"Stand Up Comedy" as written by Adam Clayton, Dave Evans, Paul David Hewson and Larry Mullen....
I gotta stand up and take a step
You and I have been asleep for hours
I gotta stand up
The wire is stretched in between our two towers
Stand up in this dizzy world
Where a lovesick eye can steal the view
I'm gonna fall down if I can't stand up
For your love

Love love love love love
Stand up, this is comedy
The DNA lottery may have left you smart
But can you stand up to beauty, dictator of the heart
I can stand up for hope, faith, love
But while I'm getting over certainty
Stop helping God across the road like a little old lady
Ooh
Ooh
Out from under your beds
C'mon ye people
Stand up for your love
Love love love love love
Love love love love love

I gotta stand up to ego but my ego's not really the enemy
It's like a small child crossing an eight lane highway
On a voyage of discovery
Stand up to rock stars, Napolean is in high heels
Josephine, be careful of small men with big ideas
Ooh
Ooh
Out form under your beds
C'mon ye people
Stand up for your love
Love love love love love
Love love love love love

God is love
And love is evolution's very best day
Soul rockin' people moving on
Soul rockin' people on and on
C'mon ye people
We're made of stars
C'mon ye people
Stand up then sit down for your love

Love love love love love
Love love love love love
Love
Love


Lyrics submitted by young_jables

"Stand Up Comedy" as written by Dave Evans Adam Clayton

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Stand Up Comedy song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentWow...that's quite the post there. While I, as a fellow Christian, respect your passion about defending the Gospel, I think you might be missing just what the song is referring to.

    The "helping God crossing the road like a little old lady" reminds me a lot of the passage in 2 Samuel 6 where God struck Uzzah dead for reaching out to grab the Ark of the Covenant when the oxen stumbled. Uzzah's intentions were fine, but he forgot that God is the most powerful force in the universe--that he is infinite and mysterious and does not actually live contained in a box, and that such a box therefore does not need to be cradled like a newborn child.

    The people who I feel are "reaching out to grab the Ark" or "helping God across the street like a little old lady" in the most visible sense today are those who make it their calling to revise and propose possible scenarios through which both God could have used evolution to create life, as if it's too inconceivable to imagine a God who didn't do things this way, who really created a perfect world the way He said He did, and THEN things started degenerating after the Fall.

    Invert the chord now. There are people who claim that Scripture is 100% no-nonsense, not poetry and nothing but a textbook. This is clearly not the case. I believe that the Bible is the God-inspired Scripture. But it is not a textbook. It does not have a logical, topic by topic format with subheadings and bullet points and definitions. When addressing the Big Bang Theory, why is it so beyond our imaginations to consider that God saying "let there be light" may be quite similar to an explosion from a single point? Doesn't the idea fit even better with God than with some nothingness turning into something? Doesn't a Godly worldview have a larger upside anyway?

    I don't say this to convince you that this is clearly the way it is. I'm not asserting that I know exactly the lab-report process by which God created the Universe. I'm just saying that it should not be our mission to do this as we recognize that it's not what we're called to do. That's the point. We have to get over the need for certainty here. Faith has to be rooted in a reverence for awesome power.

    What we are called to do, however, is to love one another. That's the point of this song, I feel. It seems like Bono is singing from both sides of a spectrum, kind of pointing out the folly of both the people trying to extract physics formulas out of the Word as well as the "rock stars" who shout big ideas they don't even know the meaning of. The "Comedy" in "Stand Up Comedy" is in this discrepancy. By the way, I think Bono partially identifies himself with the latter group, though I myself feel he's much better grounded than most songwriter-philosophers.

