U2: With Or Without You Meaning
Song Released: 1987
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With Or Without You Lyrics
see the thorn twist in your side
i wait for you
Sleight of hand and twist of fate
On a bed of nails she makes me wait
And I wait without you
With or without you
With or without you
Through the storm we...
anonymous Nov 24th, 2009 11:53pm report
I think this song is about a guy who loves this girl. And he waits on her hand and foot. She uses him because she can get whatever she wants. He hates her for this but he is still so in love with her that he cant do anything about it. He cant live with her (cause she uses him) or without her (cause he loves her).
That's just what i get from it
ThatsJust_Me Oct 18th, 2009 10:49pm report
well i think that this song is about a gitl who a guy likes and he really like her but he doesnt know if she feels the same way, and i think that the when he says @and you give yourself away' thats shes messing him around and going off with other guys and just playing around.
I thinkt hat therefroe the guy doesnt agree with what shes doing therefore cant live with her, but he cand live without her as he cant get enough 'you give it all but i want more'
and from the beginning verse 'See the stone set in your eyes
See the thorn twist in your side' shes tryng not to show any emotions through her eyes but he can see thats shes hurting inside.
So i think basically its about a girl fooling arounnd with guys and one guy really liking her and doesnt want to like her but he just cant help himself therefore cant live with or without her
anonymous Sep 20th, 2009 9:02pm report
I don't know the meaning of this song; But I do know that as a Christian I can't live without Christ in my heart but I also can't live with Him physically in this life.
Invisiblewounds Sep 6th, 2009 9:41am report
I don't know the subtle meaning of this song but Its definitely not about a woman...If a woman abandons you then someone else will come in your life unless of course its mother were talking about I like christ's version better there have been refernces abt thorns,nails and torments...And to me it seems that the general meaning of this song is we can't deny God even if He seems nonexsistent
to us.Hence"with or without u"
HowCouldYou Jun 29th, 2009 6:10pm report
There is this scene where the guy says to the girl, 'I can't live without you.' and the girl replies, 'Then why aren't you dead?' and I just remember the feeling I got the first time I heard that. The shock of how harsh flirtation can be to show what a tough cookie or what standard is required.
I say things I think I do not intend to say without even knowing it all the time and it is not the words that matter not even the actions or the inactions in other words, it is the ongoing concern. The oneness of the lyrics is strong making the listener able to relate without gender or sexual preference distinctions, we are one, and we can all relate to the feelings and the music stirs us accentuating the tingling sensations we get when we think about the one we feel so close to, the spark so close to sadness that we could sob and yet so powerful when it is right that we can only wait in anticipation with bated breath laying ourselves on the table with threat of being stabbed a thousand times or more waiting for that one that we hope will reciprocate our hopes our desires our love by coming on top of us and being gentle enough respecting us enough not to be stabbed even by one single gouge.
Who will be next is the question this song askes the masses. I will take your pain away or let you take mine but be gentle because I can not move from this place seems to be the grander meaning. Is it a better explanation, no, just my feeling that there are worldly metaphors that could easily fit so many scenarios and in each there is a way to show our love.
Interesting that I just heard the words, 'Self serving or selfless' and I want to backspace that part but my trembling fingers want to erase the whole thing.
My feelings on the meaning of this song are as follows:
It is a song based on a one sided relationship where one wants more than the other and is willing to wait and see if the other can overcome thier confusion in dealing with things. While one is in pain waiting, the other gets involved with other people, is not sure what they want to do - a rollercoaster so to speak, being involved with someone who is up and down. In a relationship when one person loves and the other is in love. If you've been involved in this type of relationship from either side you can definitely see the meaning.
The lyrics here are indeed timeless and meant to be general, but so we can all connect. I guess I ain't sayin' nuthin'. Hold on; who's this about ?
Some Heroes of the War
Cry or smile on Memorial Day
Heroes and whores are just a smile away
And he was born on the 4th of July
His dreamlike horizon made him fly
But you know how she knows, and it's okay
It's only a generation where he lives away
And there's no doubt you can love more
Whether you be the hero, or the whore
WebAntOfYouTube Jun 19th, 2009 6:51pm report
Maybe the editors can include this with my previous submission? I did not cover these lines because the person I was responding to did not. That was a mistake. These are the lines:
And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give
And you give
And you give yourself away
( I think her indecision is very revealing. It gives her away in the sense of revealing that she is not really truly in love with him or does not love him quite enough. Most certainly not as much as he loves her.)
