Until the End of the World – A Journey Through Apocalyptic Love and Betrayal

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for U2's Until the End of the World at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Tangled Web of Betrayal
  5. A Poignant Tapestry of Religious Symbolism
  6. An Ocean of Emotions: Drowning in Sorrow
  7. Linger on Those Memorable Lines
  8. Unveiling the Song’s Hidden Apocalyptic Canvas


Haven’t seen you in quite a while
I was down the hold just passing time
Last time we met was a low-lit room
We were as close together as a bride and groom
We ate the food, we drank the wine
Everybody having a good time
Except you
You were talking about the end of the world

I took the money
I spiked your drink
You miss too much these days if you stop to think
You lead me on with those innocent eyes
You know I love the element of surprise
In the garden I was playing the tart
I kissed your lips and broke your heart
You were acting like it was the end of the world

Love, love, love
Love, love
Love, love, love
Love (love)
Love, love

In my dream I was drowning my sorrows
But my sorrows, they learned to swim
Surrounding me, going down on me
Spilling over the brim
Waves of regret and waves of joy
I reached out for the one I tried to destroy
You, you said you’d wait
‘Til the end of the world

Full Lyrics

U2’s ‘Until the End of the World’, a track from their acclaimed 1991 album ‘Achtung Baby’, unfolds like a cinematic narrative of love, betrayal, and existential angst, swathed in the band’s signature sound—a blend of raw energy and emotional depth. Unpacking the song is a journey through multifaceted layers of meaning, each verse a revealing glimpse into a troubled relationship set against the backdrop of end times imagery.

Through evocative lyrics and a hauntingly vibrant soundscape, U2 leads its audience into a contemplative exploration of the human condition. The song delves deep into Christian allegory, historical ponderings, and the intimate turmoil of personal connection, demanding an attentive ear to grasp the full scope of its poignant message.

The Tangled Web of Betrayal

When dissecting the first stanza of ‘Until the End of the World’, one cannot help but feel the tension between intimacy and distance. The song’s protagonist reflects on a time of closeness that’s eroding, juxtaposed with the eerie normality of communal celebration. ‘Everybody having a good time except you’, the singer notes, hinting at an underlying discord that not even the convivial setting of a ‘low-lit room’ can dissipate.

Betrayal threads through the lyrics, with the admission of having taken money and spiked a drink, symbolizing deeper acts of deception. Beneath the surface of an ill-fated romance, there’s a Judas-like treachery at play, perhaps reflecting a personal relationship that’s teetering on the brink just as much as it does the larger story of biblical betrayal.

A Poignant Tapestry of Religious Symbolism

The heart of the song is steeped in religious metaphor, pulling listeners into a landscape of spiritual contemplation. The reference to the garden, wherein the singer plays ‘the tart’ and kisses the protagonist’s lips, mirrors the biblical Garden of Eden, a utopia shattered by deceit.

These elements are no mere artistic flourishes but rather an intentional framing of the narrative, connecting personal loss to the grander scale of human fallibility and redemption. The notion of the song’s characters alchemizing their love and sorrow into something that can both drown and save them paints a vivid portrait of the complexities of faith and forgiveness.

An Ocean of Emotions: Drowning in Sorrow

Perhaps the most visceral of the song’s imagery is found in the protagonist’s dream of drowning in sorrows that have ‘learned to swim.’ The metaphor speaks to the inescapable nature of personal grief and guilt, swirling around the psyche like a relentless tide, revealing the futility of attempting to avoid or bury one’s troubles.

Yet, there’s a juxtaposition of hope amid despair as the character reaches out for the very one they sought to destroy. It’s a powerful depiction of the human need for connection and the capacity for remorse and change, even when it seems too late, encapsulated in the phrase ‘Waves of regret and waves of joy.’

Linger on Those Memorable Lines

U2 has always had a knack for crafting lines that resonate far beyond the confines of their songs. ‘Until the End of the World’ is no exception, especially with the line ‘You were talking about the end of the world.’ It implies a fixation on an impending doom that permeates the lovers’ interaction, adding a layer of urgency and finality to their exchanges.

Another hauntingly beautiful line, ‘You said you’d wait ’til the end of the world,’ suggests a promise amid destruction, a commitment that outlasts every catastrophe. These lines are the soulful hook that keeps listeners returning, pondering the depths of meaning embedded in the band’s poetic lyricism.

Unveiling the Song’s Hidden Apocalyptic Canvas

On the surface, ‘Until the End of the World’ may resonate as a tale of romantic love mired in conflict. However, a closer look reveals a rich tapestry that extends beyond the personal to the apocalyptic. It is as much a song about the end of the world in a literal sense as it is about the ending of a world within a relationship.

This dual narrative weaves personal pain with eschatological themes, positioning the song as a poignant commentary on human relations on the eve of destruction. U2’s lyrics function as a mirror reflecting both the end of times and the end of an intimate connection, challenging the listener to confront the notions of ending and what it means to hold on until the final moment.

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