[Verse 1]
Is it getting better
Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you, now
You got someone to blame?

You say one love, one life
When it's one need in the night
One love, we get to share it
Leaves you, baby, if you don't care for it

[Verse 2]
Did I disappoint you
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without

Well, it's too late tonight
To drag the past out into the light
We're one, but we're not the same
We get to carry each other, carry each other

[Verse 3]
Have you come here for forgiveness?
Have you come to raise the dead?
Have you come here to play Jesus
To the lepers in your head?

Did I ask too much? More than a lot
You gave me nothing, now it's all I got
We're one, but we're not the same
Well, we hurt each other, then we do it again

You say love is a temple, love a higher law
Love is a temple, love the higher law
You ask me to enter, but then you make me crawl
And I can't be holding on to what you got
When all you got is hurt

One love, one blood
One life, you got to do what you should
One life with each other
Sisters, brothers
One life, but we're not the same
We get to carry each other, carry each other

May we, may we, may we get
Oh, higher
(Ay, yeah, go) higher
(Oh) Higher

Lyrics submitted by spitfirek7, edited by anintellectual, Mellow_Harsher

One song meanings
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  • +11
    General Commentit's actually not about love
    it's about a brotherhood of men, and stuff like that, i heard them say that in an interview
    pabloon April 25, 2002   Link
  • +9
    My InterpretationI agree with most that this song is about the impending end of a relationship (detailed in the verses). But the lyrics also hint at a hope/want/need for reconciliation so that the singer/receiver and other people in this same situation can make it through life (choruses). My take on the first verse is that the singer is conciliatory...willing to take the blame for whatever went wrong in the relationship, even though s/he may not be at fault. The second and third verses have the same theme when I read them--the denial of love by the receiver (“you act like you never had love/and you want me to go without”/”you ask me to enter/but then you make me crawl”) because of perceived wrongs committed by the singer or issues with the receiver (“…when all you got is hurt”).

    The choruses sound a lot like a call for universal love that starts at the individual level. The verses and choruses are very nice interplay between the concepts of local and global love. Local love (between the singer/receiver) magnifies the power of global love. We each do our part and the collective is strengthened.
    solw0727on October 08, 2013   Link
  • +8
    General CommentNot every song is about romantic relationships between two people. I think "One" is about a much bigger picture than that. "One" has a world peace, and caring for your fellow man vibe to it.
    WildNWonderfulon August 13, 2011   Link
  • +7
    General Commenttwo people who love each other, but they hurt each other, over and over again. it kind of reminds me of my situation right now so it means a lot to me. especially when it says "you ask me to enter but then you make me crawl.......when all you got is hurt". people say love is great, love is wonderful. but when they get it, they don't treat it the way they should. it sucks, really.
    sparkle21on March 12, 2002   Link
  • +6
    General CommentThe Ultimate in "I love you but you hurt me" songs.
    lorienmareneon November 27, 2001   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI can't say if it's true,but someone told me it was a song a gay son sings to his father. It surely works on that level if you read the lyrics with that theme in mind."Did I disappoint you..leave a bad taste in your mouth. You act like you never had love and you want me to do without...we're one but we're not the same" etc.
    satisfaction2000on March 30, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"Look, it's a little odd for me when people walk up and say 'We played One at our wedding - thank you so much.' Did you ever hear the lyrics?! The spleen and the bile, and you walked down the aisle to that one, did you?" - Bono in this months MOJO, when talking about odd uses of songs, and no-one listening to the lyrics
    Deltawingon June 16, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General Commentit's amazing how after so many years of loving this song (and achtung baby in general), suddenly this song takes on a new meaning for me personally. it's effing devastating. by far, the most beautiful U2 song ever. yes, i agree it is about the band... but NOW, i truly understand the dynamic of those who see this as an "i love you but you hurt me" love song. yikes.
    chicananerdon October 28, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General Comment"We're one
    But we're not the same"
    Great line
    Paymaanon October 26, 2015   Link
  • +2
    General Commentreminds me of my 1st love - she loved me, i loved her, but we couldn't be together as she didn't want to get too serious too young....I sat in my room listening to this over and over, trying to lose the pain...still there though.
    turtonhoton April 26, 2002   Link

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