Oh, the city's alight
With lovers and lies
Bright blue eyes
Oh, the city is bright
It's brighter than day tonight

Surrender, surrender
Surrender, surrender

Sadie said she couldn't work out
What it was all about
And so she let go
Now Sadie's on the street
And the people she meets you know
She tried to be a good girl and a good wife
Raise a good family
Lead a good life
It's not good enough
She got herself up on the forty-eighth floor
Gotta find out
Find out what she's living for

Surrender, surrender
Surrender, surrender

Tonight

Oh, the city's afire
A passionate flame
It knows me by name
Oh, the city's desire
To take me for more and more
It's in the street, getting under my feet
It's in the air, it's everywhere
My love for you
It's in the things I do and say
And if I want to live I gotta
Die to myself someday

Papa sing my sing my sing my song
Papa sing my sing my sing my song
Papa sing my sing my sing my song

Surrender, surrender
Surrender, surrender


Lyrics submitted by yuri_sucupira

Surrender Lyrics as written by David Evans Adam Clayton

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Surrender song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

8 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +3
    General Comment

    I love this song. In Bono's universe, I think the word "city" is interchangeable with "world". The "world" is full of lovers and lies. The big lie in the world is that there is no God, and everything just sort of exploded out of thin air, for no reason at all. The main character in this song is Sadie. But she could really be anybody. Apparently she's never thought about God or why she is really here on earth. She's living her life, going through the motions. She's beginning to realize that life is pretty pointless when you have no purpose or higher calling. So she's on the 48th floor thinking about commiting suicide. But Bono tells her to "surrender." I think he is saying that she should surrender her life to God. Just let God handle all of her problems. But it's hard to do this, because the "city" or world is so much fun. It's hard to think about God. There's so much "fun" stuff to see and do. Why do we need God? Well, that's basically what I think this song is about.

    dogsarecoolon June 30, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Freaking great song.

    I loved Larry's drumming on this oe :-)

    mobileinfantryon June 22, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Like 95% of U2's songs, it has strong Christian lyrics. Similar to what dogarecool wrote, I believe it is man's struggle to keep the difficult Christian laws set forth. The line "If I want to live I've got to die to myself one day" is straight from the Bible when Jesus says to gain eternal life you have to die to yourself and carry your own cross

    cuzn_dupreeon March 24, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I can't believe only 2 comments on this song, one of their truly beautiful timeless song, you listen to it and just feel like your floating out of time where nothing matters, the harmony this song creates is incredible anyway I was on you-tube and found some u2 interview on japanese tv from back in 1983, bono said de niro's 'taxi driver' film inspired this song I guess it kind of makes sense, maybe sadie is how jodie fosters character would've ended up if de niro/travis didn't help her out The last few lines, 'if I wanna live I gotta die to myself someday' could refer to travis's exile from the social world, and how he goes on the mission to kill the pimp and mafiso while nearly killing himself, which I guess breaks him out of his slump?, althought the ending of taxi driver isn't really clear, so maybe this song more refers to jodie fosters character being 'sadie'

    Mr Grimon September 21, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I love how Bono says "Gotta find out Find out what she's living for"

    U2fantasyon March 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    amazing song from u2's best album, It does make you feel like your on a cloud floating sort of.

    xaiver_888on July 05, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I love this song. I think that dogsarecool just about nailed the meaning.

    U2fantasyon March 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    First, I don't think the 48th floor line is a suicide reference: Sadie has given up her "family life" and become a high-end escort, hence the "on the street" and "people she meets" lines in the big city, (e.g. a place like New York). She's in a high floor / penthouse of a hotel, having sex for money.

    The amazing thing about this song is that Bono is not just saying "the big city doesn't have all the answers" he is also saying "traditional family life doesn't have all the answers" because he states that that wasn't good enough for Sadie.

    So, in effect, Bono is rejecting the entire false dichotomy (so relevant to today, and the theme of so many songs throughout Rock n' Roll history) of "living a simple life" vs. "the excitement of the big city"

    For Bono, the only solution for Sadie is to seek God, like he has done. She must surrender her entire life to Jesus, or there is no hope. Pretty powerful stuff.

    PS Musically I think this the most underrated song in all of U2's catalog. The melody when Bono starts singing is so incredibly powerful and uplifting in contrast to the haunting almost scary chorus and high-pitched guitar chords throughout. The music itself is a metaphor for the entire message of the song: Bono's voice is the straight and narrow path to God coming through the glitzy sounds and distractions of everything else about the world.

    bostonragon April 21, 2024   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
The Night We Met
Lord Huron
This is a hauntingly beautiful song about introspection, specifically about looking back at a relationship that started bad and ended so poorly, that the narrator wants to go back to the very beginning and tell himself to not even travel down that road. I believe that the relationship started poorly because of the lines: "Take me back to the night we met:When the night was full of terrors: And your eyes were filled with tears: When you had not touched me yet" So, the first night was not a great start, but the narrator pursued the relationship and eventually both overcame the rough start to fall in love with each other: "I had all and then most of you" Like many relationships that turn sour, it was not a quick decline, but a gradual one where the narrator and their partner fall out of love and gradually grow apart "Some and now none of you" Losing someone who was once everything in your world, who you could confide in, tell your secrets to, share all the most intimate parts of your life, to being strangers with that person is probably one of the most painful experiences a person can go through. So Painful, the narrator wants to go back in time and tell himself to not even pursue the relationship. This was the perfect song for "13 Reasons Why"
Album art
Mental Istid
Ebba Grön
This is one of my favorite songs. https://fnfgo.io
Album art
Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
Led Zeppelin
This is about bronies. They communicate by stomping.
Album art
Son Şansın - Şarkı Sözleri
Hayalperest
This song seemingly tackles the methods of deception those who manipulate others use to get victims to follow their demands, as well as diverting attention away from important issues. They'll also use it as a means to convince people to hate or kill others by pretending acts of terrorism were committed by the enemy when the acts themselves were done by the masters of control to promote discrimination and hate. It also reinforces the idea that these manipulative forces operate in various locations, infiltrating everyday life without detection, and propagate any and everywhere. In general, it highlights the danger of hidden agendas, manipulation, and distraction, serving as a critique of those who exploit chaos and confusion to control and gain power, depicting a cautionary tale against falling into their traps. It encourages us to question the narratives presented to us and remain vigilant against manipulation in various parts of society.
Album art
Dreamwalker
Silent Planet
I think much like another song “Anti-Matter” (that's also on the same album as this song), this one is also is inspired by a horrifying van crash the band experienced on Nov 3, 2022. This, much like the other track, sounds like it's an extension what they shared while huddled in the wreckage, as they helped frontman Garrett Russell stem the bleeding from his head wound while he was under the temporary effects of a concussion. The track speaks of where the mind goes at the most desperate & desolate of times, when it just about slips away to all but disconnect itself, and the aftermath.