"The Troubles" as written by Adam Clayton, Dave Evans, Paul David Hewson and Larry Mullen....
Somebody stepped inside your soul
Somebody stepped inside your soul
Little by little they robbed and stole
Till someone else was in control

You think it's easier
To put your finger on the trouble
When the trouble is you
And you think it's easier
To know your own tricks
Well, it's the hardest thing you'll ever do

I have a will for survival
So you can hurt me
And then hurt me some more
I can live with denial
But you're not my troubles anymore

Somebody stepped inside your soul
Somebody stepped inside your soul
Little by little they robbed and stole
Till someone else was in control

Somebody stepped inside your soul
Somebody stepped inside your soul
Little by little they robbed and stole
Till someone else was in control

You think it's easier
To give up on the trouble
If the trouble is destroying you
And you think it's easier
But before you throw me a rope
It was the one thing I could hold on to

I have a will for survival
So you can hurt me
And then hurt me some more
I can live with denial
But you're not my troubles anymore

Somebody stepped inside your soul
Somebody stepped inside your soul
Little by little they robbed and stole
Till someone else was in control

Somebody stepped inside your soul
Somebody stepped inside your soul
Little by little they robbed and stole
Till someone else was in control

God knows it's not easy
Taking on the shape of someone else's pain
God now you can see me
I'm naked and I'm not afraid
My body's sacred and I'm not ashamed

Somebody stepped inside your soul
Somebody stepped inside your soul
Little by little they robbed and stole
Till someone else was in control

Somebody stepped inside your soul
Somebody stepped inside your soul
Little by little they robbed and stole
Till someone else was in control


Lyrics submitted by Phx27

"The Troubles" as written by Dave Evans Adam Clayton

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Troubles song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +2
    My InterpretationThis is about the band going back to basics. It's them reliving their struggles and the realization that maybe through their musical journey they may have lost a bit of themselves...this album is a rediscovery of themselves ..of sorts. Entire album is simply perfect. Achung Baby on steroids.


    mariella1021on October 26, 2014   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationAs with most U2 songs, there is a whole range of meanings. Here is my interpretation, based upon what I read elsewhere - that this song has some undertone of domestic abuse issues.

    My background: I've been in love with two different women at different times in my life, both of whom had been sexually assaulted or abused by someone, before we met. Both women try and tried to direct their suffering, abuse and blame at me. This song rings so true with the psychology behind the suffering stemming from sexual abuse or assault, and on secondary victims (the partners of those in relationships with people who have been abused in the past). To me therefore it is a song about how abuse can create more abuse, it can perpetuate itself, but hopefully does not. It even asks for the strength to go on, despite.

    "Somebody stepped inside your soul
    Somebody stepped inside your soul
    Little by little they robbed and stole
    Till someone else was in control"

    Somebody overstepped your boundary, and took advantage of you, again and again, and you gave up defending (and then someone else controlled you).

    "You think it’s easier
    To put your finger on the trouble
    When the trouble is you
    And you think it’s easier
    To know your own tricks
    Well, it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do"

    You can start to think that it is easier to direct the blame at someone, or at a failed relationship, when the issues are in also your own thought patterns created by past bad experience - this is true for the person having been abused, and somewhat to partners of people who have been abused. Trying to understand what makes you tick, finding out about yourself and your motives, needs and issues by introspection or professional help may reveal a lot of undesired, dark topics - it may be the hardest thing you ever do, and there is a natural resistance to overcome your own experience. Overcoming that resistance may be pretty hard. But:

    "I have a will for survival
    So you can hurt me
    And then hurt me some more
    I can live with denial
    But you’re not my troubles anymore"

    There still is some desire to continue, despite bad experience. There is a desire to keep going as someone in an abusive relationship, or someone facing a past abuse, but any work you do with or on yourself may be futile, and you may feel that getting better just opens up new possibilities of being abused. It is possible to deny all of this, to just forget about it, to split, in order to obtain some peace of mind. Or to be glad, when a bad relationship ends - then, the abuse may not be my problem, my troubles anymore. After a relationship ends, the issues of that other person are not my issues anymore, hopefully.

    "God knows it’s not easy
    Taking on the shape of someone else’s pain"

    As someone living with someone who has been abused in the past, sometimes you become associated with the abuser, simply for expressing your own perfectly normal desires and needs. In that case, the person having been abused projects their bad experience on you, you can become "the shape of someone elses pain" . And you take on that projection, that bad image, to continue in the relationship, you assume guilt, even though there is no reason to feel guilty - because you try to be understanding, to try to help that other person having issues with themselves.

