Meaning of the song One by the rock band U2

Of course, one of the most striking compositions in rock music of the nineties was the ballad One by the Irish band U2. The composition, which was released as a single in 1992, topped the charts in many countries. It gave rise to a lot of guesses about the true meaning of the text, which was facilitated by three video clips shot by different directors at once. But let’s start with the story behind the song One.

Melody of One – U2

In 1991, U2 worked on the album Achtung Baby at Hansa Studios in Berlin. The group went to the capital of Germany for inspiration, hoping to find it in a newly united and optimistic country. The U2 members, who were increasingly at odds, believed that in such an environment it would be easier for them to find a common language and work fruitfully.

Their expectations were justified, and the key moment, after which the work on the new record began to boil, was the recording of the composition One. Edge described her as follows:

This song became central during the recording of the album, the first breakthrough in a series of incredibly difficult sessions.

The song’s melody came from Edge improvising on acoustic guitar as he played chord progressions from the band’s old songs. At some point, the rest of the members began to like what he was doing, and they joined Edge. Then the music took about fifteen minutes.

The meaning of the song One – U2

The lyrics were written by Bono. At that time, he was thinking about the possible breakup of the group, the relationship of fathers and children, the need to learn to forgive, and so on. All this found expression in the words of the composition. It is also said that he took the line “one but not the same” from his letter to the Dalai Lama, in which he refused to take part in the Oneness festival.

No one can explain the main idea of ​​the song better than the author, so you should listen to Bono himself. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 1993, he said:

It’s a song about living together, but not in the spirit of the old hippies, like: “Let’s all live together.” In fact, it means the opposite. It says, “We are one, but we are not the same.” It’s not even that we want to get along with each other, but we have to get along in this world, since it is not destined to disappear. This is a reminder that we have no choice.

Before Bono explained what he meant to One, the band’s fans had some interesting guesses, based largely on the plot of the music videos. We prefer to stick to the version that Bono expressed, so we will not list all the assumptions.

The group U2 finalized the song One already in their homeland, in Ireland. The process was difficult. Its participants, which also included Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, argued a lot, constantly changed something and continued to experiment. But everyone was happy with the result.

Recording and release

In March 1992, One was released as the third single from the album Achtung Baby and immediately soared to the top of the charts in many countries. Since then, it has been considered one of the best songs of the rock band U2. Most of the proceeds from the sale of the single went to the AIDS Relief Fund.

On Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, One is ranked 36th. She also appears in many other authoritative rankings and even tops some of them.

Clips One – U2

Three clips were filmed for the song One. This video was created by Anton Corbijn.

The video clip for One – U2 is directed by Mark Pellington.

The next One – U2 clip was presented by director Phil Joanou.

Interesting Facts

  • Axl Rose said he cried when he first heard One.
  • The cover of the single features a photograph taken by David Wojnarowicz. On it, bison, driven by Indian hunters, fall from a cliff. The artist identified himself with these animals.
  • Many fans told the band members that they danced to One at their wedding. This made the musicians from U2 astonished, because the main idea of ​​the song does not correspond to such a solemn moment.

One Lyrics

Is it getting better?
Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you now?
You got someone to blame
you say

one love
one life
When it’s one need
In the night
one love
We get to share it
Leave you baby if you
Don’t care for it

Did I disappoint you?
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without
Well it’s

too late
Tonight
To drag the past out into the light
We’re one, but we’re not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other
One

Have you come here for forgiveness?
Have you come to raise the dead?
Have you come here to play Jesus?
To the lepers in your head

Did I ask too much?
More than a lot.
You gave me nothing
Now it’s all I got
We’re one
But we’re not the same
well we
Hurt each other
Then we do it again
you say
love is a temple
Love a higher law
love is a temple
Love the higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl
And I can’t be holding on
What you got
When all you got is hurt

one love
one blood
one life
You got to do what you should
one life
With each other
Sisters
brothers
one life
But we’re not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other

One Lyrics

Are you better?
Or do you feel the same way?
Are you feeling better now?
Do you have someone to blame
You say

One Love
One life
When there is a general need
At night
One Love
We must share it
She’ll leave you baby if you
You won’t keep her

Did I disappoint you?
Or left a bad aftertaste?
You act like you never loved
And you want me to do without love
Well

Too late
Tonight
Bring out the past
We are one but we are not the same
We should
Take care of each other
Take care of each other
United

Did you come here for forgiveness?
Have you come to resurrect the dead?
Have you come to play Jesus?
With lepers in your head

Did I ask too much of you?
More than
You didn’t give me anything
And that’s all I have
We are one,
But we are not the same
Well we
We offend each other
And we repeat it again
You say,
Love is a temple
Love is the highest law
Love is a temple
Love is the highest law
love the higher law
You ask me to come in
But then you make me crawl
And I can’t hold on
What do you have,
If all you have left is heartache

One Love
One blood
One life
You gotta do what you gotta do
One life
Together
sisters
Brothers
One life
But we are not the same
We should
Take care of each other
Take care of each other

Song quote

… a bitter, confused, sarcastic conversation between two people who have gone through some kind of difficulties and abominations

Edge

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