Author Topic: Exit - even the hands of love?  (Read 894 times)

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Offline Tortuga

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Re: Exit - even the hands of love?
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2018, 08:30:35 PM »
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Yeah, it was Good Man that I read. I think the nature of this thread shows I'm not averse to reading/thinking about religion :) Read a couple CS Lewis too. Will check O'Conner.

So you know how Good Man ends.  That ending shocked a lot of her readers, especially Catholic ones.  Her Christian audience reacted similarly to how U2’s Christian fans reacted to Bono’s devil routine (Zoo TV) and other elements of the show.


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Offline shineinthesummernight

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Re: Exit - even the hands of love?
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2018, 09:11:23 PM »
"the hands that build, can also pull down, even the hands of love"....I've interpreted that to mean human hands which can build can also pull down the hands of love.  In other words, you have a choice...you can build/you can pull down.  You can act with your hands in accord with God (build) or in accord with the forces of evil (pull down).  So it's not God doing the action, rather it's God who is a presence that is there always and humans have the choice to cooperate with his action in the world (Spirit)...or not.

Offline Tortuga

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Re: Exit - even the hands of love?
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2018, 06:14:55 AM »
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"the hands that build, can also pull down, even the hands of love"....I've interpreted that to mean human hands which can build can also pull down the hands of love.  In other words, you have a choice...you can build/you can pull down.  You can act with your hands in accord with God (build) or in accord with the forces of evil (pull down).  So it's not God doing the action, rather it's God who is a presence that is there always and humans have the choice to cooperate with his action in the world (Spirit)...or not.

This is how I view it as well.  Maybe I didn’t understand the OPs question.  The person doing the building or the pulling down is the human character of the song.  Humans can either make God’s presence real or the opposite, depending on which of their instincts they choose to satisfy.


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Offline laoghaire

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Re: Exit - even the hands of love?
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2018, 07:58:45 AM »
That is definitely the crux of it, and my post is made on the assumption that The Hands of Love is God.

If they are human hands, that removes the question entirely for me.

Hands of Love seems like a very Bono name for God, though.

OTOH, it bookends nicely with Streets. "We're still building then burning down love." We, humans, build and tear down. Love could be literal or a name for God in that lyric, but either way, that is humanity, and that is our nature. So in that view, Exit might be a continuation on that theme of humanity. As is maybe all the other songs - are we angels or devils?

Offline Tortuga

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Exit - even the hands of love?
« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2018, 04:14:52 PM »
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That is definitely the crux of it, and my post is made on the assumption that The Hands of Love is God.

If they are human hands, that removes the question entirely for me.

Hands of Love seems like a very Bono name for God, though.

OTOH, it bookends nicely with Streets. "We're still building then burning down love." We, humans, build and tear down. Love could be literal or a name for God in that lyric, but either way, that is humanity, and that is our nature. So in that view, Exit might be a continuation on that theme of humanity. As is maybe all the other songs - are we angels or devils?

God is Love.  Humans are the hands.  When acting in love for others, we are the hands of god and the “hands” and God are one and the same.  When we love ourselves more and act selfishly, we are tearing down God/the hands of love.

I think you have to remember, rock lyrics are not always perfect in continuity and consistent with their pronouns, erc.  Its a song, not an essay.


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Offline laoghaire

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Re: Exit - even the hands of love?
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2018, 04:27:49 PM »
I award you the Interpretation Medal for closing that loophole for me.

03/9/81

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Re: Exit - even the hands of love?
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2018, 07:15:23 PM »
My Dear Beautiful U2 Fans:

Do not try to interpret and accidentally misinterpret what the writer of a song had in mind when you can simply Google and wiki exactly what they were thinking and were writing about. PEACE!

