"Acrobat" as written by and Dave Evans Adam Clayton....
Don't believe what you hear
Don't believe what you see
If you just close your eyes
You can feel the enemy
When I first met you girl
You had fire in your soul
What happened your face of melting in snow?
Now it looks like this

And you can swallow
Or you can spit
You can throw it up
Or choke on it
And you can dream
So dream out loud
You know that your time is coming 'round
So don't let the bastards grind you down

No, nothing makes sense
Nothing seems to fit
I know you'd hit out
If you only knew who to hit
And I'd join the movement
If there was one I could believe in
Yeah I'd break bread and wine
If there was a church I could receive in
'Cause I need it now

To take the cup
To fill it up
To drink it slow
I can't let you go
I must be an acrobat
To talk like this
And act like that
And you can dream
So dream out loud
And don't let the bastards grind you down

Oh, it hurts baby
What are we going to do? Now it's all been said
No new ideas in the house and every book has been read

And I must be an acrobat
To talk like this
And act like that
And you can dream
So dream out loud
And you can find
Your own way out
And you can build
And I can will
And you can call
I can't wait until
You can stash
And you can seize
Responsibilities
And I can love
And I can love
And I know that the tide is turning 'round
So don't let the bastards grind you down


Lyrics submitted by Novartza

"Acrobat" as written by Dave Evans Adam Clayton

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Acrobat song meanings
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40 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThis is just my view, and I know Bono and U2 aren't pro-IRA, but I think the lyrics seem to be about Irish nationalism. The woman in the song is Ireland itself or the nationalist movement. "And I'd join the movement
    If there was one I could believe in" seems to indicate that the singer doesn't buy into the IRA or any other terrorist type way of trying to unify the nation but the line "Yeah I'd break bread and wine If there was a church I could receive in" seems to indicate that the singer isn't exactly innocent either. That seems to be a pretty direct reference to the fact that people committing terrorists acts in the name of religion disqualify themselves from participating in holy communion. It could be about frustration with the peace process all together, the bastards being the people that perpetuate violence. Don't know for sure. But thats my two cents. Great song.
    roveron June 07, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think Bono was very much referring to himself in this song and struggling to deal with celebrity and also how fans viewed him
    markeon July 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this one of the more under-rated U2 songs. It's one of my favorites on Achtung and it's just a clever, witty song. I love the lyrics.
    u2elevationon April 05, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"And I must be an acrobat
    To talk like this
    And act like that "

    Best lyrics on Atchung Baby for mine. I agree with u2e, this is a very underrated song and one of the best on the album, and therefore best ever by U2 because AB is one of the, if not the, best U2 album.

    Great ending too:

    "And I can love
    And I know that the tide is turning 'round
    So don't let the bastards grind you down"

    I like it because it gives me a bit of hope. Like tonight, when it looks like Bush just won the election... tough times indeed.
    caitsith01on November 03, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI can understand what acrobat means in this context but who are the bastards? For a christian to use a word like that is pretty disrespectful
    FullDevilSocceron November 16, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentArgubliy the greatest U2 song ever. The song is about coping with the everyday terror of life.
    And you can swallow
    Or you can spit
    You can throw it up
    Or choke on it
    How do you cope with the truth that there is no greater meaning? How do you keep on going when there is no no purpose. Well, you "can throw it up",

    If you only knew who to hit
    And I'd join the movement
    If there was one I could believe in
    Yeah I'd break bread and wine
    If there was a church I could receive in
    For one of those few atheist U2 fans this describe the fealing of not belonging to anything, not knowing where to peticipate, nevertheless having a great desire to find something to belive in. It`s about the hopelessness of beliving and the quest of wanting someting out of reach.
    Barnumon November 21, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFullDevilSoccer: The phrase is better known in its pseudo-Latin translation, "Non illegitimus carborundum." See alt-usage-english.org/excerpts/…, "The phrase seems to have originated with British army
    intelligence early in World War II. It was popularized when U.S. general Joseph W. "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell (1883-1946) adopted it as his motto. Various variant forms are in circulation."
    padmewanon November 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFullDevilSoccer: You are young so I will withhold the harsher criticism I had for you when I first read your post. I would just say this; that if you are a Christian, then the faster you get past the falicy of equating your country's cultural taboos with Christianity the sooner you will be able to think and act in a manner that is helpfull to mankind and pleasing to God. Saying that there are bastards in this world that want to "grind you down" is not equal to calling someone a bastard (ironicaly a word that would not have much meaning without the existence of organized religion)
    wwbdon January 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song kicks ass!!!. I love U2 and Achtung Baby is the greatest album of all time. Practially every song on it is a masterpiece. I agrre with caitsith01
    bill_the_ponyon March 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI read somewhere that Bono wrote this song about the life of celebrities and how they have to "cope" with being a star.
    clarity1122on May 27, 2005   Link

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