1. I think Please could have something to do with the "Troubles" in Northern Ireland. Just a gut reaction as I listen to the song, and I'd like to share my thoughts--I'd love feedback on this, because I really want to know what this song is about.

    So you never knew love...Until you'd almost wasted away
    Sounds like the feelings of someone joining a movement or cause, possibly one which uses violence as a means to an end.
    You had to win...And all your lessons in history
    This one could imply someone who has a great deal of pride in< their culture and awareness of their heritage. The perfect person to join an army, particularly one fighting a war they feel is for liberation and patriotism.
    So you never knew How low you'd stoop to make that call...
    It's that first part of this stanza that catches my eye. Maybe it's just because it's been in the news recently (and last autumn), but this makes me immediately think of phoned in bomb warnings and claims by the IRA.
    Your catholic blues... / Your holy war / Your northern star / Your sermon on the mount / From the boot of your car
    Hey, what's N. Ireland's pain about but the struggle between Protestant and Catholic (and all shades in between)? It is certainly a holy war involving the northern star, and I can just picture a Michael Collins figure trying to reach the masses from the boot of his car.
    So love is hard...
    Love of one's country drives many to violence. Mayhaps Bono and crew don't believe blowing up people is the way to show such love. At the end of the song, Bono says love is bigger than us--a higher love than a love of home and country?
    September / Streets capsizing... / October / Talk getting nowhere...Are we just starting again
    Lots of stuff hit the fan last autumn, with several bombings and the all-party talks going nowhere fast. Sounds like a cry of despair: are our troubles beginning again...

    N. Todd Pritsky todd@hill.com (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)

  2. Please is clearly a song about The Troubles. It follows on from Love Is Blindness, Sunday Bloody Sunday etc.

    During PopMart he says Please stop the fighting, Please let's start talking before he sings it.

    So you never knew love, until you crossed the line of grace. This is possibly a reference to not understanding the other side until he crossed the divide

    You had to win, you couldn't just pass the smartest ass at the top of the class. The Troubles in NI are nothing more than both sides thinking they are better than the other. It's triumphantism and trying to beat the other side.

    Your flying colours, your family tree, and all your lessons in history. flying colours relates to the Irish flag and the Union Jack, flown by each side. Catholics and Protestants are usually recognisable by their surnames, hence family tree. All Republicans root their reasons for taking up arms in history.

    Please, get up off your knees. Please is a desperate plea for peace. Republicans are noted for aparently being devout Catholics, their actions seemingly justified by the fight for their religious freedom. Bono is now asking them to get up off their knees.

    Please, leave me out of this, like I won't heed the battle call in Sunday Bloody Sunday Bono wants no part of this.

    Your Catholic Blues, your convent shoes, your stick on tatooes, now they're making the news. rebublics crave for publicity and want nothing more than being on the news, to show their freedom fight to the world.

    Your holy war, your northern star, your sermon on the mount from the boot of your car. self-explanatory.

    It becomes particularly obvious what the song is about when Bono goes through September, October etc. shards of glass splinters like rain, from bombs etc. but you could only feel your own, Republicans justify the taking of lives for the greater hurt imposed on them (ie the occupation of Northern Ireland). October talking going nowhere, peace talks ?? November, December, Remember, Are we just staring again, end of the cease-fire. Bono then explains that love is bigger than us, before going on the say But you, my love, I could never believe, this the perfect point to flash a picture of Gerry Adams in any future video...

    MacRock MacRock@mail.com (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)

  3. While U2 was performig the song here in argentina (02/05), bono said: This is an Irish song, an Irish prayer, an Irish phrase. I think that was very clear.

    Bergero dri@rocketmail.com (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)

  4. September/streets capsizing... The article was about the ground breaking IRA cease-fire that had just been instated on August 31, 1994, called the September truce. Although the cease-fire was not expected to last it was an historic event greatly celebrated. On September 1 though, a Protestant gunman killed a Roman Catholic in a drive by shooting. The song talks of streets and broken glass, and I believe, the selfishness of the IRA and Protestant factions. The truce went continued on through to December 1994 but in October peace talks between the IRA and authorities came to an impasse, "talk getting nowhere". The IRA withdrew the cease-fire in December and "started again" the war that has already taken over 4,000 lives.

    Andrea Stammerjohan chilipopper@hotmail.com 1999-10-3 (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)

  5. On the third leg of the Elevation Tour (Philadelphia 11/2/01) Bono said Please is about people shrinking God down to their level.

    Katie Maclean zubbieeeee66@hotmail.com ( 4:th of November 2001)

  6. The meaning of Please is obvious from listening to it once and know part of the history of the band and Bono's political interests. This song is a peaceful protest from Bono against terrorism in the World.

    You had to win, you couldn't just pass The smartest arse at the top of the class Is saying how terrorists always try to out do each other.

    The general chorus Get up off your knees is saying that praying to God isn't going to stop the terrorism because thats what their fighting for.

    So love is hard And love is tough But love is not What you're thinking of Is saying that the terrorist who do what they do for their religion is wrong.

    All September, streets capsizing to We just started again is about the peace talks in 94 when the IRA agreed on a cease fire in Ireland but bombed England We just started again is when the IRA ended the cease fire in Febuary of 95.

    Its what lovers deal Its what lovers steal You know I've found it Hard to receive This is possible about Bono's need for religion and his faith but he's finding it hard to be faithful because of the religious terrorism.

    Nicola Moran weedgirl_loonybin@yahoo.com (31:st of August 2002)

  7. The song PLEASE, is a blistering critique of one of Ireland's most provocative artists at a time when the negotiations between the political factions and the IRA were beginning to seam as though they were failing, as bursts of violence resurfaced. The song is about Sinead O'Connor and the perception that she belived her own self-importance and religious views were more important than the events consuming her & Bono's/U2's homeland at the time. "Your Converse Shoes...Your stick-on tatoo's..." are clear attributes of Sinead. There is little doubt that Bono & Sinead crossed paths before the song was penned, so now we know they have.

    Bono gave an interview to Rolling Stone, Bono: The Rolling Stone Interview (March 4, 1993), where he glosses over the public feud with Sinead O'Connor.

    AL: What did you think of last year's pope-shredding incident by Sinead O'Connor?

    BONO: Maybe you have to be Irish to understand her bitterness toward the pope. You could argue that the pope is sincere, but to deny people contraception at this moment in time is a very irresponsible act. It's more than an irresponsible act. You can't buy condoms in this countrynot easilyand so when Sinead talks about him being the enemy, I imagine that's what she's talking about.

    I don't want to be her apologist, and she doesn't need one. I felt very close to her in the early days, and I still feel strongly about her. We fell out with her, with her manager actually, who was her boyfriend, and as a result we were the devil for a few weeks. But now that she's the devil [laughs], I think we're getting on a lot better. To live off your emotions is a necessary evil if you're a singer, but it doesn't make for an easy life.

    Homer rbeverly@usa.com ( 3rd of April 2010)