And so she woke up
Woke up from where she was
Lying still
Said I gotta do something
About where we're going

Step on a steam train
Step out of the driving rain, maybe
Run from the darkness in the night
Singing ha, ah la la la de day
Ah da da da de day
Ah la la de day

Sweet the sin
Bitter than taste in my mouth
I see seven towers
But I only see one way out

You got to cry without weeping
Talk without speaking
Scream without raising your voice

You know I took the poison
From the poison stream
Then I floated out of here
Singing ha la la la de day
Ha la la la de day
Ha la la de day

She runs through the streets
With eyes painted red
Under a black belly of cloud in the rain
In through a doorway she brings me
White gold and pearls stolen from the sea
She is raging
She is raging
And the storm blows up in her eyes
She will

Suffer the needle chill
She's running to stand


Lyrics submitted by yuri_sucupira

Running to Stand Still Lyrics as written by Dave Evans Adam Clayton

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Running To Stand Still song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentFor a non-native English speaker like me in the far-eastern culture, it had never occurred to me that this song has something to do with drugs until I read the previous posts. I was deeply touched by the lines "You gotta cry without weeping, talk without speaking, scream without raising your voice." Before I read the previous comments, I interpreted as a kind of resistance to social norms or some sort of dominance that one wants to break through, as a strategy to resist not through protests or violence, but through influencing others in a moderate, or a less radical way. Clamor does not speak as loudly and powerfully as a hushed voice. But I have to admit that I didn't and couldn't see the whole picture of the meaning of this song as an "outsider" of a culture that I'm not familiar with. It's great to learn how people "in" the culture read this song. :-)
    ivonaon October 11, 2005   Link
  • +3
    Song Meaningi heard this song and realized i was exactly where the song described. Ive been wanting to quit all my life and i know there's only one way out.

    and when it says:
    You got to cry without weeping
    Talk without speaking
    Scream without raising your voice

    It is exactly how my life is with my surrounding because maybe thats what my addiction led me to. i couldnt speak the truth anymore to anyone.
    imthecatalyston November 30, 2009   Link
  • +3
    My OpinionInteresting that some people feel the song is ruined for them when they find out it's about heroin. I feel the opposite -- I would be disheartened to find out it's about something other than drugs. Addiction is more powerful than love, and if you don't believe me, you're awfully naive.

    This song and "Bad" are my favorite U2 songs.
    sharkycharmingon May 17, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Commentweeell buttofmalmsey i dont know Bono personally but the lyrics seem to suggest a drug addiction - "i took the poison from the poison stream, then i floated out of here."... and... "she will suffer the needle chill."
    the lyrics in general seem to articulate some sort of hopelessness - some kind of desire to escape from something that you know you really cant (addiction) - hence the term 'running to stand still'.

    also, "step on a steam train" cooould be a reference to what people call taking heroin, 'riding the H-train'. or that could be looking too far into it.

    anyway i think this song communicates hopelessness and dependence beautifully.
    atthedrive-inon November 12, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentnot to be pedantic - they are the Ballymun towers in North Dublin, they have just been demolished Ballymena is in northern Ireland and the only thing there are addicted to up there is bigotry.
    roykeane1on March 24, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDoes anyone have any idea about the "cry without weeping, talk without speaking, scream without raising your voice" bit? It's obviously a reflection of the contradiction "running to stand still", which is a bit more obvious, but surely these phrases have their own meanings too.
    Deltawingon April 04, 2005   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationFor me it means my spirit cries out. My home was abusive and I couldn't cry. But inside, I sure was crying. That's what cry without weeping, talk without speaking means to me as well as scream without raising your voice. It can mean different things to different people. Sometimes the tower locking us in is our own home. I think that God got me through all that and he was the one who heard my screaming. I was suicidal and he kept me going. And Bono is right, each person is addicted to something.
    teacupsmommyon November 11, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe only other thing u can cling to is that it is about addiction itself- not necessarily heroine. bono vox says we are all addicted to something.
    "In an interview, Bono talks about this song and how it is about a woman who lived in the Ballymena Seven Towers, an area in Dublin which is like the projects in the states. I see seven towers/but I only see one way out The drug use there is very widespread, and the one way out which he speaks of could be canning the habit, stopping the heroin, which the woman he sings about could not do." (Annie D 2001 07 03)

    edge3368on May 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song takes place in Dublin, with the reference to the 7 towers.
    deathbearon November 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI didn't realize this song was about drugs until a few years ago, and needless to say it ruined my vision of it. But it is still one of the best U2 songs, and my most listened to on The Joshua Tree.
    jarokaion December 09, 2004   Link

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