"Bad" as written by and Dave Evans Adam Clayton....
If you twist and turn away
If you tear yourself in two again
If I could, yes I would
If I could, I would
Let it go

If I could throw this lifeless lifeline to the wind
Leave this heart of clay
See you walk, walk away
Into the night
And through the rain
Into the half-light
And through the flame

If I could through myself
Set your spirit free, I'd lead your heart away
See you break, break away
Into the light
And to the day

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
To let it go
And so to fade away
To let it go
And so, fade away

Wide awake
I'm wide awake
Wide awake
I'm not sleeping
Oh, no, no, no

If you should ask then maybe they'd
Tell you what I would say
True colors fly in blue and black
Bruised silken sky and burning flag
Colors crash, collide in bloodshot eyes

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
If I could, you know I would, if I could, I would
Let it go

This desperation
Separation, condemnation
Revelation in temptation
Isolation, desolation
Let it go

And so fade away
To let it go
And so fade away
To let it go
Oh now, and so to fade away

I'm wide awake
I'm wide awake
Wide awake
I'm not sleeping
Oh, no, no, no

Lyrics submitted by yuri_sucupira, edited by RainCty420, RoomeySphere

"Bad" as written by Dave Evans Adam Clayton

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Bad song meanings
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  • +5
    General Commentthe full quote is as follows, Little_Baby_Nothing:
    Bono: "This is...this is a song about the city we grew up in. A song about Dublin city. And a song about a drug called heroin that's tearing our city in two...that's tearing the...the heart out of the city of Dublin...tearing the heart out of the city of Chicago. Rich people stuff dollars in the back of their pocket while poor men lie in gutters with needles stuck in their arms. Screw them, I say. This is a song about a friend of mine who was given on his 21st birthday enough heroin into his bloodstream to kill him. This is a song called Bad."
    and it clear that thats what the song is about-
    "True colors fly in blue and black"
    just b/c he changed the order of black and blue to blue and black, shouldn't make it that much harder to understand
    U2U2on May 01, 2003   Link
  • +4
    General CommentSome of these lyrics mean a lot to me. When at school I was very shy and I think I had like a split personality. When with friends I would be pretty loud but if even one other person was there that i did not like I would stay mostly always quiet.
    The line "If you should ask then maybe they'd
    Tell you what I would say " rings a bell. I remember some people asking how I had done in an exam, but they did not ask me, they asked my friend standing next to me.
    The lines "I'm wide awake, Wide awake, I'm not sleeping, Oh, no, no, no", I can relate to. Being some one who is shy and quiet around nearly all people, I do want people to know that I don't want to be like this . To some I could be like I was asleep or in a daze, but really Im wide awake on the inside,im wide awake, wide awake, im not sleeping, oh,no,no,no.
    jam555on January 31, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAt LiveAid, Bono did a huge speech over The Edge's opening riff. He said he the song was about "a friend of mine in Dublin who, on his 21st birthday, was given enough heroin to kill him." So the song is kinda sung in regret to how Bono, his friend, could let something like this happen.
    Little_Baby_Nothingon August 11, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentMy friend just died two days ago of an overdose. My very good friend who I loved very, very much. It had been two weeks since the last time we'd spoken when I found out he died. I miss him so much already.

    I was looking up songs about dying from addiction, and this was one of the first ones that came up in my search. As a recovering alcoholic/addict myself, it was pretty obvious from looking at the lyrics that this song is about the agony of addiction from an outsider's perspective. It still worked for me, though, because I had found recovery and my friend never quite got it.

    I'm not a big U2 fan, but I've seen at least one person in these comments mention that this is their best song, and based on what I know of their music, I agree. I think this is probably the best song ever written about what it's like to lose a friend to addiction. At least it's the best well-known song on the subject. Thanks to the band for writing it. It's helping me get through this.
    afraidofpopon May 01, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe lyrics are not easy to figure out,but this song is flat out the greatest piece of live rock and roll ever committed to vinyl!
    satisfaction2000on March 30, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI haven't the slightest clue what the song means. It could possibly be about someone that is willing to do ANYTHING to like kinda save another person, or release them from their sorrows. I don't know. Whatever it means is still a mystery to me... but it's a good song though...
    eMotionSicknesson June 01, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about Elvis
    Deltason May 08, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAbout the rampant heroin use that characterized the 1980s for so many twentysomethings. Also Bono's social commentary against the rich and powerful who watched this happen and did nothing to stop it.
    Supertadon April 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really like this song but does anybody know why it's called Bad?
    u2elevationon May 22, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA huge part of the beauty of U2's lyrics are the mystery... Bono may have, in fact, been thinking of a specific instance or example when writing this song, but he writes it so wonderfully vague so that it can apply to so many more experiences that fans and listeners go through. "Bad" has been an anthem for me in getting over an obsessive relationship with a close friend and love interest of mine... that may seem trite to others who see it clearly as a song about the ever widening gap between the impoverished and the wealthy.
    emann333on June 12, 2002   Link

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