"When Love Comes To Town" as written by and Dave Evans Adam Clayton....
I was a sailor, I was lost at sea
I was under the waves
Before love rescued me
I was a fighter, I could turn on a thread
Now I stand accused of the things I've said

Love comes to town I'm gonna jump that train
When love comes to town I'm gonna catch that flame
Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down
But I did what I did before love came to town

I used to make love under a red sunset
I was making promises I was soon to forget
She was pale as the lace of her wedding gown
But I left her standing before love came to town

I ran into a juke joint when I heard a guitar scream
The notes were turning blue, I was dazing in a dream
As the music played I saw my life turn around
That was the day before love came to town

When love comes to town I'm gonna jump that train
When love comes to town I'm gonna catch that flame
Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down
But I did what I did before love came to town

When love comes to town I'm gonna jump that train
When love comes to town I'm gonna catch that flame
Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down
But I did what I did before love came to town

I was there when they crucified my Lord
I held the scabbard when the soldier drew his sword
I threw the dice when they pierced his side
But I've seen love conquer the great divide

When love comes to town I'm gonna catch that train
When love comes to town I'm gonna catch that flame
Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down
But I did what I did before love came to town


Lyrics submitted by yuri_sucupira

"When Love Comes to Town" as written by Dave Evans Adam Clayton

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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When Love Comes To Town song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentFor me, this one will always be about the time Jennifer 'Love' Hewitt came to my hometown of Downsview, Ontario, and appeared on a radio morning show hosted by Marilyn Denis. She talked about her upcoming film "I know what you did last summer" which was shock to me. I had no idea 'Love' was a psychic.
    ptanzolaon March 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song rocks.
    allenegirlon June 26, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about God's amazing grace!
    It's about a sinner who was "lost" but was saved by Christ and his sins were forgiven.

    The train refers to the Ascension of Jesus "all the saints will be caught up in his train (as in a long robe)"

    The flame is the Holy Spirit

    The great divide is Sin that seperates us from God.
    belteshazzaron October 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's obviously a song about his love for his wife. I could have written this song myself. She must be one hell of a good woman. Right on Bro!

    -----------------------------------------------------
    I was a sailor, I was lost at sea
    - He did a lot of crazy things looking for fulfillment in life
    I was under the waves before love rescued me
    - Some of the things he did were probably dangerous, and it was a good thing she came along.
    I was a fighter, I could turn on a thread
    - The words speak for themselves, he was a little dangerous.
    Now I stand accused of the things I've said
    - These statements are factual. It's not an exageration.

    When love comes to town, I'm gonna jump that train
    When love comes to town, I'm gonna catch that flame
    - All the while he was living a wild/crazy life, he thought that if he could find a woman that could hold his heart, that he would straighten out.
    Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down
    - Like his previous women, he probably mistreated her at first.
    But I did what I did before love came to town
    - The poor treatment stopped, once he realized that he loved her.

    I used to make love under a red sunset
    I was making promises I was soon to forget
    - He used to say anything to get with a girl. It was a game.
    She was pale as the lace of her wedding gown
    But I left her standing before love came to town
    - Now he's talking about a previous woman (not his wife). Physically, she was an excellant catch. However, with this one, he broke her heart and left her standing at the alter because there was no love.

    I ran into a juke joint when I heard a guitar scream
    The notes were turning blue, I was dazing in a dream
    - Unexpectedly, he meets his wife. She put a spell on him, a love spell.
    As the music played I saw my life turn around
    - The effect she had on him, caused him to stop with his destructive lifestyle.
    That was the day before love came to town
    - Pointing out again, that it was a surprise to him, the effect she would have.

    When love comes to town, I'm gonna jump that train
    When love comes to town, I'm gonna catch that flame
    Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down
    But I did what I did before love came to town
    - see above

    When love comes to town, I'm gonna jump that train
    When love comes to town, I'm gonna catch that flame
    Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down
    But I did what I did before love came to town
    - see above

    I was there when they crucified my Lord
    I held the scabbard when the soldier drew his sword
    I threw the dice when they pierced his side
    - He did all of the cardinal sins without guilt and with callousness, and he admits it.
    But I've seen love conquer the great divide
    - She pulled his heart back from self-destruction and gave him a reason to be moral again.

    When love comes to town, I'm gonna catch that train
    When love comes to town, I'm gonna catch that flame
    Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down
    But I did what I did before love came to town
    - A second apology.
    mark_simmons_txon March 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt really made me smile when BB King told Bono in the rattle and Hum dvd that he likes the lyrics a lot but that they are rather heavy for such a young person!
    That part of Rattle and Hum also shows a much more modest and anxious Bono. He obviously looks up to BB King and badly wants him appreciate his work. It shows he needs a lot of confirmation, that makes him look sweet and vulnarable.
    Anne Marieon February 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOdysseus Elytis [paraphrased]

    The stricken pebble’s gunpowder reminded me
    Of so many things
    A theater—in which I must have first seen—woman
    And what it means to see the luminous rose trees
    Of midnight
    Later—I understood
    When I found her to be a dove
    When I found she was sleep

    Clusters of water drops in her embrace
    I found her on a small balcony
    Being dismantled by the gale
    She dances above the ruins
    On the open book and pages

    A warm little breeze is blowing
    With fairies caught up in it
    Like—kites—in the air
    So that at last—they all find themselves
    Holding in their hands
    The sweetheart of dreams
    Girl of the open seas
    Lady of the seven stars
    Woman burning
    Fairy dancing

    [Love came to town ...]
    sillybunnyon September 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't know about the religious stuff, I think it's most likely just used for metaphorical reasons.

    This song is amazing. Personally, I think it's about the main character (the person the words would be coming from) having 'slept around' quite a bit during another relationship, possibly one that didn't mean too much to that person. Then, something came over the person and they realized their error and that they actually did love the person they had the relationship with, and this song would be the apology.

    Just my $0.02.
    madnesslover_89on December 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh yeah, and why the hell does BB King never get any real credit for this song? His vocals rule!
    madnesslover_89on December 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song seems to be about someone who lived very badly, basically having a reckless and careless life. He (not necessarily Bono, though he could quite likely be singing about himself) was unfaithful, seduced girls and then left them (third stanza). He was basically lost, in Christian terminology (first stanza).

    I am uncertain about the fourth stanza, about the guitar and the notes turning blue. The most obvious part is that it was directly before his turning point. The guitar seems to reveal the craziness of his former life, and perhaps the notes turning blue reveal his sadness and despair.

    I agree with mark_simmons_tx's interpretation for the most part through the first three stanzas, but from there I depart.

    The second to last stanza, about Christ's crucifixion reveals clearly what this song is about. He is just as guilty, as we all are, as those who crucified Jesus, who gambled for his clothing, who stabbed the spear into his side. "But I saw love conquer the great divide" which is death -- Jesus rose again, and he was lost no more; he found salvation.
    keetrainchildon January 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe problem with interpreting this as strictly human love, or love between husband/wife, is the link back to Love Rescue Me in the second line.

    These two songs taken as a whole, or two parts of a connected theme, strike me as dealing with faith lost and found, and the power of Love -- God's Love for humanity -- to save us, to conquer that great divide between us and God himself.

    -Pie
    EatingPieon January 19, 2008   Link

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