    "God now you can see me
    I’m naked and I’m not afraid
    My body’s sacred and I’m not ashamed"

    can be viewed both from the point of view of someone who has been abused in the past (1), and from someone who is living with someone who has been abused (2):

    (1) This is me. my body is mine, I'm not afraid or ashamed of standing up for myself. I'm not ashamed of what happened to me, I'm not ashamed to carry on.
    (2) This is me. my (body of) desires and needs are mine, and I'm not ashamed to acknowledge them. I'm not afraid to voice my needs.

    This last part is like a prayer or appeal to a higher being to be given the strength to voice needs or to have the strength to carry on, to be one with yourself again, to overcome the experience stemming from abuse.

    Again, this is just one interpretation of many, and certainly coloured by my experience.
    richteas75on December 05, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is my interpretation:

    The song is about the mind/ego. The hardest thing you’ll ever do is go within and observe yourself and your thoughts and then take responsibility for the troubles in your life experience. Harder still is observing self and understanding what your attachments are. Letting go of the ego and mind is very painful. We create the conflicts by way of our own desire and our ego/mind can be cunning in the way it tricks you into believing false truths about life/others/your own motivations...when we form attachments, in whatever form..in this case a relationship perhaps, we take on the shape of the pain that others need in their experience also...in this way we embody each other’s ego’s/desires/attachments so that we can learn the lessons of attachment and pain. Eckart Tolle calls this the ‘pain body,’ but most of these concepts lie in the teachings of Buddha and Buddhism.
    In short; this song is about the pain of attachment and trying to enter the state of ‘I am’ or achieve enlightenment by letting go of the desire or attachment that continues to lead us into suffering.

    ‘Somebody stepped inside your soul’: This could be the ego itself or a partner or probably both. Attachment to anything allows pain to enter your being. The somebody could be a person with whom ego is attached. ‘Little by little they robbed and stole.’ The ego always wants more, it’s never satisfied. ‘Til someone else was in control.’ The someone else is the ‘I am.’ When higher consciousness enters and takes over being, the pain goes away.’

    ‘You think it’s easier to put your finger on the trouble, when the trouble is you.’ Observing the mind, without the mind is literally the most challenging aspect to self awareness. ‘And you think it’s easier to know your own tricks, well it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do.’ Again talks about the ego mind and how cunning it is at hiding truth. Most our lives, experiences and beliefs are based on false perceptions and cultural ideals, not ultimate truth. Going beyond the mind and seeing the actual reality of existence is the hardest thing we will ever do...most don’t and never will in this lifetime.

    ‘You think it’s easier to give up on the trouble, if the trouble is destroying you.’ Every desire causes suffering. You would think it would be easy to give up suffering, however suffering is caused by desire so it would require giving up everything you believe to make you happy. Sex? Relationships? Addiction? Delicious food? Not easy to give up, however these things are the source of pain. Not so easy. ‘And you think it’s easier but before you throw me a rope it was the one thing I could hold on to.’ Again, talking about the ego desire to have attachments. Attachments are the ropes we hold on to that don’t allow us to let go for fear of dying (ego death).however, nothing compares to the feeling of serenity, when we are truly conscious and aware in the state of ‘I am.’ Enlightenment is the true source of all joy, because it is free of pain. Letting go of the rope of false reality is scary.

    ‘I have a will for survival, so you can hurt me and hurt me some more. I can live with denial, but you’re not my trouble anymore.’ The will for survival is again the ego mind. When we are unconscious we fear death. The drive to survive is innate in our mind and ego and it’s primary function. We can live in this state and still exist and live, it’s denial of the ultimate truth though and painful. In this context he is saying that he has chosen to not live this way any longer, ‘but you’re not my trouble anymore.’ He is choosing to not stay there and hurt, even if it means losing what he is attached to.

    ‘God knows it’s not easy, taking on the shape of someone else’s pain.’ Pretty self explanatory and I spoke on this earlier. When we form attachments to others, we take on each others pain. The ego often running the show in relationships and never being satisfied. ‘God now you can see me, I’m naked and I’m not afraid, my body is sacred and I’m not ashamed.’ Here he has let go of his mind and in the state of ‘I am’ the consciousness beyond the thoughts and mind. He has let go of his attachments, fear, shame being the result of those, because he has awoken to a higher truth..to the truth.



    Jemmaleahon May 29, 2019   Link
  • -4
    General CommentWhat is interesting you know in England everyone wants to be American. There is a distinct celtic style it's not British or anything other than Irish. And U2 wants to be American, intentionally American, but they can't quite escape what they are, stylistically.



    Apparently I have to explain why I will make so much money hackers, even a lot of the lyrics on DSOTM are fucking American poets.



    U2 can't escape the Irish style even if they don't embrace it.

    The troubles will never go away until they get out of their head.
    bkabbotton September 18, 2014   Link

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