"Lemon" as written by and Dave Evans Adam Clayton....
Lemon
See through in the sunlight
She wore lemon
But never in the daylight
She's gonna make you cry
She's gonna make you whisper and moan
And when you're dry
She draws her water from the stone

And I feel
Like I'm slowly, slowly, slowly slipping under
And I feel
Like I'm holding onto nothing

She wore lemon
To color in the cold grey night
She had heaven
And she held on so tight

A man makes a picture
A moving picture
Through the light projected
He can see himself up close
A man captures color
A man likes to stare
He turns his money into light to look for her

And I feel
Like I'm drifting, drifting, drifting from the shore
And I feel
Like I'm swimming out to her

Midnight is where the day begins
Midnight is where the day begins
Midnight is where the day begins

Lemon
See through in the sunlight

A man builds a city
With banks and cathedrals
A man melts the sand so he can
See the world outside
A man makes a car
(She's your destination)
And builds roads to run them on
A man dreams of leaving
But he always stays behind

And these are the days
When our work has come asunder
And these are the days
When we look for something other

Midnight is where the day begins
Midnight is where the day begins
Midnight is where the day begins
Midnight is where the day begins
Midnight is where the day begins

Midnight is where the day begins
Midnight is where the day begins
Midnight is where the day begins

A man makes a picture
A moving picture
Through the light projected
He can see himself up close
A man captures color
(She's your destination)
A man likes to stare
There's no sleeping there
He turns his money into light to look for her (she's imagination)

Lemon
She is the dreamer
She's imagination
Through the light projected
He can see himself up close


Lyrics submitted by jt

"Lemon" as written by Dave Evans Adam Clayton

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Lemon song meanings
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38 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentI know I've read that Bono saw a home video of his mother wearing a lemon dress. He was 14 when she died, but he says he can barely remember what she looked like. If you listen to the song closely, it can be related to the loss of a mother. He is saying he's going through life, but eventually he'll meet up with her.
    astepcloser24on August 20, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI always interpreted this song to be about the relationship of an artist to their own creativity, imagination, ingenuity, etc... the prices it exacts for the ability to create amazing things. i thought the music video was so fitting to the song -- the use of seemingly primitive film techniques and the like. sure, Bono in a Joker-like getup WAS a little disturbing, i grant that, i still thought it captured the song very very well. the dreamlike quality of the tune also adds to the meaning, i think... as if groping for inspiration.

    well, that's what i got out of it, anyway :)
    simplicityon June 29, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI actually thought this song was about mankind, and our wish to develop things to find a solution to problems we make ourselve. This doesnt work eventually.
    'And these are the days when our work has come asunder
    And these are the days when we look for something other'.
    luckily when it's black it cant get any worse.
    'Midnight is where the day begins '

    i'm probably wrong, but this was my idea of what the song is about.
    marcus aureliuson October 01, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's about Bono seeing his deceased mom on video; this is well-documented.

    The video is based on the work of Edward Muybridge.

    As with the rest of U2's ZooTV/Zooropa stuff, the whole idea of media, virtual realities, etc. comes into play here. In most cases, seeing video footage is a pale stand-in for actual experience, but in the case of this song, it's the closest Bono can get to actually seeing his mother again...It's "Even Better than the Real Thing", get it? This sense of ambiguity and moral uncertainty is part of what made this stuff so impactful at the time of its release, right at the end of the Cold War, etc., etc.
    svenllamaon February 04, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about both Bono's mother and, as someone said earlier, man's wish to preserve the world in technology, which only becomes more relevant over the years. The relationship is that the only physical memory Bono has of his mother is a video recording of her in a lemon dress, hence the name.

    The lyrics "A man makes a picture - a moving picture
    Through light projected he can see himself up close
    A man captures colour - a man likes to stare
    He turns his money into light to look for her" obviously refer to that idea of capturing the world via video.

    This also kind of ties in with the video - that whole theme of capturing moments by video.

    Anyway, it's a great song, and it's probably about as far away from classic U2 as it's possible to get, lyrically and audially.
    sebraton December 16, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about a time when Bono watched a video of his (deceased) mother in a lemon yellow dress. He wrote this song in reference to the fact that man is always trying to preserve time:

    "A man makes a picture - a moving picture
    Through light projected he can see himself up close
    A man captures colour - a man likes to stare
    He turns his money into light to look for her"

    The song is 100? true, and kinda depressing, if I do say so myself. It however is awesome.

    The music video is made in tribute to Edward Muybridge, or something like that. He was the first person to capture film, on his invention, interestingly enough called the Zoopraxiscope (Coincidence?). Basically, his films were prehistoric GIF files.
    Lord Malbethon June 10, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is my favorite U2 song. It is very nostalgic :( and yes it is about Bono's mom.

    "She draws water from a stone"// I believe Bono is talking about his heart and about his tears eventhough he acts tough :(

    Very poetic and sad, poor Bono :(
    sandmunoon September 04, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI more thought it was bono singing from his fathers p.o.v to his mother? and yes inspired by the film clip he saw
    jump up!on February 03, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHas anybody noticed the priest who's wearing an inverted crucifix in the Zooropa booklet, on the page right next to one in which lyrics to Lemon are printed?
    Marquezon May 18, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI did not know that Lemon was about Bono's mother! I always thought that in this song he was mixing up Madonna's dance grooves-think of Holiday, Into the Groove or Vogue with his best Prince impersonations-think of Parade, Sign of the Times, The Black Album and Lovesexy-I LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY ABOUT U2! He then writes "I Feel that I'm holding on to nothing and slowly slipping under!" and "Midnight is where the day begins!" No wonder under the electronica dance beats and grooves, there is sadness in Bono's voice
    -He'll never get over the shock over his mother's death-See relatives I Will Follow, Tomorrow, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, Walk On and Iris Hold Me Close for more details and information!
    rabbitbunnyon May 12, 2015   Link

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