"Ordinary Love" as written by Brian Joseph Burton, Adam Clayton, Dave Evans, Paul David Hewson and Larry Mullen....
The sea wants to kiss the golden shore
The sunlight warms your skin
All the beauty that's been lost before wants to find us again

I can't fight you any more, it's you I'm fighting for
The sea throws rock together but time leaves us polished stones

We can't fall any further if
We can't feel ordinary love
And we can't reach any higher,
If we can't deal with ordinary love

Birds fly high in the summer sky and rest on the breeze.
The same wind will take care of you and I.
We'll build our house in the trees.

Your heart is on my sleeve
Did you put it there with a magic marker?
For years I would believe that the would couldn't wash it away

'Cause we can't fall any further if
We can't feel ordinary love
And we can't reach any higher,
If we can't deal with ordinary love

Are we tough enough for ordinary love?

We can't fall any further if
We can't feel ordinary love
And we can't reach any higher,
If we can't deal with ordinary love

We can't fall any further, if
We can't feel ordinary love
And we can't reach any higher,
If we can't deal with ordinary love


Lyrics submitted by uoceanfootball2

"Ordinary Love" as written by Brian Joseph Burton, Adam Clayton, Dave Evans, Paul David Hewson, Larry Mullen

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Ordinary Love song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +2
    My InterpretationI don't think this song is about Mandela, I think it's about accepting all kinds of love and is suggesting that all love is ordinary. I heard this song before I knew it was for the Mandela film so my interpretation of it was completely unaffected by that. I think it's about gay rights and gay love and marriage. I think it's saying that gay love is ordinary love and that we can move on as a society without accepting it as that. (We can't reach any higher if we can deal with ordinary love)
    Twiceasdrunkon July 24, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWell if you know about the song you should know about how it is for Nelson Mandela, most people probably saw this on u2.com, or got the vinyl and u2.com explains all about how it is for Nelson Mandela and has the lyric video, which has a painting if Nelson Mandela in the video, and the vinyl actually has Nelson Mandela on the cover (and there were only10,000 vinyls)
    U2galon November 30, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is written from Nelson Mandela's point of view. He has just been released from prison (The sea wants to kiss the golden shore, the sun warms your skin). I think he is saying he wants to make peace with his enemies after the violent struggles against Apartheid (I can't fight you anymore). He wants to make sure South Africa is ruled fairly, without black domination and without white domination (It's you I'm fighting for). He wants to rebuild South Africa, but this is not possible if all the people of South Africa remain angry and full of hate (We can't reach any higher, If we can't feel ordinary love). South Africa will be beautiful once more.

    R.I.P. Nelson Mandela, father of the nation.


    onetwothreefoon December 08, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationSounds like it is saying how there is no love in the world anymore and with everyone being so selfish, it is impossible to progress as a species. Society is stuck in a state of selfishness and until people feel love for one another, nothing will change.
    vinerson March 25, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, Ordinary Love. And i loved the Mandela movie.
    I love U2 and Bono, the Edge, Larry and Adam
    Big Thanks to Paul McGuinness
    Nelson 'Madiba' Mandela was a great man. Hopefully the progress he made for humanity will never be reversed and will be built upon.

    He reached a very special place of grace, and lead a nation from apartheid to peace and showed the rest of the world the giant of a man he was.

    Lord have mercy on Madiba and God bless the Mandela family, the ANC and the people of South Africa and the world. Amen
    jfveon February 07, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI personally do not think it is about Nelson Mandela.. I think the song is about a struggling relationship and the basic step should be ordinary love... If that is accomplished, everything will work out.
    iunia27on February 10, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationSounds like couples who can't sustain a relationship because the intense feeling they felt for each other in the beginning, start to fade and all you have left is the relationship itself, so they have to start relying on each others personalities,character traits, temper, so on. It becomes ordinary love after a while.
    shaw44on March 06, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationU2's songs are never so straightforward as to only be interpreted as the most obvious meaning (i.e. Mandela's story in the film Long Walk to Freedom).

    There's a realization in the song that everything begins to dull with time, all excitement and intensity felt for adventure, life, play, love... There is a longing for the world he knew before, as a child or younger man, and the comfort and joie de vivre he felt then (demonstrated by the innocence/hopefulness of the line "the same wind will take care of you and I, we'll build our house in the trees").

    While he realizes he cannot regain that life again, he believes he CAN attain something better than the stagnation he's living if he and the person he chose to build a life with can both come to grips with this new reality ("we can't reach any higher if we can't deal with ordinary love"). He realizes that both he and his significant other are having trouble dealing with their own demons/issues as a unit ("I can't fight you any more, it's you I'm fighting for"), but hopes that overcoming these issues will leave them better for having handled them together ("the sea throws rock together but time leaves us polished stones").

    The lyrics are wonderful and simple, but it's the soul-reaching music (that U2 is known for) that gives this song it's weight (Edge's ephemeral guitar can break one's heart with just a few chords).

    The song feels like the product of a moment felt so suddenly and painfully that the composer had to release it into words/music.
    EastEndOperaon March 31, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis feels like his relationship with Winnie as a metaphor for our relationship with our fellow man. The difficulty of sustaining a relationship and the beauty of the struggle over time.
    paulwolf76on April 01, 2014   Link

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