The song seems to be an obvious contemplation of suicide. I don't know the whole story behind what was going on with Bono when he wrote the song, but suicide certainly seems to be the theme. I suppose the obvious guess would be something to do with his mother but who can say. The song illustrates one of the classic suicide dilemnas: Will anyone miss me if I do it? Bono wonders how those around would react if he was gone for one day, sort of on a trial basis, I guess. And then, one supposes, he could base a more permanent desicision on how much he was missed. I'm not drawing any parallels or anything but it's sort of like the film "It's A Wonderful Life" where the central character ponders a world without himself. Bono sings of "The world I left behind" and shedding a tear then letting go. One of the central themes of Boy is life and death, light and darkness. In Out of Control Bono comments on how all of it (life and death) is way beyond his control. Here he seems to question his purpose and he wants to take control of his life away from God. The song reflects his youth and its attendant uncertainty. When this song was written, remember, Bono was just another kid in Dublin who didn't know where he was going. In the end, as the song fades out, the issue seems largely unresolved, leaving the listener wondering how the story ends so to speak. I suppose the good news is that obviously Bono didn't kill himself and instead he went on to be an inspiration to many. I guess that's a message to anyone out there who feels the same way about themselves.
Dan Gouge gougeican.net (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)
This song is dedicated to Ian Curtis singer of Joy Division. If you compare the lyrics with Ian's short story it makes sence. Bono was also a great fan of Joy Division.
Kostas kioupon1hol.gr ( 8:th of September 2001)
It should be said that the song was written specifically in response to the suicide of Ian Curtis of Joy Division and reflects Bono's take on the selfishness of suicide – which is the dominant theme of the song. While Bono was a fan of Joy Division, it is not clear to me that this song was "dedicated to" Ian Curtis as much as "inspired by" his actions.
David Hurley david.j.hurleyaexp.com (29:th of October 2001)