    There are a few things Jesus said no lack of certainty. One is His commands to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind" and "love thy neighbor"--the two greatest commands. He also tells us firmly that He is "the way, the truth, and the life [and that] no one comes to the Father but by [Him]" (John 14:6). These are two pretty important things to know for sure. The rest of the time, Jesus answered most questions with a parable. Why do we feel the need to put Christ's parables in our little converter-notes box to serve our insatiable desire for certainty?
    historybuffon March 23, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think this is self-satire, and satire of huge rock stars in general. Bono sure has a sense of humor :)

    "Stop helping God across the road like a little old lady"

    Haha, genius!
    young_jableson February 18, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Commenthistorybuff... I think you nailed it. Well said! This song isn't anti-christian at all, it's just telling us to LIVE our faith rather than spending endless amounts of time trying to analyze it. Get over certainty... God is LOVE. Start LIVING it! (And by the way Theresa1, I have nothing against those who feel close to God in your particular church my sister... but you'll win more souls over to God through ACTION than you will through books, words and debates... and THAT'S what this tune is all about!)
    RayManon March 25, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis reminds me of John Lennon. 'Stand up for your love' and 'We're made of stars' - plus its very toungue in cheek. i think the meaning is pretty clear: don't let religion get in the way of love. Love is the only real thing.
    bigrobbo2006on February 22, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSorry, I didn't mean to reply to you personally, just to thank you for mentioning John Lennon and possible inspiration... =c)Thanks!
    U2Kittehon March 10, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"But while I'm getting over certainty
    Stop helping God across the road like a little old lady"

    I think this clearly is a criticism of Christians (and other religious people in general) who claim to be the authority on what's right and wrong.
    kimbanatoron March 13, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy Opinion of song = I love it. Great message to both crowds, mainly geared towards religious, most likely.

    Song analysis:

    I got stand up and tale a step
    You and I have been asleep for hours
    I got to stand up
    The wire is stretched in between our two towers
    Stand up in this dizzy world
    Where a lovesick eye can steal the view
    I'm gonna fall down if I can't stand up
    For your love

    Bono is saying that he and who he has been with needs to wake up. "The wire is stretched in between our two towers" suggests that they are connected, perhaps we are all connected. "Im gonna fall down if I can't stand up for your love", to me this says that if one party doesn't do their part, then it hurts the other parts.

    Stand up, this is comedy
    The DNA lottery may have left you smart
    But can you stand up to beauty, dictator of the heart
    I can stand up for hope, faith, love
    But while I'm getting over certainty
    Stop helping God across the road like a little old lady

    This is a very important part for me, because we have a sort of dichotomy array of ideals. Also, some paradoxes. I.E. "DNA Lottery may have left you smart" THIS IS NOT TALKING TO AN INDIVIDUAL, think about it. The DNA lottery he is talking about is the fact that humans got lucky, one might say, to strike such intellectual capability. We are freaking smart animals. But then he challenges us as animals to stand up to the "Dictator of the heart", that is "beauty". Very true if you think about it. Sure we have this ability to be rational, but then our emotions most often control our actions, and our emotions are controlled by the things that this beautiful world has to offer. Not just women and men that are good looking, but look around you, its amazing. Try to think rationally when your looking off a mountain top. It makes you wonder how we are so smart. Where he says "I can stand up for hope faith love, but while Im getting over certainty..." notice how there is no and between them? Probably meant for melody, but also, it is as if he is just using one to describe the others. They are all the same. To me Bono is putting these three important words as one likeness, and it is essentially a likeness of uncertainty. So where he says "But while I'm getting over certainty" he is saying, "while I get over this confusing and scary mess of battling between physical materialism (physical nature) and the idea of beauty and abstraction.(perhaps in a deeper sense spirituality). Then he says "Stop helping God across the road like a little old lady". I think Bono may be telling the Christians that God does not need their help across the street. Christians often go to great lengths to "defend" the honor of their God, but Bono is telling them, look dude, God doesn't need your help, you need God's help (he goes on to suggest). If God is this abstract idea of faith and love and hope, then how could any human built by DNA of rationality seek to "help" its course along history? Hope, Love, Faith, God stand by themselves, they cross the street by themselves, they help old ladies across the street, they don't get helped.
    _______

    I gotta stand up to ego bet my ego's not really the enemy
    it's like a small child crossing an eight lane highway
    On a voyage of discovery

    Bono here is talking about a big problem in the world and that is "ego". But its not his own ego that is the real enemy. Which is funny if you think about it and also very significant. Bono admits quickly he has a huge ego problem, he apologizes for it all the time. For him to say there are egos that makes for a worse enemy than his own is pretty substantial for him. He says his ego is just "like a small child crossing a eight lane highway on a voyage of discovery"... He is saying the ego super highway is HUGE and he is only a small part of it.

