"Moment Of Surrender" as written by Adam Clayton, Dave Evans, Paul David Hewson, Larry Mullen, Daniel Roland Lanois and Brian Eno....
I tied myself with wire
To let the horses run free
Playing with the fire
Until the fire played with me

The stone was semi precious
We were barely conscious
Two souls too smart to be
In the realm of certainty
Even on our wedding day

We set ourselves on fire
A girl could not deny her
Its not if I believe in love
If love believes in me
Oh believe in me

[Chorus]
At the moment of surrender
I'm falling to my knees
I did not notice the passers by
And they did not notice me

I've been in every black hole
At the alter of a Dark star
My body s now begging
Though it's begging to get back
Begging to get back
To my heart
To the rhythm of my soul
To the rhythm of my consciousness
To the rhythm of yes
To be released from control

I was punching in the numbers at the ATM machine
I could see in the reflection
A face staring back at me

[Chorus]

I was speeding off the subway
Through the stations of the cross
Every eye looking every other way
Counting down till the pain will stop

[Chorus]


Lyrics submitted by suede67, edited by emotionalwench, Altrockaddict

"Moment of Surrender" as written by Adam Clayton, Dave Evans, Paul David Hewson, Larry Mullen, Daniel Roland Lanois, Brian Eno

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Moment Of Surrender song meanings
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  • +6
    My Interpretationtheu2edge definitely nailed this one. Although I do not think the song is about "moments" but rather THE MOMENT... the defining realization that we're all living our lives in a catatonic stupour of ridiculousness while the true meaning of our existence is right there in front of us waiting to be grasped. Let me expand upon this interpretation with some thoughts to consider on this absolutely awe-inspiring ballad.

    "The stone was semi-precious
    We were barely conscious
    Two souls too smart to be in the realm of certainty
    Even on our wedding day"

    An introduction, demonstrating how our carefree attitude can even be found in our so-called love relationships. The semi-precious stone may refer to the importance we put on the damn diamond ring, and the nonsense surrounding wedding... two souls too "smart" to stop and realize the true meaning of what is happening. To worried about the "busy"-ness of invitations, decorations, thank-you cards... the STRESS!

    "I was speeding on the subway
    Through the stations of the cross"

    The stations of the cross are all around us. For Christians, we've been educated our entire lives to understand that Christ is all around us, manifesting in so many forms. We just fail to see this, rushing around in our daily lives without taking the time for reminiscing about faith, eternity, and the power of our consciousness. We barrel forward through our lives, streaking by the signs all around us.

    "Every eye looking every other way
    Counting down 'til the pain would stop"

    Our common way of fighting the pain in our lives is simply to complain about all the shit piled upon us and wish it would all end... count down the days until things will be better. Maybe buy a lottery ticket and wish, instead of turning back to God and giving in to the true plan and mission of our lives.

    "At the moment of surrender
    Of vision over visibility"

    Probably THE MOST powerful line in the whole song. Visibility is simply the ability of our eyes to look around. But to truly have VISION... to truly see what is meant to be seen around us, to realize what life is truly TRULY about; that is the ultimate answer and the only way we will achieve it is to surrender to eternity and quit confounding our existence with the trivialities, addictions, and "horrors" of everyday life.

    "I did not notice the passers-by
    And they did not notice me"

    A clear indication of the personal nature of this realization; the fact that everyone must experience it in their own way. When the protagonist does, there is a clear separation between him/herself and everyone else around, who are still continuing on through the deadness of life.

    darkmage2002on February 21, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIt's actually about God. Tie myself to let the horses run free: When Jesus was put on the cross to forgive the sins of the world (horses run free). Also ref to stations of the cross: that's a Catholic ritual during Lent. I think its about how busy we are and we forget God at times but then we have moments where we really see him/her, the moment of surrender.
    theu2edgeon February 21, 2009   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningHow do I add a comment?
    jenairon December 30, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe marriage/sexuality thread of this song demands more attention, in my opinion.

    A lot of good thoughts here. U2 does engage religious imagery constantly and clearly. But this dimension, though quite important, is overemphasized (equally clearly and constantly) by many people who care deeply for their music.
    mpmc23on September 19, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe brilliance of this song is in its balance between a clear theme and intentional vagueness. What we can all agree here is that this song is about "surrender". However, what we seem to have the most disagreement about (from what I have read from the posts here so far) is the moment or moments of surrender that Bono is singing about. As an artist, it disappoints me to see so many people readily dismiss this song as being about one thing, whether it be God or heroin/meth/drugs. Has it occurred to many of you that the reason why this song is able to affect so many people in the many ways that it does is because it is left intentionally vague?

    This song is fun for me to listen to because my interpretation of it changes every time I listen to it; it stays "fresh" for me. Hence, I don't really have a specific interpretation to share at the moment, but I can share a few possible interpretations that still keep me guessing.

