The First Time--I threw away the key - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > United Colours > The Goal Is Soul
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-24-2006, 12:51 PM   #1
The Fly
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 43
Local Time: 01:18 AM
The First Time--I threw away the key

I don't get this song. Somebody please help.

Up until the end, this is the perfect Christian faith promoting song. Beautiful descriptions of the Holy Ghost, the Son, and the Father. Very sacred.

Then you get the twist

"But I left by the back door
And I threw away the key "

What's going on here? I've read what I could find on this verse on the internet and here are some theories.

1. Bono is turning his back on and rejecting God. If so, is he lamenting this bad decision? Or is he proud of it? The tempo picks up and the voice becomes louder, so I think it's something he's proud of--being overt about it.
2. Bono feels guilty to be in God's presence and turns away.
3. Bono feels uplifted in God's love to go back and face the world instead of staying in the mansion.

#3 is the only possible meaning that could make this a positive ending, but it doesn't seem logical.

I really want there to be a positive interpretation of that last sentence. Is there one?
__________________

ltcf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2006, 01:44 PM   #2
The Fly
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 30
Local Time: 01:18 AM
I think there's not. I've already read somewhere Bono saying that this music is about someone losing his faith.
__________________

cristiano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2006, 01:59 PM   #3
War Child
 
MumblingBono's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: The State Good Bands Skip Over
Posts: 566
Local Time: 01:18 AM
I've always felt there was a darkness to that song, the ominous way the keyboards are layered underneath throughout the verses, sort of a foreboding of the dark ending.

Great song, great album
MumblingBono is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2006, 09:16 PM   #4
New Yorker
 
pattip2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 2,846
Local Time: 08:18 PM
I know on at least a few live recordings I’ve heard him sing something like “oh but grace threw it back to me” after singing “I threw away the key a few times” that really changes the meaning in my mind there.
pattip2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-24-2006, 11:05 PM   #5
Refugee
 
stammer476's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,058
Local Time: 10:18 AM
I remember an interview when he said that the song, while in the first person, was actually from someone else's perspective. He was writing a narrative about a friend's decision.

Then, there's the additional line, "but grace gave it back to me" that I heard in person, which would me make think it's really about him afterall.

It's probably both. This is Bono, afterall, it's not like a song can only be about one thing.
stammer476 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-25-2006, 12:06 AM   #6
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: The American Resistance
Posts: 4,754
Local Time: 07:18 PM
The song speaks to me about how easily most of us find love in the affections of family (philos) and the sensual attraction between the sexes (eros) but find the unconditional love of God (agape) so hard to accept. Sentimentality based love is much simpler than a love based on devotion which is why most of us "throw away the key" to the gift of heavenly love many times over.
INDY500 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2006, 06:35 PM   #7
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Rachel D.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: At the Lettuce Bar
Posts: 6,180
Local Time: 08:18 PM
I've heard that it's not about Bono, but is rather from a third person perspective. Also, that it's a sort of allusion to the Prodigal Son parable.

Quote:
Originally posted by pattip2000
I know on at least a few live recordings I’ve heard him sing something like “oh but grace threw it back to me” after singing “I threw away the key a few times” that really changes the meaning in my mind there.
Wow, I've never heard about that. Maybe he was trying to clarify the meaning of the song since people often interpret it as him denouncing his faith. I've noticed him altering lyrics in live performances before in a way that clarifies them (I can't think of them off the top of my head, though).
Rachel D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2006, 07:02 PM   #8
New Yorker
 
pattip2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: VA
Posts: 2,846
Local Time: 08:18 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Rachel D.
I've heard that it's not about Bono, but is rather from a third person perspective. Also, that it's a sort of allusion to the Prodigal Son parable.



Wow, I've never heard about that. Maybe he was trying to clarify the meaning of the song since people often interpret it as him denouncing his faith. I've noticed him altering lyrics in live performances before in a way that clarifies them (I can't think of them off the top of my head, though).
Another one I can think of is in “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, I’ve heard him say many times:
“You broke the bonds
and you loosed the chains
carried the cross, took my shame
you took the blame
you know I believe it”

He is signing the gospel right there if you ask me.
I’ll try and upload an example of both when I get a chance.
pattip2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2006, 10:05 PM   #9
The Fly
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Alpharetta, GA - US
Posts: 52
Local Time: 09:18 PM
It has been mentioned that the song is about the parable of prodigal son - to expand on that idea, I have also read where Bono says "The First Time" is the story of the prodigal son with a twist... which could explain how/why the "son" doesn't rejoin the father at the end, unlike the parable.

Also (since alternate lyrics have been mentioned), at the Atlanta Vertigo concert, Bono sang something along the lines of "but I left by the backdoor, and I threw away the key, only grace can get it back for me..."

www.staringattheson.com
Exploring the spiritual side of U2
thefly12 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2006, 08:59 PM   #10
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Rachel D.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: At the Lettuce Bar
Posts: 6,180
Local Time: 08:18 PM
He also sings "Teach me, Lord," live in "Beautiful Day." I just watched one of my DVDs the other day and noticed that.
Rachel D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2006, 01:17 AM   #11
War Child
 
nightninja56's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Seattle
Posts: 583
Local Time: 08:18 PM
i know in the zooropa era, bono was in the middle of a faith crisis (see Pop), and later on, he found his faith and added those lyrics live
nightninja56 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2006, 01:25 PM   #12
Blue Crack Addict
 
Liesje's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: In the dog house
Posts: 19,563
Local Time: 09:18 PM
I used to think the song was about a faith struggle. After seeing the Million Dollar Hotel, it's almost impossible for me to think of it in any other context, even though the song came before the flim.
Liesje is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2006, 05:54 PM   #13
The Fly
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 81
Local Time: 11:18 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by nightninja56
i know in the zooropa era, bono was in the middle of a faith crisis (see Pop), and later on, he found his faith and added those lyrics live
I don't think he was in a middle of a faith crisis..I think he always questions his faith! Like most people do, we have questions! It's like when Achtung Baby came out, people thought U2 have lost there faith because there showing burning crosses on the TV Screens during Zoo TV!(Bullet the Blue Sky) That was complete rubbish!
oscar08 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2006, 04:54 PM   #14
The Fly
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 43
Local Time: 01:18 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by pattip2000
I know on at least a few live recordings I’ve heard him sing something like “oh but grace threw it back to me” after singing “I threw away the key a few times” that really changes the meaning in my mind there.
I'd like to find a copy of a time he sang it that way and add it to my U2 Faith collection. I just heard a version of Bad with First Time embedded in the middle that was amazing, but Bono sings "I threw away the key...for love" in that one and then goes back and forth with the audience on LOVE. Anyone know where I can find the adjusted live version?
ltcf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2006, 05:44 PM   #15
ONE
love, blood, life
 
U2isthebest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Vision over visibility....
Posts: 12,332
Local Time: 09:18 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by ltcf


I'd like to find a copy of a time he sang it that way and add it to my U2 Faith collection. I just heard a version of Bad with First Time embedded in the middle that was amazing, but Bono sings "I threw away the key...for love" in that one and then goes back and forth with the audience on LOVE. Anyone know where I can find the adjusted live version?
On most of the "Vertigo" tour performances he says "Only grace can get it back for me" which I love! Let me give you a Youtube link...I don't know of an audio one.
__________________

U2isthebest is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:18 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com