"Please" as written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin....
So you never knew love
Until you crossed the line of grace
Then you never felt wanted
'Till you had someone slap your face
So you never felt alive
Until you almost wasted away
You had to win
You couldn't just pass
The smartest ass
At the top of the class
Your flying colors
Your family tree
And all your lessons in history

Please
Please
Please
Get up off your knees
Please
Please
Please
Please

So you never knew
How low you'd stoop to make that call
And you never knew
What was on the ground 'till they mad you crawl
So you never knew that
The heaven you keep you stole

Your catholic blues
Your convent shoes
Your stick on tattoos
Now they're making the news
Your holy war
Your northern star
Your sermon on the mount
From the booth of your car

Please
Please
Please
Get up off your knees
Please
Please
Please
Leave me out of this

So love is hard and love is tough
But love is not what you're thinking of

September
Streets capsizing
Spilling over
Down the drain
Shards of glass splinters like rain
But you could only feel
Your own pain
October
Talking getting nowhere
November
December
Remember
Are we just starting again

Please
Please
Please
Get up off your knees
Please
Please
Please
Please

So love is big, bigger than us
But love is not what your thinking of
It's what lovers deal
It's what lovers steal
You know I've found it hard to receive
'Cause you my love I could never believe


Lyrics submitted by dsfire

"Please" as written by Dennis Matkosky David Mullen

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Please song meanings
Add your thoughts

19 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentI'm going to start this post with the same way everyone starts every first post:
    "HOLY SHIT! I CAAAAANNNNN'TTTT believe NOone has POSTED about this SONG yet!"
    Phew, with that done, this is probably my fav. song on "Pop". Last summer, I just put it on repeat, such a great song to fall asleep to on those hott summer nights.

    That said, I've never really pondered all that hard about what it means. I guess to me, this is a song about an over-confident Catholic wench who thinks she is a better person than everyone just because she was blessed to be born into a Christian family, and so she talks down to people.
    Also, it's a song about how you (especially Catholic wench) never know what you have until it's gone.
    I think this girl may have abused and used (bono?) but at the same time, neither of them really know what love is yet.
    Still one of my favorite songs by U2 ever, even tho I listen to it so much that I should be sick of it by now.
    ProudesterMonkeyon June 09, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentokay, I'm not going to lie, I'm just making it look like there's more posts on this song so I can hear other peoples opinions :>(
    ProudesterMonkeyon June 09, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHey there PMonkey -
    good to see a comment on this song - it's also one of my favorites from Pop (right after Velvet Dress - my wife likes to get it on to that song.)
    Anyway, I like your interpretation of Please - some of the early lyrics are pretty cryptic, but I think the song is referencing the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland. They wrote the song around the time the cease-fire was falling apart -
    your catholic blues
    your convent shoes
    your stick-on tattoos
    now they're making the news
    your holy war (the IRA's war against the Brits)
    your northern star (Northern Ireland)
    your sermon on the mount
    from the boot of your car (this is a reference to car bombs - "boot" meaning "trunk" in the UK -- the "sermon" being the act of setting off the bomb itself.)

    September... streets capsizing... spilling over, down the drain
    ... shards of glass splinters like rain but you could only feel your own pain...
    october... talking getting nowhere... november... decemeber... remember...
    are we just starting again... ?

    Reference to the collapse of the cease fire in Sept., "glass splinters like rain" - the glass shards from the explosions; "october, talk getting nowhere" - reference to the fact that attempts to start up cease-fire talks weren't getting anywhere; "are we just starting again" - once the IRA started up their bombing campaign again, everything went back to square one.

    in any case, there's a lot of pain in this song, and you can hear it in Bono's voice. The Troubles obviously weigh heavy on his mind.
    Blackwellon June 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think you pretty right there blackwell, i don't really buy into too literal interpretations (looking at you ProudesterMonkey), but yeah this has to be about the 'troubles'. one thing i wanted to comment on is the "September... streets capsizing..." bit. I hadn't listened to this album for a while but this part had such a scary relation to 9/11 i was shocked. This is probly a good example for any of you U2 fans who think Bono is the messiah. Noel Gallagher once said of Bone "he's close to God that fucker" so you never know..
    dandoon June 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always think this song has something to do with the devil. Maybe its Bono's voice and how it sounds. I mean it sounds like the devil telling someone all the things they did wrong in their life. Not that the devil would ever use the word "please" but I think he's saying to someone that all the good things in life that person wanted werent so worth it after all. The phrase "get up off your knees" refers to the devil saying to the person "look, its not worth it. stop praying, it wont do any good. get up off your knees"

    Just my personal (and probably weird) interpretation
    2861U2on November 01, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat really confused me was the video. In the video everything is fine as long as everyone stays on their knees. Once they get up off their knees everything is falling apart. In the song he sings please get up off you knees - which could easily be intepreted as think for yourself and don't just rely on the tradition/religion. It's just that it doesnt match with the video.

    Can anyone explain?
    FullDevilSocceron December 01, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I think its about the riots in Russia in 1905".....sorry i couldnt resist yep its about the troubles, it makes a lot more sense if you're actually from here(belfast), basically they're trying to say that every side over here is self righteous and uses their religion as an excuse to fight, that we're all brought up thinking its us against them and hey if you every visit northern ireland on holiday you may notice a few wee riots during the summer then the aftermath september october etc etc and then back to the start again, making the "call" "flying colours".. i dont think i need to explain -anyway really good song..
    aaaahhhhon March 21, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, and frankly, I think the critics were crazy to bash this album! And why do they accuse this album of being to experimental, and then worship the ground Zooropa stands on? Critics ruined U2! AAAA!
    Eelsruleon August 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think you have it backwards, 2861U2...

    The song is easily about the violence between the IRA and Britain. The "Devil" in this case, is the deeds being perpetuated on both sides, by people who act in the name of God (they're on their knees). "Get up off your knees" is a plea for people to reach out beyond their religion, to recognize the human bonds that exist beyond religion.


    This line sums it up perfectly:

    "love is hard and love is tough
    but love is not what you're thinking of"

    All those who fight this struggle believe they are doing it for God, making a tough battle that is needs to be fought. But regardless of what they think, this is not a fight for the Love of God.
    oktedson January 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGood interpretation blackwell, knowing the historical background in Ireland might have helped. Thanks for calling me out, dando.

    I don't really see how the last verse fits in well, though. If he is still speaking to the culprits of this holy war, why does he refer to them as "my love"?
    ProudesterMonkeyon May 14, 2006   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain