"Vertigo" as written by and David Wyndorf....
Uno, dos, tres, catorce
Turn it up loud, captain

Lights go down, it's dark
The jungle is your head, can't rule your heart
A feeling's so much stronger than a thought
Your eyes are wide and though your soul, it can't be bought
Your mind can wander

Hello, hello (hola!)
I'm at a place called Vertigo (dónde está!)
It's everything I wish I didn't know
Except you give me something
I can feel, feel!

The night is full of holes
'Cause bullets rip the sky of ink with gold
They twinkle as the boys play rock and roll
They know that they can't dance, at least they know
I can't stand the beat, I'm asking for the check
Girl with crimson nails has Jesus around her neck
Swinging to the music, swinging to the music (whoa, whoa)
(Whoa, whoa, whoa)

Hello, hello (hola!)
I'm at a place called Vertigo (dónde está!)
It's everything I wish I didn't know
But you give me something
I can feel, feel!

All of this, all of this can be yours
All of this, all of this can be yours
All of this, all of this can be yours
Just give me what I want and no one gets hurt

Hello, hello (hola!)
We're at a place called Vertigo (dónde está!)
Lights go down, and all I know
Is that you give me something
I can feel your love teaching me how
Your love is teaching me how
How to kneel
Kneel!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah


Lyrics submitted by Lyra

"Vertigo" as written by Jay Livingston Ray Evans

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Vertigo song meanings
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  • +7
    General CommentI find it hard to believe that people can, in such a short time say this song has no depth. I will admit it has taken me years to fully appreciate Bono's lyrics but I think I'm getting the hang of it.

    I think this song is about the alure and draw of temptation on ones life. Temptation is a meaningless concept to someone that does believe in God but I clearly think that Bono has been driven in his life to find his place in the world that God created for us.

    The meaning of this song clicked for me in the bridge, "All this can be yours..." which is a close paraphrase of Matthew 4:9 when Christ is being tempted by satan in the wilderness. All he was asked to do is to bow down and worship satan and everything that they saw would be given to him. But of course... Satan was speaking to the creator so, not much of a deal huh??

    Verse 1, "and though your soul it can't be bought your mind can wander" What an image of fighting with what you know to be RIGHT and moral and what you feel will be more fun.

    Verse 2, beautiful image of the night sky and the heat of a wild club with many things that a 40 something married man may want to partake in but he decides to step back and ask for the check and head out... the girl with the red nail polish and the guilt inducing imagry of a crucifix hanging around her neck.

    and of course the bridge... as mentioned above.

    BUT the last verse. when the lights go down the grace and love of God give him something "I can feel"

    and

    "your love is teaching me how to KNEEL"... in prayer

    I think it is an honest struggle to understand the world that we live in as a believer that longs to honor the All Mighty and yet enjoy the world.

    The VERTIGO is the not the just the fear of heights but the fear of the FALL, the fall from grace and maybe even the fall into sin.

    Of course that's just my opinion.
    fenon September 29, 2004   Link
  • +5
    General CommentDon't know why people think these lyrics aren't deep or meaningful. It's about stepping into a seedy club in Mexico called Vertigo, nearly being overwhelmed with temptation, and resisting with faith and love in God.

    Here, I'll break it down for you:

    Unos dos tres catorce! ("1, 2, 3, 14" -- Stepping inside and feeling immediately out of your depth and overwhelmed)

    Lights go down, it's dark (The lights go down in the club)
    The jungle is your head, (Your thoughts are going mad)
    Can't rule your heart, (Your innocent heart is still in control)
    A feeling so much stronger than a thought (A spiritual feeling is more powerful than a carnal thought)
    Your eyes are wide (Your eyes are wide with innocence and drinking in the temptations)
    And though your soul It can't be bought, (You're not selling out to the temptation...)
    Your mind can wander (...but man, you're tempted)

    Hello hello (Calling out to God for help)
    I'm at a place called Vertigo (I'm in a club called Vertigo)
    It's everything I wish I didn't know (It's full of all these temptations that I wish I didn't have to know about)
    Except you give me something I can feel, feel (but you, God, give me something I can feel, and like I said a minute ago, a feeling is more powerful than a tempting thought)

    The night is full of holes (I'm surrounded with things that are wrong)
    As bullets rip the sky (Chaos)
    Of ink with gold (Money)
    They twinkle as (Bling)
    the Boys play rock and roll (Rock and roll music)
    They know that they can't dance (The rockers can't dance)
    At least they know (But it's okay, because they don't try)

    I can't stand the heat (It's hot in here)
    I'm asking for the check (I'm asking to get the check so I can pay and leave)
    The girl with crimson nails (Sexy girl)
    Has Jesus round her neck (has a necklace with a crucifix on it)
    Swinging to the music (The girl is dancing)
    Swinging to the music (The crucifix is swinging)
    Oh oh oh oh (I'm getting mixed signals from the symbol -- carnal lust and spiritual love)

