What is it about... Moment of Surrender?

5 Oct 201249
Once any artist has written and recorded a song, it's no longer theirs to keep.

They release it, set it free, turn it over to the audience. Some songs are quietly forgotten; others enter your head, and your heart, and refuse to leave quietly.

But what is it about these songs, exactly?

We asked you to tell us your own stories about an unforgettable U2 song - one that stopped you in your tracks, or is forever associated with a particular moment in your life.

We were inundated with responses. You wrote to us about dozens of tracks but some songs just kept coming back, again and again.

So we've used some of your stories along with some other background, to come up with five clues to the question: 'What IS it about that song?'



1. It's an epiphany. On No Line on the Horizon, Bono stopped writing in the 'first person' and was singing from the perspective of different characters. The hero of 'Moment' is an addict, who has a crisis of faith, and an epiphany. 'When I had one drink, I couldn't stop,' writes Frenchwoman2. 'So I quit drinking all together. At the one-year mark I got myself a commemorative bracelet that I had engraved with the Moment of Surrender lyric: 'Vision over Visibility'.' The song's title itself is the term used in Alcoholics Anonymous for when an addict admits their helplessness. 'It's when you know that you can't control anything or anyone,' says Frenchwoman2, 'so you surrender that control. Sometimes you can't see where you're going; but remember the destination, and you'll get there with faith.' Amen.

2. It was the most magical studio experience ever.  At least, it was for Brian Eno. Recording Moment of Surrender is when he and Daniel Lanois thought the band were closest to realising their original concept for the album - to write 'future hymns'.  As Eno explained at the time to U2.com,  'It was 'the most magical  experience I've ever had in a studio.'

3. It's a great idea for a tattoo. 'My husband has the 360-tour logo tattooed on his back, with the words 'Moment of Surrender',' writes ceesje. 'He's always thinking of his dead mother and father when Bono sings that song.' In the meantime, ceesje admits to having a Stuck in a Moment tattoo, herself. His and hers tattoos, U2 style...

4. The critics loved it.  Rolling Stone magazine crowned 'Moment of Surrender' the 'Best Song of 2009'. A year later, it made the magazine's '500 Greatest Songs of All Time': 'The most devastating U2 ballad since 'One' sets lush, gospel-tinged music - much of it improvised live in the studio - against dark subject matter: It's about a junkie riding the subway.'

5. You can fall in love to it. 'This track reminds me of a very, very special moment that took place during the 360 tour in Mexico City,' writes AleMorando. 'I went to that concert with my best friend Juan José... Bono started to sing 'Moment of Surrender',' she continues, 'and in a magic moment, all of a sudden we held each other in a big hug, surrounded by the lights of the cellphones like a million stars.'
And ..?
'And that's when I fell in love with Juan José,' she declares. 'Thanks, U2.'
No, thank you, AleMorando.