    Stand up to rock stars, Napoleon is high heels
    Josephine, be careful of small men with big ideas

    This part takes a bit of historical knowledge. Napoleon, pretty famous guy, obviously. He was a notoriously short, but ruthless french conqueror. Napoleon before his big ruling was looking for a women to marry that was wealthy and had a powerful family, equal to his own of course. Josephine was that woman. They got married despite the fact that Josephine didn't really like Napoleon that much. She was unfaithful to him at the beginning, but what this sickening part of history is that Napoleon retaliated by isolating her so that she would stay loyal. Basically keeping her prisoner. He did this so that he could continue reigning power. Josephine was blocked from loving anyone, not even the man she was married to. This is where you must wonder, who is Napoleon in the modern context? Who is Josephine. I think its safe to say that Josephine embodies a sort of love that has been trapped be a Napoleon, perhaps organized religion. It seems to really fit, because Napoleon was powerful as all get out, just as religion has been, it doesn't seem like it would be at times, but it has such a grip on people's life. What Bono is saying is that we have to stand up to this religious idealogy and free our love. Bono preaches "grace" all the time in his songs, love only exists in a world of "grace" and the message of "grace" is the fulfillment of love. I don't think Bono is saying that the religions are all inherently wrong, because even Napoleon had great ideas, and deep inside a desire to make the world better somehow. I think Bono is saying that religion is being outright abusive, it needs to cut it out, especially if they want the cause of love, hope and faith to continue. (Quick note: Bono's lines here are very humorous if you know history, because Napoleon was noted to where high-heals to mask his short appearance. Funny stuff)

    Out form under your beds
    C'mon ye people
    Stand up for your love

    It is quite likely that this is still in the context of the Napoleon-Josephine theme, and so when he is saying this, Bono is perhaps saying that the people who know Josephine and adore her need to get off their butts and stand up this this little short guy, who I believe is what Bono believes to be most of organized religion, in particular Christians, honestly. Its very important though, that we realize who Bono is calling to get out of from under their beds. I believe it is the people who are "religious" that he is calling. Not the elitists that are scattered in the religion masses, but the religious who simply desire love and faith to rule and be free. There are a lot of those people out there, I am one of them admittably. It is frustrating to see organized religion fail to practice what it preaches, and moreover, often enslave love to its own idea of what is right. Who are the people who can stop it? You think that a team of scientists would be able to stop organized religion? Sorry Dawkins fans, not going to happen. What will stop the tyranny of the church are the masses of the church. ***So, if you tie it back to the beginning where Bono is apparently waking up and talking to some people he appears to know... Bono is calling himself one of the people that needs to stand up, and he is telling others to join him. This may bother some people, in particular it has appeared to bothered Theresa1 above. But, while this does seem rather authoritative and cocky on Bono's part, which fits his character, I think he is right for the most part. Would I say I would join HIM in fighting for Love? No, but I would say he and I are fighting together. So whether or not Bono is intentionally trying to sound like the leader of some revolution, it doesn't matter. Anyway back to the analysis.

