The lyrics, while referring to a biblical story, seem inspired from Oscar Wilde's play Salome. In Wilde's play, Salome is the stepdaughter of King Herod. John the Baptist has spurned her physical love for spiritual purity. Later, Herod bids her dance the dance of the seven veils for which he promises anything - even half his kingdom. She agrees and dances. After dancing, she wishes for John the Baptist's head. Herod reluctantly accedes but then has her executed as well.
The song itself details King Herod's bid for Salome to dance. The song, in and of itself, does little to realize the fuller meaning of Salome, which perhaps contributed to its mere B-side status.
IMO, the fuller meaning of Salome is that we cannot deny the spirit or the body, even when two seem contradictary. As Bono is fond of saying these days contradiction is balance. I'd add U2 has done a wonderful musical job saddling the horses of love and lust - Bono has succeeded in his goal to make rock with it's feet on the dance floor and its head in the clouds.
FrankLBaum franklbaumaol.com (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)