So what is it about Moment of Surrender for you? Add your own stories, ideas and comments below.
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Its a funny one.
When nloth came out people were loving it or really not liking it at all. On hearing it live a few times i thought i might change my mind but i still think its an ok track, i just can't get into it if i'm honest.
Bono:The world needs more Canada's
Before Moment Of Surrender started last year on July 11,2011 in Toronto Bono said "The world needs more Canada's. That is something i'll always remember. Moment of Surrender is such a powerful,soulful, and joyous song. It is so incredible that Rolling Stone re-opened their list of the 500 greatest songs of all time just to add it! Every night when I'm about to go to bed I lay down and put my headphones on and close my eyes and listen to Moment of Surrender. U2 has changed my life completely and I will always thank them for it. -Luca
Barely Conscious
Just a great song, rewarding after every listen and a great concert ending for a band that's been at the top for so long. A song for them as we'll as us. Thankyou.. A fan since BOY
THE Moment
I had the words of this song in my head when my father passed away after a long battle with cancer .He spent his last days in a hospice ,His love for my mother and his children was so strong that he fought death for days ,hearing my mother whisper to him that it was ok to let go was THE most painful yet beautifull thing i have ever witnessed ,my father had to reach his Moment of surrender and let go of this life .He is now dancing in heaven.
Time is train that's going to the end of
Having spent many an MRI "flat on my back" with ATYCLB pumped in for music over the last four years, this song is about facing up to mortality for me (as I previously attempted to describe here: http://community.u2.com/topic/23727/t/Moment-of-Tour-Surrender.html), as well as the subsequent surrender to love, both divine and that of whoever you're going through life with. The high note and the joy since that post is that I'm back in touch with Ruby, and though we're separated by a great distance and neither can really travel, if it's possible it will be me trying to journey by train to see her if time doesn't beat us both.
What Am I Not Getting?
I am enjoying reading about the emotions and meaning that Moment of Surrender has had on so many different people (particularly enjoyed Eno's recollection of the recording sessions), but I must admit that I have been baffled by the popularity of this song since the album's release. To my ears, the drums are far too similar to those on So Cruel (a stunning, devastating work) and I just can't get past this feeling of self-plagiarism on the part of the band every time I listen to it. Moment of Surrender has become one of those rare U2 songs I skip. For me, Unknown Caller is the soul-searching, poignant, deeply emotional "heart" of the album. It is just lovely. The idea that God would send a lifeline to a lost soul through the perfect epitome of modern communication, the cell phone, is brilliant. It strikes a nerve in me.
It made me believe everyone deserves lif
Back in 2010, I was going through a really tough time. This might seem stupid, but I hadn't gone after a girl in a while because I just didn't have a romantic attraction to anyone up until that point. Things were really going great. She even admitted to having the same feelings for me, and eventually a year passed. Out of the blue, he decided to let me know we were done by going out with another guy (BEFORE officially telling me we were done). When she DID officially let me know, her words were (and not even to me, I had to find out from a mutual friend) "I thought we were ALREADY over." Honestly I thought we were going to last a long time. I couldn't do anything, mentally or physically. It just really hurt. That's when I first heard Moment of Surrender. I decided to clean up my place after having been a slob for the past few weeks. I recently got Horizon and decided to play it while I cleaned. Moment of Surrender came on, and somehow - in conjunction with One and Streets - helped me put it behind me. While cleaning my place, it helped me clean my mind and soul, as corny as that is. This song will forever be one of my favorite and most important ones as long as I live.
Thought provoking!
This is one of the most thought provoking songs ever. I can think of several times where "the moment of surrender" has been reached in my life. It causes you to change the way you think and perspective. That is totally therapeutic and refreshing. The song has its a deep but uplifting rhythm that calls for the soul to be released from control. Beautiful lyrics!!!
Interesting song with great lyrics.
I wasn't sure what to think of the track when I first heard it but I liked it. I started to see the meaning of the song as time went on. I wasn't to relate to the lyrics as much but theres a line that goes "I did not notice the passers by and they did not notice me" was something I did relate to cause I've spent alot of time alone. The best performance of the song I think was during Saturday Night Live I started to like the song a lot more after that.
A slow burner....
I have to admit that Moment did not really get me too excited for the longest time. Then, like many U2 tracks that don't grab me right away in some way, it clicked. There's just something about a profound moment occurring in the most mundane of settings.
My hidden treasure.
Something I love about U2 is that is always full of surprises. I have been a fan of U2 since its inception and every song evokes stages of my life. I think that every album has a hidden treasure, a treasure that every fan must seek. My hidden treasure in "No Line On the Horizon" is definitely "ll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight". This beautiful song has come to me as a cool breeze in the summer. Definitely among my all-time favorites.
Just epic
this songs bring u2 to the brink of the best song ever made without being released......they should have released this song from the edge guitar playing to the magic of bono's vocals....this is a amazing song and shows us that they are still at there best as a band.I tied myself with wire to let the horses run free....amazing lyrics amazing song amazing live....U2 have to release this song come on guys make it go global and all proceeds to the one campain......
It's a beautiful, moving song, but it's the improvised rap that Bono added live that made me fall in love with it.
It's too good...
I can't put into words what it does. It's that Graceful. Grabs you like no other song can. I would say Moment of Surrender and Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own are songs that tear you apart inside in the most satifying ways. Now all I need is Mercy to Complete the Trifecta
M O S Don’t leave me now ..... Alone in
this is Definitevely MyU2 FAV SONG of the last 20 Years ; )))) Everything is PERFECT on this song And N L O H is A Classic U2Album like AB or JT , period ! If Wish They could play it Again as a closer -Perfect closer- on the next TOURS .... Life is short It’s the longest thing you’ll ever do The worst of the curse Was that your dreams came true God is a mirror in which each man sees himself God is a place where you don’t need any help When I first met you, your face was like snow What about wherever you wanted to go Your face, your grace, your lipstick trace Your case as you put it down 8.17 on the ground Your faith in a clown Don’t leave me now Don’t leave me now Alone in the song Don’t leave me now Alone in the song
Had me hooked the first time
The first time I listened to NLOTH all I could think about was how Moment lept out as the best track. Now, I quickly fell in love with Breath, then the rest of the album. But Moment Of Surrender never wavered in its appeal for me. It was an excellent closer for the 360 tour. Too bad the radio stateions look past this one for air play.
Not a very good track
I love U2 but I'm afraid this song is an overlong and dreary affair that has to be skipped over when listening to the album. I know U2 put high importance on the 3rd track on an album but if we look back at previous songs that have occupied this position, then Moment of Surrender is way out of kilter. The likes of One and With or Without You had one thing in common apart from great lyrics - that being a great tune. Moment of Surrender just ain't got the music to be held in this regard, or to be in such a prominent position on an albyum
Moment of Surrender
My polaroid moment, Bono would say with this song: Last concert in La Plata, Argentina, it had been raining hard but when the concert had to start there was no more rain...a magical start. It was the last song, I knew it was my time to say goodbye to the band and the tour that had kept me for 3 days in heaven... When the first chords started, I started to cry and my eyes got blurred so I decided to get out of the circle. I was alone and crying and singing the song at the top of my voice... Edge moved to the back to play keyboards and for a fraction of seconds, I guess ,we made eye contact... I was another magical moment with a magical song... Last thing I remembered one of the technicians gave me the setlist.. Yes that was my Moment of Surrernder...
It makes me cry!
From the first time I heard this song it touched me so deeply, the longing , yearning , the sadness . Its U2 wearing their hearts on their sleeves. for me there is a terrible sense of despair and loneliness in this song , its about our journey through life and finally death. I love it and thank U2 for this timeless classic
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