"Iris (Hold Me Close)" as written by Adam Clayton, Dave Evans, Paul David Hewson and Larry Mullen....
The star that gives us light
Has been gone a while
But it’s not an illusion
The ache in my heart
Is so much a part of who I am

Something in your eyes
Took a thousand years to get here
Something in your eyes
Took a thousand years, a thousand years

Hold me close
Hold me close and don’t let me go
Hold me close
Like I’m someone that you might know
Hold me close
The darkness just lets us see
Who we are
I've got your life inside of me

Iris, Iris

Once we are born
We begin to forget
The very reason we came
But you I’m sure I've met
Long before the night
The stars went out
We’re meeting up again

Hold me close
Hold me close and don’t let me go
Hold me close
Like I’m someone that you might know
Hold me close
The darkness just lets us see
Who we are
I've got your life inside of me

Iris, Iris

The stars are bright
But do they know
The universe is beautiful but cold
You took me by the hand
I thought that I was leading you
But it was you made me your man
Machine, I dream where you are
Iris standing in the hall
She tells me I can do it all
Iris wakes to my nightmares
Don’t fear the world
It isn't there

Iris playing on the Strand
She buries the boy beneath the sand
Iris says that I will be the death of her
It was not me

Iris, Iris
She said free yourself to be yourself
If only you could see yourself
Free yourself to be yourself
If only you could see


Lyrics submitted by Phx27

"Iris (Hold Me Close)" as written by Dave Evans Adam Clayton

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Iris (Hold Me Close) song meanings
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  • +2
    My OpinionFirst,

    I adore this song. Its a beautifully frank and tender song from son to mum. Some sons grow to regret not being kinder, gentler, more respectful to their mums. Mine died recently at the beautiful age of 85 and we grew more close with each passing year. But when I was a wee lad...I was a little terror to that poor lady. One of the last lines of the song reflects that Pauli may have been too. Imagine hearing your mom say "you'll be the death of me" and seeing her die shortly thereafter. That would inspire some good old fashioned Catholic guilt would it not.

    I read a great U2 book years ago that included a vivid description of a senseless argument the two had about appropriate placement for a teacup. Mum was suggesting a sofa side table. Pauli thought a wall shelf was perfectly suited for the occasion. I think it ended in a stalemate and mum unhappily exiting the room.

    I recently lost both my young bride and (young at heart) mother (Aileen). One from BC and one from a tired, old heart. The two most influential female voices in my life. I miss them both dearly. The ache is ever present. Two holes in my heart but I relate to this song vividly. They both played significant roles in shaping me to be the man I am today....and more interesting and surprisingly...the man I will be tomorrow. Their words and deeds echo in my psyche and they both whisper wisdom which continues to transform my heart as I raise two young girls alone. Just as Paulis own Dad raised 2 young lads solo.

    This song is a gorgeous tribute from son to mum. From his to her and me to mine. It haunts me...I cannot stop listening to it.

    I so appreciate the themes, lyrics, music and heart of this band.

    What they do is remarkable and I'm grateful for it.

    ...g
    snodrogon October 06, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEdit: I've listened to it a few more times, and I am liking the song a lot more. It content quite a bit heavier and more emotional than I realized. This one is most likely about the passing of Bono's mom. He has written many songs about her, and everyone knows that already. But I think this one has a very different message.

    In this one, he is imagining meeting his mother on Judgment Day. He wants to give her a loving embrace when he next sees her ("hold me close and don't let me go")

    He feels that she is still very much with him in spirit. She is the "light inside" of him. And she is giving him strength and confidence to be brave in this world without her. Yet, he is also reminded that the physical world he is currently living in is an illusion (like a dream, a "nightmare" even) and the afterlife is actually what's real.

    He also acknowledges that because her spirit goes on, she, too, has experienced the pain of their separation (as if to have to bury her son beneath the sand).

    The "meeting up again when the stars go out" refers to Judgment Day. Most Christians believe that when Judgment Day comes, the stars will all fall from space.

