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Old 02-25-2003, 05:25 PM   #1
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Ishfwilf

I know that ISHFWILF is about looking for God in all the wrong places...but I was listening to it today, and there are a few questions I have about the lyrics. Can anyone enlighten me?

I have climbed highest mountain
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you


I'm assuming, "you" is God, right?

I have kissed honey lips
Felt the healing in her fingertips
It burned like fire
This burning desire"


Desire for what? Who is this girl he felt healing in?


I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone


I have held the hand of the devil....what exactly is he referring to? Sin? Sex? The girl from the above verse?

I believe in the kingdom come
Then all the colors will bleed into one
Bleed into one
Well yes I'm still running


You broke the bonds and you
Loosed the chains
Carried the cross
Of my shame
Of my shame
You know I believed it


..."All the colours" I'm not sure I understand this line.
..."Yes, I'm still running" Running? Where? From what? To what?

In the last verse, is he speaking as if he's Jesus? (Carried the cross)...is he speaking as Jesus the entire song? What bonds? What chains?

"You know I believed it" Believed what?

Thanks.
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Old 02-25-2003, 07:06 PM   #2
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Re: Ishfwilf

I am really looking forward to hearing some of us talk about this song...

Quote:
Originally posted by The_Sweetest_Thing
I know that ISHFWILF is about looking for God in all the wrong places...but I was listening to it today, and there are a few questions I have about the lyrics. Can anyone enlighten me?

Only to be with you
I'm assuming, "you" is God, right?
My reading is that there is, for once, only one "You" in this U2 song, and that the "You" is explicitly named in the last verse as Jesus. So IMHO he's talking to Jesus throughout, describing all these things he's done that were powerful or good or interesting but not ultimately what he was *really* looking for.

Quote:
..."All the colours" I'm not sure I understand this line.
..."Yes, I'm still running" Running? Where? From what? To what?
The colors thing - would love to hear others ideas but I've just thought it means basically divisions like racism and rich/poor will be overcome when God's kingdom has completely come.

Still running -- there are several places in the Bible where the metaphor of keeping your stamina to run a long distance race to God is used. It's used a lot in lyrics to gospel music (if you listen to the R&H version, you can hear the Gospel soloists sort of take off on that idea.) I think that's what he means -- he's not giving up, still pressing forward to the Kingdom.

Quote:
What bonds? What chains?
This is another common Christian image from the Bible and hymns etc -- the idea is that by giving himself up on the cross Jesus did all that was needed to free people completely from bondage to evil and being enslaved to our own habits, hates, biases, shame etc. "You know I believe it" is just the affirmation that he still believes what he just sang -- that Jesus really did it.
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Old 03-09-2003, 01:04 PM   #3
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I guess there aren't a lot of people out there with thoughts on the song...
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Old 03-10-2003, 01:35 AM   #4
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My interps of the song.

Only to be with you
Only to be with you

I'm assuming, "you" is God, right?


Yes.

Felt the healing in her fingertips

Desire for what? Who is this girl he felt healing in?


I dunno, could be any girl I guess. It talks of a man who tries to find fulfilment in romance, or desire. Perhaps, perhaps, "her" refers to the Holy Spirit and the healing that comes from being blessed by it, but that seems obscure..

I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone

I have held the hand of the devil....what exactly is he referring to? Sin? Sex? The girl from the above verse?


Good connection, and it could be just about delving into the dark side of life. Notice the verbs Bono uses. kiss, felt, spoke, held... all talking about a sensual life, almost hedonistic, I guess.

..."All the colours" I'm not sure I understand this line.
It could mean racial differences, cultural differences, anything. Colours bleeding into one brings to mind the imagery of cloth dye; we're all cut from the same cloth but our dyes are different, that's all.

..."Yes, I'm still running" Running? Where? From what? To what?

He is still seeking God's face. Seeking total fulfilment. Spiritual fulfilment.

In the last verse, is he speaking as if he's Jesus?

No.

"You know I believed it" Believed what?

Believed that Christ died for his sins.


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Old 03-10-2003, 04:21 AM   #5
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Hey, Edge, do you want to come take a look at these interpretations and give them a general rating, on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the least correct, ten being the exact intention of Bono's lyrics?

My own evaluation is that it should speak to you in the way that YOU need to hear it, then it would have the meaning that makes sense to you...

Edge has an outside, objective viewpoint on this, i would think!

i have a question for you, foray. what picture comes to mind when you hear these words? do they make a story, or a scene that relate to a place you have been to or seen?

we come from such different religions, there may not be one true answer here.
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Old 03-10-2003, 05:43 AM   #6
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i think of the music video of that r&b remake of ishfwilf.

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Old 03-10-2003, 09:05 PM   #7
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me reading the thread title:

i shh fw ilf

ish f wil f


then i opened it and figured it ALL out


i've really got nothing concrete to add, but listening to it full blast in your car belting your lungs out is quite moving.
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