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One

U2

One Lyrics

[Verse 1]
Is it getting better
Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you, now
You got someone to blame?

[Chorus]
You say one love, one life
When it's one need in the night

One love, we get to share it
Leaves you, baby, if you don't care for it

[Verse 2]
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


[Chorus]
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

[Verse 3]
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?


[Chorus]
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

[Bridge]
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 to what you got
When all you got is hurt


[Final Chorus]
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
One

[Outro]
Ooh-ooh-ooh
Oh-ooh
May we, may we, may we get
Higher
Oh, higher
(Ay, yeah, go) higher
(Oh) Higher

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About “One”

After experiencing massive success in the late 80’s, U2 found themselves at a sticking point as the new decade dawned.

They’d decamped to Hansa Studios in Berlin just as the wall was coming down hoping that the spirit of reunification would infect the band, which was experiencing some divisions of its own.

In the midst of the difficult sessions and strained relationships, the band had a breakthrough. While jamming on a progression that would later become the hit “Mysterious Ways,” they stumbled on the melody of what would become “One”.

According to the Edge there was “suddenly something very powerful happening in the room.” He added, “Everyone recognized it was a special piece. It was like we’d caught a glimpse of what the song could be.”

Bono has often stated the the lyrics came “from the sky” (see From the Sky Down, Davis Guggenheim’s awesome documentary about U2’s Hansa sessions). They were inspired by the band’s strained internal relationships, the reunification, the AIDS epidemic, and Bono’s abhorrence of the the idea of “Hippie One-ness”–that is, one-ness without acknowledgment of differences.

Bono has also expressed his amusement with couples who’ve played the song at their weddings, saying “Are you mad? It’s about splitting up!” (McCormick, 2006)

There was some speculation that the song described a conversation between a father and his HIV-positive gay son, based on the connection of the song to David Wojnarowicz, an artist who died of AIDS-related illnesses. U2 used Wojarnowicz’s black and white photograph as album art for the single. Wojnarowicz took the photo at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington on a trip he took from New York following the passing of his close friend and legendary photographer, Peter Hujar (1934-87); he died from AIDs-related illnesses on November 26, 1987. The diorama in the photo depicts buffalo, which have been driven off a cliff by an unseen indigenous tribe. They are following one another as they tumble over cliffs. This has been interpreted as a relationship between America’s treatment of native Americans, as well as the buffalo, which they drove to the brink of extinction, and the apathy that the current administration was showing towards the HIV/AIDs Epidemic/Gay community.

  • What have the artists said about the song?

    The Edge:

    At the instant we were recording it, I got a very strong sense of its power. We were all playing together in the big recording room, a huge, eerie ballroom full of ghosts of the war, and everything fell into place. It was a reassuring moment, when everyone finally went, ‘oh great, this album has started.’ It’s the reason you’re in a band – when the spirit descends upon you and you create something truly affecting. ‘One’ is an incredibly moving piece. It hits straight into the heart. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_(U2_song))

"One" Track Info

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