Lyric discussion by eirenightshade 

U2 songs NEVER only convey one message or have one meaning. That's the amazing thing about the lyrics. They're meant to be taken many different ways. "Mysterious Ways" is no exception. When Bono writes, he only provides a canvas with a few ideas and images but the genius of his creative mind is that he wants YOU to be the artist. He wants you to decide what his songs mean. I can think of several very different interpretations that could apply to this song, and most of them probably do, because as I said, U2 songs never have one simple message or meaning.

That said, I think this is a very spiritual song in general, but I also think most people try to oversimplify U2 to the point that all their songs and lyrics are simply 'Praise Jesus' hymns in disguise. I'm frankly a bit tired of U2 being defined as one-trick-God-pony. While yes, their lyrics are always spiritual and many of them are about God or a higher power, I don't think their lyrics are getting the full credit they deserve because so many people just pass them off as blandly being "about God". There is always so much more to it than that.

As for the song itself, I completely agree with Beshaman here. This almost seems to be a song about someone who is on a quest to discover what it means to be alive and also to open himself up spiritually. The woman who in the lyric is clearly represented as the moon (sister the moon; she turns the tide) represents the mysteries of life and Johnny is afraid of stepping out into the real world and being hurt by it. So the narrative is telling Johnny that the world itself moves in mysterious ways, and he has to be bold enough to live his life to the fullest and not be afraid of what could happen. It's a song about opening yourself up to life and not closing yourself off because you're afraid.

Just my thoughts though. :)

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