    A big part of the song are the themes of time, space, and the universe. I believe this is because as we change from world to world, we seem to forget things. Here in the physical world, we "forget the very reason we came." And once we pass on, we may also forget what happened here, and possibly forget things about our family and loved ones ("someone that you might know" / "you, I am sure I met").

    Very beautiful song... becoming a favorite now I think.
    thefly1126on September 15, 2014   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationAncient aliens interpretation of this song...

    "The star that gives us light" - aliens came to earth long ago and created man by combining their DNA with that of early homo sapiens or apes

    "Has been gone awhile" - aliens no longer make their presence known to the masses

    "But it’s not an illusion
    The ache in my heart
    Is so much a part of who I am" - feelings in his heart tell him that the alien part of him is real even though they have disappeared

    "Something in your eyes took a thousand years to get here" - he recognizes there is a part of humans that is alien from thousands of years away in a distant world, even the human iris looks somewhat like a supernova explosion

    "The darkness just lets us see
    Who we are
    I've got your life inside of me" - looking within he realizes that part of who he is, is from an extra terrestrial life form

    "Iris, Iris" - part of the eye that controls the light being exposed to the retna, similar to how aliens have masked our esp senses (6th & 7th senses) so that we live in ignorance of the light (higher dimensions). The iris metaphor is crucial to understanding how aliens control our perceptions, by masking what we can see/perceive, and how we live in ignorance of our true origin and true existence.

    "Once we are born
    We begin to forget
    The very reason we came
    But you I’m sure I've met
    Long before the night
    The stars went out
    We’re meeting up again" - we quickly forget our alien and spiritual origins and other abilities and senses soon after we are born as we are drawn into the material world and are tricked by illusions and false perceptions that control our minds.

    "You took me by the hand
    I thought that I was leading you
    But it was you made me your man
    Machine," - another critical line, basically showing how man believes he is in control of this world but however we were really created by extra terrestrial beings for reasons we don't fully understand, but likely we are being programmed by them, hence their machine. its also possible that the ancient aliens were machines/clones themselves.

    "Iris standing in the hall
    She tells me I can do it all
    Iris wakes to my nightmares
    Don’t fear the world
    It isn't there" - "there are two types of aliens, those which believe humans should be controlled and those which believe we should be free to experience the truth. This line reflects the opinions of the aliens who want man to be free and understand the truth of their existence.

    "Iris playing on the Strand
    She buries the boy beneath the sand
    Iris says that I will be the death of her
    It was not me" - confusing, but i think this is the view of the aliens which feel humans' perceptions must be controlled. They feel that humans could be a threat if they operated on the same dimensions/plane of reality and had the same abilities as them, and could potentially destroy them.

    "Iris, Iris
    She said free yourself to be yourself
    If only you could see yourself
    Free yourself to be yourself
    If only you could see" - the view of the aliens which want to help humans, trying to let them know that their lives are not real, your "self" is not real, there is no division, everything is connected and one. In the world of matter - we believe in concrete separate things, we think that you are there and i am here, but really we are all everywhere. Up creates down, you live in a world of dualities, light and shadow, hot and cold, but you don't understand the truth in which there is only a unity, where matter isn't real.
    bgrayon October 22, 2015   Link
  • -1
    General CommentI am a long time U2 fan, and when I first heard this album, I had mixed feeling. I am not one of those delusional fans who is expecting another Achtung Baby (although that was my favorite I have to admit..) I kind of expected them to go in a new direction since we had already heard some newer stuff (Invisible, Ordinary Love). Although this album seems more interesting and more inspired than the last one, it is still kind of lacking something.

    This song bored me at first, but my brother told me he liked it right away since it was on his phone (along with over a billion people's phones hah)... I found it strange since he only listens to EDM and techno.But anyway, I need more time to listen to this one. Maybe it will grow on me. Reading the lyrics over, it sounds very beautiful and poetic.

    Obviously, illusion and deception (self deception) is a big theme in this one. I believe it is called Iris because Iris is the part of the eyes and through everyone's eyes, they see things through their own unique perspective (for better or worse). I would love to hear thoughts from others... xx
    thefly1126on September 14, 2014   Link

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