We crossed the line
Who pushed who over?
It doesn't matter to you
It matters to me

We're cut adrift
We're still floating
I'm only hanging on
To watch you go down
My love

I disappeared in you
You disappeared from me
I gave you everything you ever wanted
It wasn't what you wanted

The men who love you, you hate the most
They pass through you like a ghost
They look for you, but your spirit is in the air
Baby, you're nowhere

Oh love
You say in love there are no rules
Oh love
Sweetheart,
You're so cruel

Desperation is a tender trap
It gets you every time
You put your lips to her lips
To stop the lie

Her skin is pale like God's only dove
Screams like an angel for your love
Then she makes you watch her from above
And you need her like a drug

Oh love
You say in love there are no rules
Oh love
Sweetheart,
You're so cruel

She wears my love like a see-through dress
Her lips say one thing
Her movements something else
Oh love, like a screaming flower
Love, dying every hour, love

You don't know if it's fear or desire
Danger the drug that takes you higher
Head in heaven, fingers in the mire

Her heart is racing, you can't keep up
The night is bleeding like a cut
Between the horses of love and lust
We are trampled
Underfoot

Oh love
You say in love there are no rules
Oh love
Sweetheart
You're so cruel

Oh love
To stay with you I'd be a fool
Oh, huh
Sweetheart
You're so cruel


Lyrics submitted by Novartza

So Cruel Lyrics as written by Dave Evans Adam Clayton

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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So Cruel song meanings
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39 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentI spent six years in the situation that this song is about. My God, it hurts. And the lyrics are indeed brilliant.

    My favorite lyric is "She wears my love like a see-thru dress / her lips say one thing, her movements something else"

    Also, "I disappeared in you, you disappeared from me / I gave you everything you ever wanted, it wasn't what you wanted"

    My God... this song... this...

    1.) What they had is in ruins... He won't let her destroy him... he bent over backwards to please her, and it drove her away... she doesn't like being taken care of, she doesn't think she's worth it, she uses up men and moves on because she can't stand being loved but needs to be loved... she's a nasty, frigid bitch...

    2.) The more you try to hold on to her, the more you get dippy-in-love, and the more she runs away... she's so beautiful, and so damaged, and you just want to take care of her... and she pushes you away, runs off with another guy... but won't let you off the hook... she is a nasty, frigid bitch.

    The bridge: She puts his love on like a sexy dress when she wants to feel good about herself, but she just makes it complicated... she'll tell him she doesn't love him, but she comes running to him when she hurts... she'll tell him she needs him but she'll run away again. How can something so beautiful hurt so bad? How can she make love into something so damned horrible?

    3.) In the end you can't let go, and you're not sure if it's because you're afraid of losing her or because you still love her after all this... it's like an addiction now... and she thinks you're obsessed with her but she's the one who did this to you... she won't let you go... you've tried...and you just get run over. She is one nasty, frigid bitch.

    This could indeed be about Aislinn O'Sullivan (Edge's first wife). It also sounds like my most recent ex-girlfriend. The hell of it is, I sitll love her. We don't talk anymore, I'm free of her, and I'm better off for it, but I miss her every day and I think I will for the rest of my life. How do you undo six years of emotional torment? I don't honestly know.

    She's so cruel...
    Keyser Sushion August 23, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWhat my ex wife did to me and will continue to do. She is given love and care, but that's not what she wants. Lies and pain she enjoys...
    graniteon January 11, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree!
    People, this is one of the greatest songs on the album.
    I can't listen to it without getting choked up.

    I just hope I never get in a situation where I can 'relate' to what he's saying. That would be a very depressing time...
    NewWaveMonkayon August 11, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI absolutely love this song - Bono just sounds so sarcastic, and he's awesome!
    "I'm only hanging on to watch you go down....my love" is one of the best lines ever!! It sounds to me like the guy in the song is frustrated with the girl because she's so aloof but she's also impossible to forget about because he wants her so much. It's a kinda bitter song that is so good when you are in the mood to just be angry at someone!!
    leaneyson August 20, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is definitely one of U2's greatest songs ever, much better than "Mysterious Ways" even tho that gets all the radio time. The line "and you need her like...a drug" just makes me shiver, as does all good songs... gotta love this song
    ProudesterMonkeyon June 09, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love this song it is one of my favourites on the album. i love how Bono often uses "sweetheart" in songs, don't know why! I think this is someone who is in love but has been hurt too many times by what seems to be like a flighty other half "you say in love there are no rules". its like she doesn't care about him, but he needs her "like a drug" so can't give her up.
    AngelLoveron December 07, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't care what this song is about, it has a great melancholic feel to it. I can never get tired of listening to this song.
    Eatcarpeton December 18, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is one of my favourite songs from Achtung Baby. this song is so emotional about how someone can be So Cruel to someone they love. The emotion in this song is very powerful and it really hits home, to the point of tears.

    Incredible song.
    DC10on April 29, 2006   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionLyrically speaking this one of the most poignant and heart wrenching lyrical works i've ever witnessed. Its such a brooding, agonizing and with the sense of heavy desperation is so keen it could cut you like a knife. Once again, an absolute genius of poetic writing.
    SatiricalTruthon March 19, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentgood thing my boyfriend sent me this song a few months ago to listen to! that was the only time he ever sent me a song he wanted me to listen to. talk about being secretly resented. oh well, i've been there before too, just not on this side. great song
    fairydust9on January 02, 2010   Link

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