"The First Time" as written by and Jon ; Hassell Brian Peter George Eno....
I have a lover
A lover like no other
She got soul, soul, soul, sweet soul
And she teach me how to sing

Shows me colors when there's none to see
Gives me hope when I can't believe
That for the first time
I feel loved

I have a brother
When I'm a brother in need
I spend my whole time running
He spends his running after me

When I feel myself going down
I just call and he comes around
But for the first time
I feel love

Ho ho ho ho ho ho
Ho

My father is a rich man
He wears a rich man's cloak
Gave me the keys to his kingdom coming
Gave me a cup of gold

He said I have many mansions
And there are many rooms to see
But I left by the back door
And I threw away the key
And I threw away the key
Yeah, I threw away the key
Yeah, I threw away the key

Ho ho

For the first time
For the first time
For the first time

I feel love


Lyrics submitted by jt

"The First Time" as written by David Evans Adam Clayton

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The First Time song meanings
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28 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentThis song to me is related to the holy trinity, a very beautiful song. Lover=Holy Spirit, Brother=Jesus, Father=Holy Father. It's just a beautiful way of reflecting on the trinity, with the different gifts of the different members of it, and the final reminder of what the Father is trying to give and how apt we are to refuse it.
    Leonnion May 09, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI am pretty sure that I have read that Bono, while being an extremely spiritual person, is not a big believer in organized religion. I felt like last stanza was more about the trappings of the Roman Catholic church. Priests wear rich man's cloaks, gave me a cup of gold referring to communion, many mansions are all the gold filled cathedrals scattered throughout the world, keys to kingdom coming are the strict teachings of the church and the dangled carrot of salvation, and so he chooses to walk away from the control the church has on his life, and chooses to keep his spirituality, the Holy Spirit, expressed in the first two stanzas, but on his own terms. This song is a song of rebellion against the church, and the first time, is the first time he gets to feel true liberated love (in the christian sense) without someone telling him how it's supposed to be.
    elmeromeroon January 11, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGood call Leonni, that's exactly what I thought. That's a direct quote from the bible - "In my house there are many mansions". I love the imagery of someone running away from everything and Christ running right behind them.
    Johnnyboneson July 23, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes, Leonni is right.

    But there´s one point you haven´t touched.
    When he says "I left by the back door and I threw away the keys" means that God has opened Heaven to him... but he has refused it... he still can´t accept... he still haven´t saved his soul.. he still haven´t found what he´s looking for...
    *FelipeVox*on June 08, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me this song is about a family where the parents (father) cares more about money then providing love for his family. So the child looks for love in other places the brother...the lover...and finally feels love. And when the father offers the child, his life, he decides he rather have a life with love than money.
    Bono_is_Godon April 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't think that it is debatable whether this song is about God. In the CD booklet, 'His' is capatalized and 'kingdom coming' can't be used in any other context.

    But what does the title and repeating line mean? Why does he feel love for the first time after he threw away the key?
    Sempreon May 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmaybe it means that he doesnt need as though he needs to "stay in the house" - for the first time he feels supported/loved (whatever way you want to say it) cos he knows now that jesus/god is there for him no matter what. so he doesnt need to hide away locked in a house, he can face whatever it is he has to face (a common sign in people who have a strong faith)....did that make any sense?
    JordyWordyon October 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHe feels loved by the darkness.
    Sempreon June 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of the things that i get out of this song is how you can be loved even when you think you dont deserve it. I think Sempre, that he doesnt "feel loved by the darkness," but that he feels love even when he is the darkness.
    Mikej09on June 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song reminds me of 'The Teacher of Wisdom', a beautiful prose poem by Oscar Wilde. I don't think they were inspired by it when they wrote the song, but it's another way of putting it. Really, it makes sense...if you think deeply about it.
    Persian_Eyeson July 26, 2006   Link

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