One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come, he to justify
One man to overthrow

In the name of love
One more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love?

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resists
One man washed on an empty beach
One man betrayed with a kiss

In the name of love
One more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love?

Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last!, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love
One more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love
One more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love?


Lyrics submitted by archmastermind, edited by meganJls


Pride (In the Name of Love) song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThe greatest aspect of this song is its ambiguity. Sure, Martin Luther King and Jesus are both obvious references here, but I think the unclear lines are meant to refer to others who have died 'in the name of love'. I like the idea that 'One man washed on an empty beach' refers to a soldier at Normandy on D-Day, but that's not the only possible interpretation. In fact, most of this song's lines do not have a clear interpretation one way or another. I think it spoils the song to say that particular lines ONLY refer to specific characters throughout history.

    Contrary to what I presume the popular opinion is, I do not believe the song's theme is that Martin Luther King and Jesus died because of their love for society. I think the title, 'Pride (In The Name Of Love)', refers to the 'love' that the assassins strongly felt for their beliefs. As Bono repeats the line 'One More In The Name Of Love' over and over, I can't help but think of all the great leaders who have died or all the wars that have been fought for mistaken ideologies. 'One more' refers to another great leader dying and 'In The Name Of Love' refers to the misguided reasons a person might have for wanting them dead. In many cases such as Mark David Chapman (John Lennon's assassin), the assassin does not even hate their target, they are merely in love with the act of taking another life. Bono laments such an immense loss for misguided love, but proclaims that even that cannot diminish the leader's pride or accomplishments.
    jayschifon January 31, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is definitely about MLK and Christ. They both made the ultimate sacrifice all "in the name of love." What more will be done before the world is at peace? Who else acting for love alone will be brought down? Another powerful message from U2....
    WildHoneyon January 05, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOk, obviously it's about Martin Luther King Jr, but the "One man betrayed with a kiss" is obviously a reference to the death of Jesus, in Luke, jesus says to Judas "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?". I think Bono makes this reference because as he sees it, M.L.K and Jesus both died for their people.
    quiffpornon May 23, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthinkin about it, each line of "one man..." could be referrin to a different person, eg Christ, MLK, Gandhi, whatever.....
    But with it refering to Christ here is my say:
    "One man come in the name of love"
    Jesus came to Earth with the message of love
    "One man come and go"
    Jesus came to Earth and left as well
    "One man come, he to justify"
    Well Jesus came to justify His Father's will and that of the scriptures.
    "One man to overthrow"
    Jesus had to overthrow Satan - take on the sins of the world and overcome them by getting crucified.
    firthelementon October 11, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI know this song is about Jesus and King. I always wondered if it referred to others as well, but I get the impression it only covers these two wonderous people.

    One man come, he to justify. - Jesus (Justification... Awesome!)
    One man to overthrow. - King

    The next verse has always left me somewhat confused. Looks like it refers to differen people in each line.

    One man caught on a barbed wire fence.
    One man he resists
    One man washed on an empty beach.
    One man betrayed with a kiss.

    If we break it in two, though (similar to previous verse), it may apply to just Jesus and King.

    King obviously resisted racism. But he was never literally "caught on a barbed wire fence." But a barbed wire fence divides two worlds. And it's a terrible divide, one you don't cross lightly or easily. But King didn't just cross it, he bridged it -- racism cuts both ways, and he knew it. So this image feels appropriate. In the name of love, he threw himself onto that fence, and endured everything pain and suffering to bridge the gap.

    In terms of Christ, he was betrayed with a kiss. (I'm actually surprised people don't know this outright... it's a common colloquialism -- though we are entering a post-Christian era now, sadly.) But washed on an empty beach? Washed up, dead, on a beach? No. But he was "washed" by John the Baptist. Three gospels imply it's empty. The fourth says "When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too." Doesn't sound too empty to me... Hmmm...

    Anyway, I am still am not sure about the barbed wire fence, or the empty beach. And those are really the only lines in question in my mind. But this is the beauty and artistry of Bono's lyrics -- he doesn't hand us stuff on a silver platter, instead he challenges our ideas, our visions and our thoughts.

