When I first heard Moment Of Surrender I didn’t like it. For a long while it was a track I would skip when listening to No Line, thinking it was a little boring. I don’t think it was until I heard the live version on the U22 release that I stopped and said “huh,” and started listening to it a little more closely. At that point I began liking the song, and switched back to the album version to listen to that. Since then the song has risen dramatically in my estimation, getting itself up to the heights of U2. I guess that’s the power of U2 live, they can change your opinion about anything. I can also remember seeing this song live in concert and loving it, maybe that was actually the turning point instead of hearing it on the live album. Pretty sure I didn’t take my phone out and hold it up (although again I might have).
I admit again that I didn’t know the point of the song, not understanding many of the lyrics. For example the opening line, “I tied myself with wire,” is this a drug reference (since the song is supposed to be about a drug addict falling off the wagon again)? I don’t know enough to know that. But Bono describes the song as such. The next line, “playing with the fire until the fire played with me” has a definite ring of the kinds of things that people say about drugs.
“It’s not if I believe in love, but love believes in me,” is a great line, and a part of the religiousness of the song. It goes to the old saying that it doesn’t matter if you believe in God, because he believes in you. Other religious points include the fact that this is supposed to be a kind of hymn, which you can definitely hear in the song. I also like the turn of phrase that goes with the subway and going “through the stations of the cross.”
I have several mis-hearings within this song. Spinning on the subway is what I always thought it was, instead of speeding. One of the key lines in the song, “At the moment of surrender, of vision over visibility,” I thought Bono was saying “A vision of invisibility,” and I kind of both liked and was confused by that. I have to say that vision over visibility is much more interesting. Then the next line is “Counting down ’til the pentecost,” and my version is “counting down ’til the pain was lost,” which although somewhat mixed up in its’ tense, does I think sound better than their version of it.
I don’t like the line “I was punching in the numbers at the ATM machine.” I could point out the redundancy of the word machine in that sentence, but I won’t. Instead I’ll just say something I think I said once before, that Bono works best when he is being poetic and lyrical, and not when he tries to put in something literal, or mundane, like this. It has always stood out to me as a odd line compared to the rest of the song.
My rating for Moment Of Surrender: 8 / 10