    God is love
    And love is evolution's very best day
    Soul rockin' people moving on
    Soul rockin' people on and on
    C'mon ye people
    We're made of stars
    C'mon ye people
    Stand up then sit down for your love

    This part is odd, and we get back to some paradoxes and dichotomies that seem to send a strong message. There is undoubtadely a battle between science (evolution) and God (religious fundamentalists). Bono shoves it into the open when he says "God is love and love is evolution's very best day." Some may say that this is sort of problematic logically. Because then this would suggest Love came about through evolution, thus God was created by evolution, but then we also realize that the very best part of evolution is Love therefore God, and thus what is supreme? Doesn't matter to Bono. Bono doesn't care, he is saying guys, evolution and science is awesome (tying back to the DNA lottery part), but what came from it that we should really cherish? Bono suggests that somewhere down the line, love was born. Love was a moment, a "day" in time, and it was the most important part of human history... "Con on ye people, We are made from stars".. another cultural paradox it seems, think about it. He is confirming that our known** world is derivative of "stars" and what would be the concept of the modern scientific theory of how the universe and its worlds came about, while also confirming that our beings, the concept of self** was "made" or what seems to suggest created from cosmic matter. So logically, we would have a universe creating itself, and then some force IE God "making" beings from stars, or space dust, and we are left to ask the question "which one came first"? The egg or the chicken? Maybe neither came first.

    Anyway sorry for the tangent. Very long one indeed. Bono has told us that love is the most important part of us, we were all made from the same thing, and that we need to stand up for our love.

    The most controversial part seems to be the line "stop helping God across the road like a little old lady"... Leave with this thought. This line is undoubtedly critical of the religious people helping God cross the road, like an old lady. God is old, religion is old. Bono is saying that this is old and that it is time that it be renewed. Critical, yes, but rebellious? No, not from God, not from love or faith or hope. Bono does believe in Christ, last I read. I don't know if you guys do or not, but regardless, Christ certainly did not come so that things would remain the same and get old like Bono is describing. Now, regardless of your religion or lack there of, appreciate where Bono is coming from and where this world can go. If your anti-religious, look at your own idealogies. Its all the same. Science is doing this to itself to, you have doctrines of science that condemn each other just like in religion. Man does this all the time, you will never escape that, no matter how many religious books you burn or ban. As for the religious, if you truly believe in a powerful God, then you wouldn't be threatened by Bono's words, or by science. The ones that are flustered by Dawkins and Bono's radical views are the ones who lack faith. If you ever want religion to get taken seriously again, you will stop trying to be a fake Jesus Christ. No one can do that. The entire world sees the idea of Jesus as this perfect guy... No one can be perfect, and thus when you tell people that is who you are trying to embody, you tell the world that they should all aspire to be someone they could never become, and when they don't you need to repent and repent. Instead, may I suggest trying to go throughout every day of your life meditating on each situation and trying to come up with a way that you can show your enemies and your neighbors alike that you care about them and that you want to get to know them. Talk to them. Have a conversation, Jesus DOES NOT have to come up in the conversation. I am a Christian personally, but I think the idea of evangalizing is all wrong these days. People run into a crowd and tell people to accept Jesus and all this jazz. They try to bring him up in conversations and it fails most of the time. You aren't saving anybody from anything. Just be a real person, try hard to do right by others, if you don't be the first to admit it. If you are truly trying to be a good person, not Jesus, just a person who is honestly yrying to live in a world where they know they are going to mess up, people will notice that you are a little different, and they will ask you, "hey I noticed you have an attidue about [this sort of thing] and I was wondering how that came to be"... and then you have an opportunity to tell them where it comes from... If you are the one that has to bring Jesus into the conversation, in my opinion, you have already failed.





    Orrin1988on March 01, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"I can stand up for hope, faith, love... C'mon ye people, Stand up for your love"

    Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
    fox_lyanon August 01, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"The wire is stretched in between our two towers" Philippe Petit on the wire between WTC 1 and 2.

    Like Philippe Petit you sometimes got to take the step across the abyss. The song is about courage, I think, and love is the greatest thing whether you believe in God or not.

    "Out from under your beds", folks!
    HankSayson October 03, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh, almost forgot to talk about the MUSIC. I love this tune, because the rhythm and time changes make you want to get up, jump and shout for joy! It MOVES. There are many great tracks on "No LIne on the Horizon", but this one is rapidly becoming my favourite!
    RayManon March 25, 2009   Link

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