    -Pie
    EatingPieon June 17, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe first verse is obviously about christ.
    one man come in the name of love-obvious
    one man come and go-obvious
    one man come, he to justify-christ justifying us to god
    one man to overthrow- christ to overthrow evil


    the next is about those who betrayed christ or god.
    the barbed wire fence is a metaphor for the struggle over what to believe for judas...should i betray jesus?
    one man he resist, jonah rose upto flee ...from the face of the lord. and he was thrown to the sea... and then spat upon the dry earth (empty beach)
    so the first line refers to judas, the second and third to jonah and finally the fourth back to judas as he betrayed christ with a kiss.
    One man caught on a barbed wire fence-judas struggling over the decision to betray christ
    One man he resist-jonah resisting to word of the lord
    One man washed on an empty beach-jonah spat from the fish onto the dry earth
    One man betrayed with a kiss-judas betraying christ


    i think that this all fits together because god and christ have had struggles with those who have not been ready to accept them, or feared them.
    MLK Jr. had the same struggles and i think that it symbolizes the similarities, and rises MLK to st. status, as Bono has ended the song with before.

    so if you look at it this way
    first verse about christ
    second about those who resist or challenge
    third about the death of MLK
    i think that it makes a lot of sense...even if my explanation is somewhat cluttered and not referenced
    parker9319on September 11, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song is about Christ and MLK.

    Songs mean different things to different people.

    I see Pride as being about the pain that two of the most important people ever to walk the earth had to endure in the name of love.

    Christ died because he loved mankind so much he took the sins of the world on himself and died on the cross so that we would be saved.

    He did it in the name of love. Love for man. Regardless of their faults.

    The reference to the barbed wire fence is, in my mind, the way that he kept going forward trying to save us, although the pain of doing so meant his persecution and death. If you take it metaphorically. If you were literally caught in a barbed wire fence and tried to keep going you would be cut and hurt but when you made it out of the fence you would be free. He is caught on the fence.

    One man he resist... is resiting the temptations of the devil when the devil tried to tempt him. It's in the bible.

    The song is obviously about MLK too, who was killed because he tried to unite the world of black and white. Regardless of the faults of both black and white peoople.

    He died because he gave his life to others, as Christ did and he was murdered for it. He was killed in the name of love.

    Both Christ and MLK were defiant and proud to die for what they believed in. Which was the unity of the World.

    What more in the name of love... is reference to how many more people like Christ and MLK, who try to free mankind must die...in the name of love.

    Great song.

    The whole Joshua tree album is about faith and there are many references to christ such as in ISHFWILF. Carried the cross...I believe in the Kingdom come...
    Henrik The Kingon January 20, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment" The "one man he resist" very well could be pointing to the lone man who stood before that huge column of tanks in Tiananmen Square "

    Except the song was released in 1984 and the Tiananmen Square protests were in 1989.

    Bono has spoken about the inspirations for the lyrics in a couple of interviews. The "Early morning, April 4th .............. " lines are about MLK Jr. The "One man betrayed with a kiss" line is about Jesus.

    He has mentioned who the "One man caught on a barbed wire fence", "One man he resist" and "One man washed on an empty beach" lines were about but I can't remember. They were different people though.

    One man caught on a barbed wire fence
    One man he resist
    One man washed on an empty beach
    FrankieAGdeBon December 28, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA lot of the interpretations on this song have just been great. What is absolutely silly is that some have written something on the order of, "er...um...i think this song may possibly refer to jesus". There is absolutely, positively no way any figure other than Jesus is referred to by "one man betrayed by guess" is anyone other than Jesus who was betrayed by Judas of Iscariot. Who else could this figure possibly be but Jesus? i dont understand why people responded so tenatively with the remark about jesus. people should have more confidence.
    dharmajimon January 23, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA lot of the interpretations on this song have just been great. What is absolutely silly is that some have written something on the order of, "er...um...i think this song may possibly refer to jesus". There is absolutely, positively no way any figure other than Jesus is referred to by "one man betrayed by guess" is anyone other than Jesus who was betrayed by Judas of Iscariot. Who else could this figure possibly be but Jesus? i dont understand why people responded so tenatively with the remark about jesus. people should have more confidence.
    dharmajimon January 23, 2007   Link

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