    1.) "I tied myself with wire to let the horses run free" is too vague to be a Jesus reference in particular. Rather, it is probably more important to point out the contradiction that the narrator needed to bind himself in order to experience freedom. Perhaps Bono is singing about the binding sacrifice of marriage: surrendering one's self to his/her spouse. The mention of a "semi-precious stone" and "wedding" in this same stanza make this seem more plausible. Then again, it could be Jesus on the cross, or about a tweaker tying his arm to ride the "white pony" (common slang for narcotics).

    2.) "Black holes" and "Dark stars" have been extensively studied in cosmology, but there are still many unanswered questions about them that might be impossible to answer. From this physics interpretation, the narrator might be surrendering to the fact that these questions might never have answers. Black holes also absorb everything everything (nothing can escape them other than Hawking radiation), so another interpretation could simply be that the reference to black holes is supposed to conjure feelings of surrender to an inescapable process. On the other hand, "being in black holes" and "at alters of dark stars" could be interpreted more figuratively in the sense that the narrator has had "dark" moments of even larger "dark" deeds. In this case, the imagery would be used to only provide texture to the lyrics. Who knows?

    3.) "At the moment of surrender, of vision over visibility. I did not notice the passers-by, and they did not notice me." Could "vision over visibility" mean "to see is better than being seen"? Here, the narrator would be surrendering to humility and virtue. He is so comfortable with himself that he doesn't care what anyone else thinks of him (hence not noticing the passers-by), and so humble that he doesn't need anyone to think of him or acknowledge him for validation. All of his value is gotten internally. However, these lines can also mean the opposite in the sense that the narrator is so disillusioned, perhaps hallucinating, that he literally is having trouble seeing reality. Thus, he would have such a distant sense of self that he would be a bum and no one would notice him. A combined interpretation also exists where the narrator becomes so humble that he doesn't need anything more from life other than life itself... I call this the Taoist interpretation. In this case, the narrator has surrendered everything, even possessions, to live a life of poverty and thus be ignore by passers-by.

    4.) (best for last here, I'm so excited). Lastly, I want to talk about the stations of the cross reference. Sure, the first time I heard this stanza I thought it was the narrator describing a moment in life that might have been analogous to the passion of the Christ. But then I imagined the narrator in church going through the stations of the cross like many good Christians do during Lent. I imagined the narrator being at church looking for help and spiritual strength to make it through his personal crisis: depressed and defeated. It is common for people in hard times to look to God for strength and courage, but the challenging thought here is that maybe the narrator went to church and didn't find God (ie, God, the all seeing "eye", "looking every other way"). The narrator would be so devastated after looking for God and not finding Him that all he has left is to surrender to his suffering and "count down 'til the pain stops".

    ...Then again, it's too vague to say for certain.
    border142on April 10, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song is about suffering, and our lack of awareness while within it.

    He is dry flammable hay tied with wire, eaten by horses, is consumed with fire after playing with it. We play with life until it plays with us when we realize we can't control our fate, and yield to our inevitable infallibility.

    The stone represents how a diamond symbolizes eternity, but a marriage is not, and we know it even on our wedding day. Whether death or divorce, it will end. But those moments are still so precious despite their impermanence.

    We become impassioned (on fire), and can't resist our feelings. We believe our passions are an outside force, and worship them like a spiritual force.

    The subway is a tunnel of life, with stops and destinations. Like Jesus during the crucifixion, we all suffer, yet become so consumed with our own suffering, and don't make eye contact, a metaphor for empathizing deeply with the suffering of others.

    A black hole, or dark star, is depression. And painful moments in life. Light cannot escape them. A disconnection from heart, soul, consciousness and rhythm.

    Like how death releases our struggle with impermanence, the moment we surrender to our suffering, we're finally able to let it go. And realize that the many others are more important than our single self.
    cweison September 07, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Comment1st to comment on this U2 epic! I'm not really sure what it means but it might be about being terribly alone. Adam's bass line is quite similar to that is "If god will send his angels".
    suede67on February 18, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSounds like another heroin song, to me. Pretty obvious, in the context of the U2 canon.
    idolatryon February 18, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow, it's amazing that U2 can still write a song this incredible 30 years down the road. This might be their best single song since Achtung, for my money. I think it's the Bad of the 21st century. It has that same unsettling but incredibly moving atmosphere, and Bono seriously sings the flaming hell out of this thing. It seems like the meaning is meant to be pretty ambiguous, different things to different people, like One was. The new U2 is surpassing my expectations.

    knux20on February 18, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me, this song is about accepting an addiction. "Surrender" is commonly referred to by people in 12-step programs as the "1st step". The ATM machine line is awesome, like he's taking money out for drugs and realizes what his life has become.
    Silon February 20, 2009   Link

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