    Hello hello (Calling out to God for help)
    I'm at a place called Vertigo (I'm in a club called Vertigo)
    It's everything I wish I didn't know (It's full of all these temptations that I wish I didn't have to know about)
    But you give me something I can feel, feel (but you, God, give me something I can feel, and like I said a minute ago, a feeling is more powerful than a tempting thought)

    Check mated (Voices from hell)
    Oh yeah (tempting me)
    Hours of fun (to sin)

    All of this, all of this can be yours (Satan tempting)
    All of this, all of this can be yours (Satan tempting)

    All of this, all of this can be yours (Satan tempting)
    Just give me what I want and no-one gets hurt (Satan tempting)

    Hello hello (Calling out to God for help)
    We're at a place called Vertigo (We're all metaphorically in this hellish, tempting club called Vertigo)
    Lights go down and all I know (When the lights go down, the thing I can rely on)
    Is that you give me something (Is that you, God, give me something)
    I can feel your love teaching me how (real that I can feel. Your love is teaching me how)
    Your love is teaching me how, how to kneel (Your love is teaching me how to bow down to the true master)
    Yeah yeah yeah yeah (Yes, God, Yes, God, Yes, God, Yes)
    PencilNeckedGeekon May 28, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentUno, dos, tres, catorce (1, 2, 3, 14) does not refer to U2's albums. You have to remember they do make biblical references ... and I think it's far from a coincidence that
    the 1st testament
    the 2nd book
    the 3rd chapter, and
    the 14th verse happens to be, "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."
    ascribe2thelordon March 27, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwell, this song rocks! (literally). Of course it is not the usuall u2 song and it lacks the depth of lyrics (i think all u2 fans were expecting sth more poetic that could rival Joshua tree or Achtung baby). However weird as it might sound, it has a nice tune that is enough to get you on your feet jumping around "singing swinging to the music". A really nice song to cheer you up!
    Idion September 26, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe holas do kinda iritate me though.
    it reminds me of boston elevation tour dvd. "you walk into a sports hall, the lights go down, it's a whole different scene, light and motion..."
    U2takemehigheron September 27, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI refuse to download this album...... i'll buying the special addition dvd box set
    NewYearsDayon November 07, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love the line...' They know that they can't dance, at least, they know." Its a line referring to religious people who can't understand the concept of contemporary, relevant, funky Christians WHILE referring to their disastrous dance album at the same time. Classic!

    Basically, i think this song is about the whole CCM controversy and crossover projects by artists such as Sun Ho, Lifehouse and Switchfoot, while secondarily about Bono's own withstanding of temptation in the face of a sex and drugs rock and roll culture. Check out the entire myriad of allures presented in the verse after the first chorus and guilt-inducing image of "Jesus
    round her neck."

    The temptation theme continues in the bridge, basically paraphrasing Satan's last temptation of Jesus in the desert. Interestingly, the studio vid for this part just before the last chorus" your love is teaching me how/to kneel" features the Edge throwing Bono off after this "tempting" to blast his guitar.

    One more thing: Unos, Dos, Tres, Cartoce. 1, 2, 3, 14.

    First Testament, second book, 3rd chapter, 14th verse.

    That's the verse God announces Himself as I AM THAT I AM: Yahweh. Vertigo is the first song on the album.

    The last song? A track titled Yahweh.
    Yukonaon December 21, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is simply an excellent track and proof that U2 can still ROCK. It drives along, without a second of wasted space. The lyrics seem confusing at first, but they all relate to a common theme: a wild, possibly drug-induced night at a dance club, called Vertigo. However, I think the lyrics have a darker undercurrent, as the narrator seems to be trying to escape from something (relationship troubles, perhaps?) in his real life, drowning out all the pain with drugs and alcohol. In short, the narrator is trying as best he could to have the most fun he could, but just cannot because of his thinking (about the significant other, perhaps?).

    Also, the "unos, dos, tres, catorce!" line that has been maligned by some and generated a laugh from others was described perfectly by Bono: "There may have been some alcohol involved." There you go!
    tcaporaleon December 20, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment I never liked this song when i first heard it i thought it was crap. but it didn,t stop me from buying the album. I thought original of the species was the best track. I didn't think they would release it. then one day i was watching TRL on mtv and the videeo to species made its debut. and bono talked about the song and video he had alot to say about it.
    unchainedmelody8717on September 27, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthey guys (and gurlz, lol) i thing that this song is abourt ummm… ol tbh im noyt really sur but I think its About freedom bc bono iz agianst war and sh** and dats y he is my hero he knoews wjhat the warld is leik asnd he is try to make it better so he sing sings abouit no war I like piunk but I thing that this song is very gooj bc it makes you THING not jst live liek the man wants or the govertmwent but lie a indevidule FIGHT THE POWR
    xxpunkprincessblackxxon October 07, 2009   Link

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