With or without you by U2 is a song about a man at breaking point realizing that he cant go on in his current state it is very clear that his relationship is very one sided as he waits for her and always wants more out of their relationship but she doesn’t return the love the song starts describing their relationship and Bono is waiting for his partner to come home and he stays and waits this bit is quiet and just has subtle drums and violin to convey the sweetness after Bono sings “with or without you ” twice the drums skip and louden.in this loud section he sings one line normally but the changes the tone in his voice the second time making it sounds as if he was in pain .the the song turns dark when he sings I can’t live anymore with or without you .throughout this part the drums creep louder building up .during this build up he starts singing “and you give your self away” I believe his partner doesn’t take him seriously and sleeps around even though he deeply cares about her.at the climax of the song he wails expressing his pain, this is the memorable part of the song and many fans would be able to recite the same notes that he wailed.after the wailing the song is stronger an almost enraged sound and as Bono sing it calms down to its previous mellow state.
This song is very emotive and the way that Bono commits himself and finds true meaning in the song’s message .the way he sings show that the song is real to him and this reality is what draws us into the song.T he lyrics cut into you and force you to listen in and depict Bono’s feelings.
the lyrics “on a bed of nails she makes me wait,”this makes Bono seem like he has anxiety whenever she’s not around and he knows he cant do anything about it.” through the storm we reach the shore,”I believe this means that through difficult times Bono’s relationship still survived. In the next line, “you give it all but I want more,” he admits that all her love still isn’t enough for him and clearly this relationship at this point although both parties have love for on another his capacity for love is greater than hers making the relationship very one-sided which is seen to be destructive towards his mental help.
“my body’s bruised” meaning that he’s wounded and not what he was at the start of their relationship
“nothing to win and nothing left to lose,” He’s mentally got nothing left to give and if he stays he has got nothing to win because she’s given him everything although he already said wasn’t enough.
This song connects with a lot of people and is an easy song for them to relate to ,these messages that U2’s music relatable I believe they owe their global success to.in the song both the instrumental buildup in the song and the vocals help convey the message that he cannot live with his partner cause her love is not enogh but he can’t live without her because he loves her infinitely.