Song of the Day #3,242: ‘When I Look at the World’ – U2

One interesting aspect of U2, one of the most popular rock acts of all time, is that they’re essentially a Christian rock band.

Most Christian rock bands explicitly market themselves as such, rather than seeking a wider audience. Presumably, they see their music as a form of proselytizing. U2 doesn’t do that. But so many of their songs are about a relationship with God that they certainly could have gone down that path.

Was that a commercial decision or a personal one? They have certainly sold a lot more records than they would have if they put their religious message front and center. But I’ve also read enough criticism by Bono of organized religion that I suspect his own faith is something at his core that he wants to write about but not preach.

Like so many U2 love songs, today’s SOTD is about God. I might not share Bono’s beliefs, but I admire his passion for expressing them in his art.

[Verse 1]
When you look at the world
What is it that you see?
People find all kinds of things
That bring them to their knees
I see an expression
So clear and so true
That it changes the atmosphere
When you walk into the room

[Chorus]
So I try to be like you
Try to feel it like you do
But without you it’s no use
I can’t see what you see
When I look at the world

[Verse 2]
When the night is someone else’s
And you’re trying to get some sleep
When your thoughts are too expensive
To ever want to keep
When there’s all kinds of chaos
And everyone is walking lame
You don’t even blink now, do you
Or even look away

[Chorus]
So I try to be like you
Try to feel it like you do
But without you it’s no use
I can’t see what you see
When I look at the world

[Bridge]
I can’t wait any longer
I can’t wait till I’m stronger
Can’t wait any longer
To see what you see
When I look at the world

[Verse 3]
I’m in the waiting room
I can’t see for the smoke
I think of you and your holy book
While the rest of us choke

[Outro]
Tell me, tell me, what do you see?
Tell me, tell me, what’s wrong with me

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6 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,242: ‘When I Look at the World’ – U2

  1. Dana says:

    “So I try to be like you….” So Bono!

  2. Amy says:

    I vote for whichever band or artist is against U2 😉

    • Clay says:

      Because they’re Christians? That was David Bowie, incidientally, and I think he’s going to win handily. 🙂

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