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Old 02-24-2009, 07:08 PM   #1
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Moment of Surrender Lyrics

A few things I am wondering about.

Does fire = heroin? (playing with the fire till the fire played with me, we set ourselves on fire)

Does the character's wife die? ("God do not deny her" - maybe into heaven after an overdose as it appears they did heroin even on their wedding day and sold her ring to get it

Is the "surrender" perhaps the actual, physical death of the character? It doesn't seem the character actually "converts" or has a change of heart - at every stage in the song the character is either high and wanting to get high - even at then end he is "speeding" through the subway.

When I hear the chorus, I get this image of a young, disheveled heroin addict slowly dying of an overdose on a busy sidewalk at night and nobody even notices him and he's too busy seeing his last-dying-drug-induced "vision" to see anyone around him.

I could be wrong, but this is where I'm at right now.
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Old 02-25-2009, 12:19 AM   #2
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I think it could mean whatever you want it to mean. I personally see it as someone who is tormented and finally comes to a place where everything stops and the world shifts and he's not sure how to deal with that.
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Old 02-25-2009, 09:33 AM   #3
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I never thought of that, but the imagery works.

The 'I tied myself with wire' could be the tying down to find a vein.


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Old 02-25-2009, 04:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BonoVoxSupastar View Post
I never thought of that, but the imagery works.

The 'I tied myself with wire' could be the tying down to find a vein.


Exactly! That line is what got me thinking that this song was told from the point of view of a heroin addict.
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AEON View Post
A few things I am wondering about.

Does fire = heroin? (playing with the fire till the fire played with me, we set ourselves on fire)

Does the character's wife die? ("God do not deny her" - maybe into heaven after an overdose as it appears they did heroin even on their wedding day and sold her ring to get it

Is the "surrender" perhaps the actual, physical death of the character? It doesn't seem the character actually "converts" or has a change of heart - at every stage in the song the character is either high and wanting to get high - even at then end he is "speeding" through the subway.

When I hear the chorus, I get this image of a young, disheveled heroin addict slowly dying of an overdose on a busy sidewalk at night and nobody even notices him and he's too busy seeing his last-dying-drug-induced "vision" to see anyone around him.

I could be wrong, but this is where I'm at right now.
Yes heroin is fire.

I think the couple are addicts together, the wedding ring is semi precious because of the heroin. They were both high when they got married.

Surrender is the moment you give in to the drug. It takes over your body so you surrender to its power.

The speeding subway is the feeling the character is feeling.

I think of John Lennon when I hear this song. He and Yoko were heroin addicts and let the drug take over their life. You can read it in The Love You Make.
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonoVoxSupastar View Post
I never thought of that, but the imagery works.

The 'I tied myself with wire' could be the tying down to find a vein.


Also, "horse" is a nickname for heroin.

Still, I can't really see Bono equating surrendering to God (a holy Christian concept, which is the song's main idea) with giving in to heroin.

Here's Wikipedia's entry on Surrender:

----------------
In Christianity

In Christianity, Jesus is the head of the believer. The first main principle of "surrender" within the religion is "Dying to Self", or the "emptying of self" to allow Christ to live through the believer, illustrated in the following passages:

If any [man] come to me, and hate[3] not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
—Luk 14:26[4]

For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain.
—Phl 1:21[4]

For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
—Col 3:3[4]

The second issue of surrender in Christianity is allowing Christ to "take our place" through the believer, in other words, the emptying of self so that God may live through the believer as evidenced in Phl 1:21.

Another doctrinal principle central to the Christian Concept of Surrender in line with the other two, and often expounded more, is the concept of surrender to God's Will. Surrendering to God's will entails both the "surrender of our will to His in macrocosm", in which His plan prevails over man's and the adversary, and secondarily to the surrender of one's will for individual life to "His will for our personal lives in microcosm." This is done through the emptying or dying of self, the "putting self aside" in favor of divine influence. This includes the idea of surrendering to a call (the word "vocation" is rooted in the Latin vocare, referring to God's voice). The corollary of this personal surrender is obedience, and obedience to God is denoted as bringing about His will, having lasting effects, and often associated with earthly and divine blessings.

The Supreme act of Surrender which the believer is called to emulate is the surrender of Christ first as coming into the world as God incarnate and then the surrender to the Cross in the act of sacrificial atonement, breaking the Curse of sin and death from the Fall.

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
—Phl 2:7-8[4]

or

Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
—Luk 22:42[4]

Surrender is also noted in Christian doctrine as one of the three columns of victorious living, or Christian victory: the Blood of the Lamb [Christ], their Testimony of the Word of God [Scriptures] and their lives, and Loving not their lives to death.

Surrender and Obedience are premiere values of faith and a walk in Christ, superseded only by Agape Love for man and God.
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:31 AM   #7
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Another critical Wikipedia read, if you're interested in interpreting this song's lyrics:

Stations of the Cross - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:37 PM   #8
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Islam = Surrender to the will of Allah

"We set ourselves on fire" = perhaps suicide bombing
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:55 PM   #9
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I was speeding on the subway through the stations of the Cross / Every eye looking every other way / counting down till the Pentecost

I think I like the way I thought it was "counting down till the pain would stop."

The album booklet says it's Pentecost, but I definitely hear 'till the pain would stop'.
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:58 AM   #10
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No, I believe it's "counting down till the pain would stop". I haven't read the lyrics in the booklet but I'm pretty sure that's what Bono is singing. Doesn't sound like "Pentecost" at all.

I read an interview with Bono where he said the song is about a drug addict who has a religious epiphany, someone who made his wife an addict as well.
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astepcloser24 View Post
I was speeding on the subway through the stations of the Cross / Every eye looking every other way / counting down till the Pentecost

I think I like the way I thought it was "counting down till the pain would stop."

The album booklet says it's Pentecost, but I definitely hear 'till the pain would stop'.

Pentecost would be a good lyric, too, but I like the version sung on the album - which I read as a play on words substituting "pain" where "train" would fit.

I envision everyone not being able to watch the events surrounding Christ's crucifixion. Those closest to Jesus, God himself even, had to turn away until the pain had stopped.
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Old 03-03-2009, 01:23 PM   #12
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"I did not notice the passers by and they did not notice me"

Great line about an addicts complete detachment from the rest of the world, and the world's detachment from the plight of an addict.

Great lyric!
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Old 03-03-2009, 03:05 PM   #13
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The album booklet says it's Pentecost, but I definitely hear 'till the pain would stop'.

Curious as to which booklet this was in? I purchased the normal CD today, and the lyrics in that booklet say "till the pain would stop".
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:14 PM   #14
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^ Yeah, that's in the booklet in both CD versions I have as well.
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:15 PM   #15
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In the iTunes digital booklet, it says 'pentecost.'
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:05 PM   #16
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In the Catherine Owens booklet Bono confirms the song is about a relationship and drugs...
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Old 03-05-2009, 07:44 AM   #17
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In the iTunes digital booklet, it says 'pentecost.'

"Pain would stop" in the box version booklet.
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