Author Topic: The True Meaning of With Or Without You  (Read 129918 times)

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Offline Yukona [The League of Extraordinary Bonopeople]

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Re: The True Meaning of With Or Without You
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2010, 12:12:41 AM »
Some people say it's about a girl, some say it's about God. I think, maybe in true Bono fashion, it's about both. He's said he often confuses sex and God. I think the essence of the song is about contradiction--about being pulled apart from the inside by two forces that are hard to reconcile. Because how can you be an artist and exercise that God-given gift when you're surrounded by domesticity? Yet will you give up your happiness and family to follow the muse? Because like Bono says, the muse is taciturn and can leave you with nothing. You can apply this to every other essential contradiction of U2: sex vs God, punk vs roots, head vs heart. And the answer to the contradiction, I think, is found in the song when he sings, "and you give yourself away." As human beings we try so hard to hold on to things, refusing to let them go. Our relationships, our inspirations, our undisclosed desires and all of our tortured love. The harder these things pull at us, the harder we try to hold on to ourselves. But you know, for a seed to bloom into a tree, it must first be released into the earth to die. You have to give yourself away. Because he who cherishes his life will lose it, but he who gives it away will find it.

Offline HarlemsAngel94

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Re: The True Meaning of With Or Without You
« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2010, 07:35:26 AM »
Basically, what I got from U2 by U2 was that at the time, Bono was having a real struggle in his life on which way to go. As an early band, U2 were subtly about spirituality. With superstardom, you start to lose that sense. Around the time, U2 were encroaching on being the biggest band in the world (and achieved it after the Joshua Tree) and Bono had to deal with all these pressures that came with it. So, that spirituality which was previously there was fading away and part of that was his loyalty to Ali. So his choices were to pursue this unknown territory of superstardom or to return to a loving, humble life with Ali. In the end, he was able to do both, thankfully, and created a sort of different rock star who doesn't rely on sex and drugs to keep going. All in all, if you look at the music, you can see all the hardship going on at the time. In the Joshua Tree, you have all these struggles. For example, Streets is wanting to escape this bitter world; ISHFWILF is a song of longing for something more; WOWY is a struggle between passions; and Bullet is just a demonstration of the horrors of life. As the band moved into Achtung Baby, they had taken ahold of such issues and basically were mocking them (Macphisto, etc.). Overall, the story behind U2 is one of my favorite things about the band and is something that is especially unique to them. Sorry for going on but I think that WOWY was just a summation of the problems arisen during the time.

Offline Maximus

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Re: The True Meaning of With Or Without You
« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2010, 11:25:32 AM »
I also hear it was about a relationship with God

Becuase man wants to sin, and they can't and still be in commune with God

deco20

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Re: The True Meaning of With Or Without You
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2010, 07:18:23 AM »
My personal interpretation of the song would be that it is about the human race.

"And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give, and you give
And you give yourself away."


It's like everytime the human race progresses and move forward, we give something away to gain something else. That's kinda like life. Its always in and out. Give and take.

And the song may reflect man's tendency to resist change and cower in the wombs and caves of doubt. Ultimately, we cant live with ourselves, our humanity but its the thing that makes us, us. And yet, I feel like the song is trying to tell me that if we lose our humanity, we can soar and achieve great success but there's that part of us that's missing.

Ahh sh**, this song is messing my head up.

Offline RunningtoStandstill (The League of Extraordinary BonoPeople)

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Re: The True Meaning of With Or Without You
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2010, 01:00:47 PM »
it's about love.

Offline briscoetheque

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Re: The True Meaning of With Or Without You
« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2010, 02:06:51 AM »
It's a song about a New Zealand born shepherd.

Offline StrongGirl

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Re: The True Meaning of With Or Without You
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2010, 03:41:42 PM »
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It's a song about a New Zealand born shepherd.

Oh!!! Now it all makes sense to me. Thanks , Briscoe!  ;D

andym

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Re: The True Meaning of With Or Without You
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2010, 03:59:38 PM »
relationships one day you love them the next you cant stand them..one day you agree the next you dont..one day your intimate the next your torn apart..one day your supported the next your humiliated...one day your the best thing since slice bread the next jealousy..human nature so beautifully explained in this song and thats just from the sheeps point of view dont get me started on the sheperd ;D

Offline RunningtoStandstill (The League of Extraordinary BonoPeople)

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Re: The True Meaning of With Or Without You
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2010, 10:49:06 PM »
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It's a song about a New Zealand born shepherd.

mmm...bono must have a thing for kiwis... ::)

Offline JoshuaTree94

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Re: The True Meaning of With Or Without You
« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2010, 12:30:12 AM »
I think it's about shaving cream.

deco20

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Re: The True Meaning of With Or Without You
« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2010, 01:59:28 AM »
On the other hand, WOWY does sound like a Doctor-Surgeon song.

See the stone?
Thorn twist in your side?

I cant live with or without you...

Surgeons cant live without all the diseases and funny things that get stuck in the human body. Without those, they wouldnt have jobs.

Surgeons cant live if they get those diseases themselves.

Problem solved. the mystery of WOWY. Bono must be big fan of Dr House.

Offline RunningtoStandstill (The League of Extraordinary BonoPeople)

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Re: The True Meaning of With Or Without You
« Reply #26 on: June 26, 2010, 02:40:29 AM »
YES.

Offline briscoetheque

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Re: The True Meaning of With Or Without You
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2010, 11:43:09 PM »
Actually no, With or Without you if definitely about God.

Offline Rock N Roll Girl

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Re: The True Meaning of With Or Without You
« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2010, 10:23:37 PM »
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Some people say it's about a girl, some say it's about God. I think, maybe in true Bono fashion, it's about both. He's said he often confuses sex and God. I think the essence of the song is about contradiction--about being pulled apart from the inside by two forces that are hard to reconcile. Because how can you be an artist and exercise that God-given gift when you're surrounded by domesticity? Yet will you give up your happiness and family to follow the muse? Because like Bono says, the muse is taciturn and can leave you with nothing. You can apply this to every other essential contradiction of U2: sex vs God, punk vs roots, head vs heart. And the answer to the contradiction, I think, is found in the song when he sings, "and you give yourself away." As human beings we try so hard to hold on to things, refusing to let them go. Our relationships, our inspirations, our undisclosed desires and all of our tortured love. The harder these things pull at us, the harder we try to hold on to ourselves. But you know, for a seed to bloom into a tree, it must first be released into the earth to die. You have to give yourself away. Because he who cherishes his life will lose it, but he who gives it away will find it.

Well said, Yukona. A very complicated song, this one!

Offline Maximus

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Re: The True Meaning of With Or Without You
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2010, 06:51:03 AM »
It is the genius of U2 that it could be about both. Bono is the master of the double entendre (or triple, quadruple) U2 speaks to the soul, and the soul hears the meaning it needs at the time.