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


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
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  • +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

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