"40" as written by and Ginny Owens....
I waited patiently for the Lord
He inclined and heard my cry
He brought me up out of the pit
Out of the mire and clay

I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song

How long to sing this song
How long to sing this song
How long, how long, how long
How long, to sing this song

He set my feet upon a rock
And made my footsteps firm
Many will see
Many will see and fear

I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song

I will sing, sing a new song
I will sing, sing a new song

How long to sing this song
How long to sing this song
How long, how long, how long
How long, to sing this song


Lyrics submitted by archmastermind

""40"" as written by Dave Evans Adam Clayton

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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40 song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentThis song is a beautiful adaptation of Psalm 40:1-3, with a lovely addition as well. To me, it is a cry out to God, to relieve the opression and pain surrounding someone (or some people). It is a very human prayer, asking God "How long to sing this song?" and wondering how long the Lord will let His children suffer in this way. These lyrics remind me of how far from God we really are, how He knows everything and our humanity and sinfulness creates such a gap and that we couldn't possibly handle knowing the future as the Lord does. As the song continues, "I will sing, sing a new song," the good in human nature is also revealed. Bono's lyrics remind us that we are in charge of our own attitudes and outlooks, that we CAN choose to remain positive and peaceful amidst the chaos and cruelty around us, and in doing so, there will be rewards if we "wait patiently for the Lord."
    emann333on June 12, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI always liked this song and I always though of it as one of those "little-known-but-still-great" songs
    u2elevationon May 22, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe lyrics were written in about 10 minutes and the music about 10 minutes also (I heard Bono say that on a TV special, I think). It comes from Psalm chapter 40. It's starts like this:
    I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
    He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
    he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
    He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God
    Many will see and fear
    and put their trust in the Lord.
    Psalm 40: 1-3 NIV (New Internation Version)
    crone85on May 25, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBrandtH, they didn't write the song. David wrote it about 4000 years ago. So I doubt it has much to do with Ireland...
    AgentGabbiton April 08, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree that it is simply a song taken from Ps 40. From what i have read on it, is they recorded it while Adam was not in the studio (which makes sense seem Adam was not a Christian), i think Bono played bass for it.
    Uncle Chop Chopon November 23, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis is song that has helped me soo much!! before big events that i have needed confidence in i have listened to this and many more of these awsome songs. U2 is truly a breath taking and amazing band!!
    u2rocksMAon April 14, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment{quote]I think its interesting that nobody gets the irony of this song--sure its based on a prayer, but its all about the irony of people killing people in the name of religion. "How long to sing this song" could apply to so many situations all over the world, not just northern ireland or the middle east. Until people learn to separate religion and politics the drum beats on...as U2 said in Sunday Bloody Sunday...try to translate that into a psalm[/quote]

    Psalm 40:6 Sacrifice and offering You do not desire, {nor} have You delight in them; You have given me the capacity to hear {and} obey [Your law, a more valuable service than] burnt offerings and sin offerings [which] You do not require.

    What this verse basically means is that people who go to church, pray in the name of Jesus, say that we're Christians and do things in "then name of Jesus", it all means nothing unless we walk the Christian life out. The Lord does not need us to fight His battles for Him. His will is perfect and does not return void despite all our best efforts not because of them.

    This is a cry of human anguish and humility that realizes that, not only is the psalmist guilty of some sin himself, he is also being persecuted on all sides by others perhaps in even greater sin. Perhaps he thinks he reaping what he sowed? He's acknowledging God's sovereignty, establishing his own humility and asking for mercy no matter what the cause of the pain or source of the sin.

    There's really no irony in here. Sin is present whether we're the cause, others are the cause or it's the will of the Prince of this World. It's no one's "fault". Christianity does not involve the concept of "karma". Sometimes the sin in this world just "is". The psalmist in this psalm is just seeking mercy and the assurance that his relationship with God is still intact and waiting for a reassuring reply.











    kellyltc25on January 31, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really like this song alot. My first time to hear it was actually at youth at my church because i had to learn the bass riff's because we were going to play it in praise and worship. Ever since then i have really liked this song and get alot out of it whenever i hear it. If u just let it flow and listen to the words it has a very good message.
    basseman101on June 04, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree about it not being ironic (al least not deliberatly). its not U2 at thier most spiritual however, its U2 at thier most religious and also raw and primitive. this is one of their best of that period and in my oppinion its just simply praising god and nothing else. it was written at the time that the band really discovered religion and all its glory.
    joeytheboyon September 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenteasy - PSALM 40
    BUCKPOONEon March 14, 2003   Link

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