My hands are tied
(He is helpless. He can't make her love him if she don't,so to speak.)
My body bruised,
(sometimes emotional torment can manifest itself physically or cause a person physical problems)
she's got me with
Nothing to win
(if he cannot win her heart enough for her to marry him then he has nothing else to win concerning her)
Nothing left to lose
(he has already lost all his dignity,peace,and physical health after being humiliated and stressed out by her inability to give him an answer!!!! She can take nothing else from him. She has taken his love and is not hardly giving it back to him in return. He has nothing left. She has pillaged him. His love is unrequited.)
WebAntOfYouTube Jun 19th, 2009 6:35pm report
September 20th, 2006 04:11PM
This song has always seemed to be about somebody proposing to his (possible future) wife. (I agree)
See the stone set in your eyes = he's looking at the reflection of the diamond (engagement) ring in here eyes.(She is looking at in the box) Also "setting a stone" refers to how a diamond is placed in/on the ring
See the thorn twist in your side = refers to the "bride" being unsure. You could also say it refers to twisting a ring to fit on a finger if the ring is too small. (I think she is so taken aback by his proposal that she literally looks like someone is twisting a thorn in her side. She is in great discomfort. He has not yet put the ring on her finger since she has not answered)
I wait for you = waiting for her to answer
Sleight of hand and twist of fate = another reference to holding her hand and twisting the ring onto a finger. (It means that he slickly brought out the ring after concealing it but it does not make sense that he would put the engagement ring on her finger before he got an answer. I think a guy would usually unexpectedly bring out a ring that he has been concealing,show it to the girl,and then ask her to marry him. If she said yes,then he would put the ring on her finger. Right?)
On a bed of nails she makes me wait = nails, another hand refence. Also on a bed of nails means he's nervous. ( I think he is yet waiting to twist the ring on her finger because she has not yet said yes. She is making him wait and it is like lying on nails for him. It is nervous torture.)
And I wait without you = she hasnt said yes yet, so he waits alone. (He is the only one who knows what he wants and he has stepped on a limb only to be left hanging there all by himself. He is alone indeed.)
With or without you = he's in limbo. He's taken a step but she hasnt said yes or no yet. (That means he does not know if they are going to be together or not.)
Through the storm we reach the shore
you give it all but I want more = they have been through tough times together and even though she loves him, he wants more, for her to be his wife.
I can't live
with or without you = he just wants an answer (He cannot live with her as her husband because she has not said yes and he cannot live without her because life without her would be empty and meaningless. It would be existence,not life.)
my hands are tied = tie the knot (No,that means he has no control over the situation. His hands are tied. He can do nothing to make that woman say yes. The ball is totally in her court. He is helpless. Tied up.)
make sense? (To a certain extent. )
anonymous Jun 7th, 2009 6:38pm report
Just like Dante and Beatrice, in this song the 'you' is both the divine and the object of Bono's romatic love.
anonymous May 8th, 2009 5:47pm report
In my interpretation, I believe this beautiful song is about being apart from someone you love, and having to be but not wanting to. The music travels its way showing desperation and melancholy. and it can also refere to his fear of not being sure for how long this can go on, or if the person he is talking about can keep up with him and suffering. loving eachother through the distance and crying because of it. I love this song.
ok here goes.. the "stone set in your eyes" is about her smoking pot-adolescense, and the thorn twist in your side represents watching her grow up in life (but not fast enough) "my body bruised" represents the guy going through "hell" waiting for the girl to come around..the "give yourself away" part is about the girl going with another and he still waits because he still is in love with her..with or without you is all about the waiting and expectance IMO- (i've been there)
anonymous Feb 4th, 2009 2:38pm report
I think that it is about a man in love with a married woman. That she is torn between the two but is still with her husband and he waits. He can't live with a married woman and can't live with out her. She gives herself away to her husband, yet comes to him as he waits on a bed of nails.
anonymous Feb 2nd, 2009 2:47pm report
I don't think the song is very complicated to interpretate. It's about the complex of love. The problem of having a woman you neither can life with og without.
"you give yourself away". You sacrifice and give yourself away, but don't get anything back = you can't live with a woman like that, but at the same time you love her to much to live without her. So what can you do?
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