I Will Follow

  1. I Will Follow is about Bono's undying love and devotion to his mother, who died while Bono was still a very young boy. Many have misinterpreted the song to be about devotion to God, which Bono displays in many of his songs, but this song is not. Bono was very close to his mother, and it crushed him when she died. This song pays homage to the fact that death cannot sever love.

    Jeff Ripperda jripperd@knox.knox.edu (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)

  2. A boy tries hard to be a man / his mother takes him by his hand / If he stops to think he starts to cry / Oh why?
    It is a song about the unconditional love between a mother and son, and especially about what happens to that love when the mother is taken away as when Bono's mother died).
    If you walk away, walk away... / I walk away, walk away... I will follow
    It's an almost suicidal yearning to be with his mother.

    Crow crow@globalserve.net (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)

  3. No one can seriously dispute that "I Will Follow" is about the importance of Jesus to Bono, albeit during his time of grief over the loss of his mother. The loss of Bono's mother, and Bono's finding of Christ go hand in hand. The first verse contains the line, "I was blind, I could not see." This is a motif interspersed throughout U2's songs, reflecting the state of a man prior to finding faith. In concert, even, Bono often covers his eyes with his arm, and walks as if he were blind -- a simple metaphor for men and women who have not yet found God. The third verse, after the first chorus, contains the line, "I was lost, I am found," which is one of the most common themes in Christianity (it's the shepherd's -- Jesus' -- responsibility to return the lost sheep to the fold). The entire verse is: "I was on the inside / when they pulled the four walls down / You looked through the window, I was lost / I am found." What this means is that at the time of Bono's mother's death, his home was shattered, forcing the young Bono into the world. But looking in on Bono and protecting him was Jesus, Bono's saving grace. The first verse of "Amazing Grace" is a profoundly clear confirmation of what Bono speaks of: "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound / that saved a wretch like me / I once was lost, but now am found / Was blind, but now I see." Finally, yes, the line "I will follow" is a reference to a boy following his mother; but it is also a reference to a man following Jesus Christ (double meanings are common in Bono's verses). In Matthew 4:19, Jesus says to Peter and Andrew, "Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!" Ever since, Bono has followed Christ, and been fishing for more believers. Concluding "I Will Follow" on Saturday Night Live in 2004, Bono yells to the crowd, "He loves YOU!" -- a confirmation that Bono still follows Christ, and still seeks the germination of belief in non-believers.

    Patrick Thompson, Louisville, Kentucky, USA pcndthompson@aol.com (24:th of June 2005)