live- this song seems to find it's way into each tour's set list one way or another... classic intro... one of their best songs
  • Acrobat from Adelaide, AustraliaWhen I found out what this song was about.. It awed me, I always loved this song before, byt the depth and complexity of the story covered, but brought so easily to light in one small song... truly awe inspiring.
  • Thomas from Chicago, IlThere is a different (and in my opinion better) version of this song on the sound track for the movie of the same name. The differences are subtle, you really need to listen to them back to back to catch most of them.
  • Cal from Portrush, EnglandI cannot believe none of you know about this song and its parallels between itself and the edges divorce. That is what many fans believe the song is based on
  • Leon from Waterbury, CtA truly great song.
  • Daniel from BrasÃ?lia, BrazilI never knew what the song was about. Beautiful interpretation by Bono, and beautiful lyrics also.
  • John from Madison, WiIan you are very correct this is a truly great song!
  • Ian from Weymouth, EnglandA conversation between Judas and Jesus in the afterlife detailing his betrayal of Jesus.

    1st verse is about the last supper, 2nd about Judas identifiying Jesus to the guards with a kiss on the lips in the garden of Gethsememe and the 3rd about Judas' suicide after becoming overwhelmed with guilt.

    Top song writing!
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