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The lyrics were inspired by Norman Mailer's 1980 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Executioner's Song, written about serial killer Gary Gilmore, and by Truman Capote's 1966 novel In Cold Blood; "Executioner's Song" was the track's working title.[6] Lead singer Bonohad read both novels and wanted to try to write "a story in the mind of a killer".[1][7] Further reading of Flannery O'Connor and Raymond Carver caused him to try to understand "the ordinary stock first and then the outsiders, the driftwood – those on the fringes of the promised land, cut off from the American dream."[8] Bono described the lyrics as "just a short story really, except I left out a few of the verses because I liked it as a sketch. It's just about a guy who gets an idea into his head. He picks it up off a preacher on the radio or something and goes out...". He noted that, although 30 songs were in contention for inclusion on the album, he "wanted a song with that sense of violence in it, especially before 'Mothers of the Disappeared'."[9]


Offline laoghaire

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Re: Exit - even the hands of love?
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2018, 07:44:15 PM »
Mmhmm.

But Tortuga answered my question. And Wikipedia didn't even touch the subject.

03/9/81

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Re: Exit - even the hands of love?
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2018, 08:56:28 PM »
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Mmhmm.

But Tortuga answered my question. And Wikipedia didn't even touch the subject.

Wikipedia link works fine. But please feel free to interpret it any way you please. The added section below the link is straight from wiki.  :) Have a great night!

Offline Tortuga

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Re: Exit - even the hands of love?
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2018, 06:58:42 AM »
I think the whole point of art, beyond entertainment, is to create something that makes people think.  In my opinion, Bono blabs too much about the story behind his songs, it diminishes the experience of thinking about it.  (This is just my personal opinion.)  I avoid reading his comments until after I’ve done as much thinking and discussing about it as I think I’m going to.  At that point it is interesting to know what was in his mind when he wrote it.

There is no right or wrong way to interpret a poem or song.


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Offline laoghaire

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Re: Exit - even the hands of love?
« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2018, 07:16:25 AM »
That's mostly true. But I want a word with the guy who thought Raised By Wolves was about... wolves.

03/9/81

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Re: Exit - even the hands of love?
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2018, 07:19:52 AM »
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In my opinion, Bono blabs too much about the story behind his songs, it diminishes the experience of thinking about it.  (This is just my personal opinion.) 
There is no right or wrong way to interpret a poem or song.

💯%👍!
I originally thought it was about suicide, and being saved by the healing hands of love. I would never want to be inside his mind or thoughts, some thing tells me, It's a very dangerous complicated maze, with tons of detours, dead end, golden paths, cobwebs and even a cat!

« Last Edit: July 29, 2018, 07:21:33 AM by 03/9/81 »

Offline popsadie

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Re: Exit - even the hands of love?
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2018, 09:24:52 PM »
The God of the bible both builds and tears down. Jesus caused a fig tree to wither,;Yahweh punishes Israel numerous times. I think the hands of love are God, both from the context of the song, the allusions to Mailer's text, and the narration from the text. Of course the narrator of the song does seem to believe he us acting in the name of God, which judging from the song's music, is criticized, but this doesn't negate the biblical God as being both a creator, but also a destroyer when deemed necessary.

Offline 73October

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Re: Exit - even the hands of love?
« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2018, 05:54:58 AM »
Yes the Old Testament is full of allegory regarding God the destroyer as well as the creator.  Sodom and Gomorrah (referenced in The Unforgettable Fire) is one.  As is the Great Flood and Noah's Ark.  Then there were the 10 Plagues in Egypt.

Perhaps that's why, these days, you hear the term 'Act of God' used in the insurance industry.  So a bolt of lightening hits your home and it burns.  You make a claim, but the cause is an 'Act of God'.  How can you say that a human put the bolt of lightening in the sky?

Offline shineinthesummernight

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Re: Exit - even the hands of love?
« Reply #29 on: July 31, 2018, 07:48:34 PM »
Humans' understanding of God changes and grows, thus God revealed himself in a different way in Old Testament vs. New Testament times.  Jesus came to proclaim that God is for us , not a destroyer.