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September 2nd, 2005

Until The End Of The World reinterpreted @ 07:33 am

I'm currently feelin: thoughtful thoughtful
I'm currently hearin: Until The End Of The World ~ U2

Inspired by bonoffee's entry yesterday, I'm making this one today. Though this is an entry that's been floating around in my head for weeks, I'm just now sticking it down.

The beauty of U2 songs is that they can mean different things to different people. They can be interpretend in different ways.

Now, most people are aware of the biblical references in Until The End Of The World. It's the story of Jesus and Judas, told from Judas' perspective, about his betrayal of Jesus.

But one day I was listening to it, and this whole other interpretation just popped into my head out of nowhere, and I thought it was just so neat. And then I went and explained this new interpretation to a friend, and really freaked him out.
He's not a U2 fan, but I showed him the song and told him the story of Judas, and then told him the other interpretation. He (jokingly) told me I was surely going to hell for changing something that was supposed to be about Jesus in such a way. So I told him about how Bono would molest the camera while singing this song in ZooTV. XD

Anyway, the lyrics, with my new interpretations sparsed in:

Haven't seen you in quite a while
I was down the hold just passing time

The song is from the perspective of a convicted rapist, to his victim. At this point, he's been imprisoned for his crime.

Last time we met was a low-lit room
We was close together as a bride and groom
We ate the food, we drank the wine
Everybody having a good time
Except you
You were talking 'bout the end of the world

They were at a party together, just having a good time with everyone else.

I took the money
I spiked your drink
You miss too much these days if you stop to think

He spikes her drink, either with alcohol or the date-rape drug.

You lead me on with those innocent eyes
You know I love the element of surprise

She's innocent, but, in his opinion at least, she's a bit of a tease.

In the garden I was playing the tart
I kissed your lips and broke your heart
You... you were acting like it was
The end of the world

This bit here is the actual rape, out in the garden, away from the rest of the party. He's in denial about what he's done. He still thinks it was consensual. He just kissed her lips, and can't understand why she's making such a big deal about it.

Love, love, love
Love, love
Love, love love
Love love, love
Love love
Love, love, love

In my dream I was drowning the sorrows / (Love love love, love love)

To begin with, his sorrows are just his sorrow at being imprisoned for something he doesn't believe he's guilty of.

But my sorrows, they learned to swim / (Love love, ooh)
Surrounding me, going down on me / (Love love, love love)
Spilling over the brim / (Love love)

But suddenly he realizes what he's done, and stops being in denial about it.

Waves of regret and waves of joy
I reached out for the one I tried to destroy
You... you said you'd wait
'til the end of the world

He has remorse about what he's done, but is looking for a way to forgive himself. He's reaching out to his victim for forgiveness, but she won't forgive him. Not until the end of the world.

It's a bit of a stretch at times, but it mostly seems to fit. The versatility of U2 songs is so wonderful.
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Date:September 2nd, 2005 01:37 pm (UTC)
I **love** this interpretation! Bravo :)
Date:September 2nd, 2005 01:47 pm (UTC)
Wow. Very interesting. I get little snippets of interpretations here and there, but can never hold them up to the whole song.
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Date:September 2nd, 2005 02:17 pm (UTC)
Wow, I've never seen the song in that light. Very interesting to see others interpretations!
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Date:September 2nd, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC)
Totally random, but, you know, your LJ icon drives me ever so slightly crazy. Everytime I see it, I want to shake my fist at it and yell "Damn you naked John Lennon! Quit distracting me!"
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Date:September 2nd, 2005 06:33 pm (UTC)

Yeah, he kind of has a lanky bod, but the photo speaks very loudly. I'm not feeling very poetic or descriptive right now, but he sure loved, admired and needed that woman.
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Date:September 2nd, 2005 03:24 pm (UTC)

Excellent interpretation. I always thought that "Walk On" was about two lovers, and not a political protest.
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Date:September 2nd, 2005 04:11 pm (UTC)
This reminds me of my husband and I discussing Crumbs From Your Table after we'd had Atomic Bomb for a couple of days. He said, in that manner people have when they think everyone would be thinking the same thing, "it's about two lovers". Then I said, with the same manner, though with an added bit of surprise at what he thought, "And I think it's about the policies of western governments (e.g. the United States) in giving aid to Africa."

We looked at one another and realized we could both be right (though of course I secretly believe I am more right than him!) and that if we hadn't talked about it we never would have had any suspicion that there was more than one way to interpret it.

It's all part of the joy of loving U2, in my opinion, that the songs keep on giving and growing and changing the more you get to know them.
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Date:September 2nd, 2005 06:18 pm (UTC)
This is pretty similar to the interpretation I had after I first listened to it, before I heard about the whole Biblical references. I didn't think it went as far as rape, more along the lines of getting someone who liked you drunk at a party and then going to bed with them. Although the rape / jail theory certainly fits the first two lines better than mine.

I figured it was a one-night stand when the girl wanted more initially. The rest of it went pretty much as you said; the remorse, the reaching out and finally not forgiving him.

Like you said, it's remarkable how many different interpretations U2 songs can fit :)
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Date:September 2nd, 2005 06:26 pm (UTC)
Until the end of the world is one of my fave songs
I like your interpretation, it's nice :)
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Date:September 2nd, 2005 09:20 pm (UTC)
That's such a chilling interpretation, but really amazing...It fits. I like it. :)

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