The more you see, the less you know
The less you find out as you go
I knew much more then than I do now

Neon heart day-glow eyes
A city lit by fireflies
They’re advertising in the skies
For people like us

And I miss you when you’re not around
I’m getting ready to leave the ground

Oh you look so beautiful tonight
In the city of blinding lights

Don’t look before you laugh
Look ugly in a photograph
Flash bulbs purple irises
The camera can’t see

I’ve seen you walk unafraid
I’ve seen you in the clothes you made
Can you see the beauty inside of me?
What happened to the beauty I had inside of me?

And I miss you when you’re not around
I’m getting ready to leave the ground

Oh you look so beautiful tonight
In the city of blinding lights

Time…time…time…time…time
Won’t leave me as I am
But time won’t take the boy out of this man

Oh you look so beautiful tonight
Oh you look so beautiful tonight
Oh you look so beautiful tonight
In the city of blinding lights

The more you know the less you feel
Some pray for, others steal
Blessings are not just for the ones who kneel… luckily


If you have read any of my postings here, it becomes apparent pretty quickly that I am a huge U2 fan.  Although they would not consider themselves a “Christian” band, and they are far from perfect in their belief system, somehow almost every song has Biblical truth to it, whether good or bad.  There is a song called “The City of Blinding Lights” that I would like to share with you and give you my take on it.  (Just for clarification, U2 says they wrote this song about NYC after flying in for a concert, so my review is strictly my own selfish opinion).

Essentially the song is about humans as carnal, sensual creatures who know there must be more to this life than see, hear, touch, feel.   That something is God, and his son Jesus Christ.  The journey from innocence as a child through disillusionment as an adult is neatly contained within this song.  Let’s analyze the song’s lyrics in that light.


The song opens with a lament:  That is, as your grow older, you realize how little you actually know.  As youth, we all think we know everything, and there’s not anyone who can tell us anything; and it APPEARS that way…you are constantly learning, and new bits of knowledge are constantly exposed to you.  However, as we age, we realize just how foolish we were:

The more you see, the less you know
The less you find out as you go
I knew much more then than I do now

Those three lines epitomize 1 Corinthians where Paul states: “…When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things…” — one of those childish things is thinking you know everything about life. (“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” — 1 Corinthians 2:2)


To me, the next verses are about our “natural”, earth-bound and body-bound selves, trapped in cities, who look up in the skies and know that something larger than ourselves is in our presence.  When they sing “They’re advertising in the skies for people like us”, I like to think they are talking about the Heavenly Host advertising in the stars and planets the presence of the All-Mighty, for us, the sinful and fallen nation of humanity.

Neon heart day-glow eyes
A city lit by fireflies
They’re advertising in the skies
For people like us


The next verse is to me very personal; it is as if Jesus is telling us that He misses us when we lock Him out; and that He left us only for a time; but His promise is eternal.  That He will return — either to our heart’s if we let Him in; or at the end of time when He will righteously judge every person.

“And I miss you when you’re not around
I’m getting ready to leave the ground”


In the next verse, it seems to be what Jesus would say to the helpless and hopeless in the dredges of a city that is filled with light but is dark and hollow:

Oh you look so beautiful tonight
In the city of blinding lights


The Bible teaches that for us to enter Heaven, we must become as children again.  That means to strip off all the trappings of this life’s cares and desires, and become innocent.  I think the following verses explain that quite nicely.  Notice the allusion to our soul’s in “Flash bulbs purple irises the camera can’t see” — purple is the color of King’s, and we are as royalty to God when we let him transform us:

Don’t look before you laugh
Look ugly in a photograph
Flash bulbs purple irises
The camera can’t see


Try and see what I see in the next verses.  The singer is talking to a Christian who walks the walk and talks the talk.  “I’ve seen you walk unafraid” means that person walks in peace and not in fear, because he has God watching over him.  “I’ve seen you in the clothes you made” refer’s to the “Armour of God” we made through our acceptance of the Lord, and we put on when we accept him into our lives to transform us.  The last two verses are (to me) an anguished cry to God:  “Can you see the beauty inside of me?”  and a question everyone should ask of themselves at one time or another — “What happened?” — we all began life in innocence.  “What happened to the beauty inside of me” is the result of one thing – SIN.  We have inherited the sin’s passed down from Adam, and the only way to break away from its sentence (eternal death) is to fall upon the Rock that is Jesus Christ, who will stand before God and our Accuser, Satan, and defend us.  He will say “I took this child’s place at Calvary, they are redeemed and made acceptable in your sight.”

I’ve seen you walk unafraid
I’ve seen you in the clothes you made
Can you see the beauty inside of me?
What happened to the beauty I had inside of me?


Every person who reaches the age of 50 begins to realize – Time will not leave you as you were, sin will cause your earthly home to deteriorate and eventually return to the ground from where it came.  However, TIME and the ravages of it cannot take your innocence away if you allow Jesus to transform you; you will become like a child again, in your outlook on life, and how you see others:

Time
Won’t leave me as I am
But time won’t take the boy out of this man


After the Chorus, comes the final lines of the song.  “The More you know the less you feel” to me refers to two opposites:  The more you know of earthly pleasures and cares, the Less You Feel!  But, on the other hand, the more you know of what sin represents in the world, the less you feel about THIS life and focus on the Eternal life.  Those two last verses bring it all together:  “Some pray for” to me refers to Christians, “others steal” to those who are without Christ.  But “BLESSINGS” are not “just for the ones who kneel” to me means EVERYONE can come into the presence of Christ, no matter your position, your lifestyle, your past sins…and in that sense it is with hope and courage that we will someday be in the Heavenly “City of Blinding Lights”

The more you know the less you feel
Some pray for, others steal
Blessings are not just for the ones who kneel..luckily


The more you see, the less you know
The less you find out as you go
I knew much more then than I do now

Neon heart day-glow eyes
A city lit by fireflies
They’re advertising in the skies
For people like us

And I miss you when you’re not around
I’m getting ready to leave the ground

Oh you look so beautiful tonight
In the city of blinding lights

Don’t look before you laugh
Look ugly in a photograph
Flash bulbs purple irises
The camera can’t see

I’ve seen you walk unafraid
I’ve seen you in the clothes you made
Can you see the beauty inside of me?
What happened to the beauty I had inside of me?

And I miss you when you’re not around
I’m getting ready to leave the ground

Oh you look so beautiful tonight
In the city of blinding lights

Time…time…time…time…time
Won’t leave me as I am
But time won’t take the boy out of this man

Oh you look so beautiful tonight
Oh you look so beautiful tonight
Oh you look so beautiful tonight
In the city of blinding lights

The more you know the less you feel
Some pray for, others steal
Blessings are not just for the ones who kneel… luckily

Advertisements