The Wanderer

  1. I think "The Wanderer" is a representation of the way Bono feels about his own faith. Johnny Cash is singing it because his voice and singing style fit Bono's message better than his own. Bono has seen the world. The first stanza is symbolic of a capitalistic society (perhaps that can be compared to Heaven [ie through streets paved with gold]). It is a society that has been created through money, and behind that money (underneath the gold stones) there is no soul. Then under an atomic sky (Judgement Day) God sees through this money.

    The second stanza is representative of a socialistic society (perhaps a comparison of Hell). The capitals of tin could be an image of what we think of when we think of the old hard-core communistic cities like something Trent Reznor depicted in his "Closer" video. Here they want their kingdom, but they don't want to have to answer to God.

    The bridge says that the wanderer (perhaps Bono) has not repented yet. He is living by his faith yet as he wants to see it all first.

    The third stanza takes place after the wanderer has decided to repent and trust in Jesus. He is now out wandering looking for Jesus (lookin' for one good man) and sees himself as a sort of savior (I was sure I was the one) (Bono being the biggest rock star in the world sees himself as a sort of savior). He tells Jesus not to worry, that he'll be back around to Him soon (don't you wait up/Jesus, I'll be home soon). Yet, he's still wandering in the end. Maybe this is Bono's fear that he was never meant to be a savior and that Jesus is not going to wait for him after all.

    Wesley Barnes wbarnes@tamu.edu (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)