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With or without you (U2) (Ireland)
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"With or Without You" is widely considered one of U2's most overtly emotional songs and probably their biggest hit. The group U2 (= You too) was one of the first groups to banner the label "Christian Band". Many of their songs have a deep Christian message or at least use Christian images, like this song here, one of the best songs ever.

You can sing to the karaoke version here.

See the stone set in your eyes
See the thorn twist in your side
I’ll 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 reach the shore
You give it all but I want more
And I’m waiting for you

With or without you
With or without you
I can’t live
With or without you

And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give
And you give
And you give yourself away

My hands are tied
My body bruised, she got me with
Nothing to win and
Nothing left to lose

And you give yourself away
And you give yourself away
And you give
And you give
And you give yourself away

With or without you
With or without you
I can’t live
With or without you

Oooooh

With or without you
With or without you
I can’t live
With or without you
With or without you

THE STONE SET IN YOUR EYES= The stone that is placed in your eyes may refer to the coldness of her look. If the eyes are the windows of the soul, as people say, when you look in her eyes you don’t see a loving heart, you see a cold stone. That means she stopped loving him.

THORN= A harsh prickly plant. See the picture here.
THE THORN TWIST IN YOUR SIDE= A metaphor of something that is damaging her. She did something wrong and now that is destroying her. "Your side" is the part of your trunk which is usually covered by your arms.

I’LL WAIT FOR YOU= You don’t love me, you betrayed me (probably you had an affair with another guy), but I can’t live without you, so I’ll wait, and when you change and love me again, I’ll take you back.

SLEIGHT OF HAND= A trick or set of tricks performed by a juggler or magician so quickly and deftly that the manner of execution cannot be observed.

FATE= Destiny, written future.

TWIST OF FATE= A sudden and unexpected change in life.

A BED OF NAILS= A metaphor of how much he suffers waiting for her. A bed of nails is the one used by fakirs (A Hindu ascetic or religious mendicant, especially one who performs feats of magic or endurance). See picture here.

I WAIT WITHOUT YOU= I’m alone, waiting for you to come back to me.

SHORE= Coast, the part where the sea meets land.

THROUGH THE STORM WE REACH THE SHORE= We are passing through great troubles, but salvation may lie ahead. If we solve this situation we may find peace again.

YOU GIVE YOURSELF AWAY= This may mean "you give yourself as a present, for free" (you are generous and give everything to others), or it may mean "you betray yourself", you lie about it but something in your eyes, or in your acts, reveals the truth.

BRUISED= If your body is bruised you have been beaten and you have painful red or blue marks showing the blows. See picture of bruises.

SHE GOT ME= She’s got me / she has me.

NOTHING LEFT TO LOSE= When there is nothing left, you used or consumed everything and there is nothing more, everything was finished. So in this sentence he says that he lost everything, he has nothing, so he has nothing left to lose.

Bono (the lead singer), and everyone in the band, are profoundly Christians (Catholics), and this song, like many others by them, certainly has some Christian imagery referring to Jesus. Bono himself said (or so they say) that this song is a mix of erotic and agape love, that is, human love and divine love. In that case, SHE refers to his lover, and YOU refers to God / Jesus. She betrayed him and now he can’t take her back, but he can’t live without her either. He compares himself to the suffering Christ, suffering for a love that is not corresponded. And he also expresses his disappointment about a God that "gives himself away" to everybody except himself, who needs Him so much at this moment (he feels so alone, so abandoned, so desperate).

Here's a direct quote from the book written by Steve Stockman (an Irish author and DJ):
"Even with or without you is not a plain-sailing love song. There are moments when it appears that it is focusing on the old cliché "Women, you can't live with them, and you can't live without them". But the lyrics twist and turn and deal with a whole lot more than a relationship between men and women. Weaving two or three themes into one song is another trait of U2's song writing. Niall Stokes, in his song-by-song account of the bands entire back catalogue, is accurate when he sees erotic love and agape love mixing around here, also another great U2 theme of surrendering the ego in the lyrics 'give yourself away' (Luke 9:24). Of course, a person does give himself away in love and marriage, but this kind of surrender could be spiritual or even in opening up to hundreds of thousands of fans every night."

Anyway, whether it’s love for Jesus or for his wife or for his recently deceased mother, one thing is sure: this is one of the best love songs ever written.

 
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