The Cedars of Lebanon

The Cedars of Lebanon Lyrics by U2

The Cedars of Lebanon is written by U2 and is from the No Line on The Horizon album. Bono is probably touching on the Cedar Revolution. It may also be referencing the book of Isaiah from the Bible.

Cedars of Lebanon Lyrics:

Yesterday I spent asleep
Woke up in my clothes in a dirty heap
Spent the night trying to make a deadline
Squeezing complicated lives into a simple headline

I have your face here in an old Polaroid
Tidying the children’s clothes and toys
You’re smiling back at me
I took the photo from the fridge
Can’t remember what then we did

I haven’t been with a woman, it feels like for years
Thought of you the whole time, your salty tears
This shitty world sometimes produces a rose
The scent of it lingers and then it just goes

Return the call to home

The worst of us are a long drawn out confession
The best of us are geniuses of compression
You say you’re not going to leave the truth alone
I’m here ‘cos I don’t want to go home

Child drinking dirty water from the river bank
Soldier brings oranges he got out from a tank
I’m waiting on the waiter, he’s taking a while to come
Watching the sun go down on Lebanon

Return the call to home

Now I’ve got a head like a lit cigarette
Unholy clouds reflecting in a minaret
You’re so high above me, higher than everyone
Where are you in the cedars of Lebanon

Choose your enemies carefully ‘cos they will define you
Make them interesting ‘cos in some ways they will mind you
They’re not there in the beginning but when your story ends
Gonna last with you longer than your friends

no line cover album u2

We do know the Edge plays exceptionally well on Get Out of Your Own Way, a track from Songs of Experience.


Anonymous said...

"Cedars of Lebanon" is also a biblical reference from the book of Isaiah. Not saying your suggestion is incorrect, but just trying to supplement it.

JJ said...

Cheers, have added to main post.

Anonymous said...

Cedar of Lebanon was important to various civilizations. The trees were used by the ancient Phoenicians for building trade and military ships, as well as houses and temples. The Egyptians used its resin for mummification, and its sawdust was found in pharaohs' tombs. The Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh designates the cedar groves of Lebanon as the dwelling of the gods to where Gilgamesh ventured. They once burned cedar in their ceremonies. Jewish priests were ordered by Moses to use the bark of the Lebanon Cedar in circumcision and treatment of leprosy. Isaiah used the Lebanon Cedar as a metaphor for the pride of the world. According to the Talmud, Jews once burned Lebanese cedar wood on the Mount of Olives to announce the new year. Kings far and near requested the wood for religious and civil constructs, the most famous of which are King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem and David's and Solomon's Palaces. It was also used by Romans, Greeks, Persians, Assyrians and Babylonians.

Anonymous said...

The cedards of lebannon are also mentioned in Psalm 29:5 -

5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

...and Psalm 104:16 -

16 The trees of the LORD are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.

In Psalm 29, David is refering to the strength of the cedars and that he witnessed the 'voice of God' spliting these massive trees.

In Psalm 104, it's noted that God planted the cedars, waters them and provides shelter for animals in these trees. It states that God made the earth suitable for all forms of life and that God can cause things to flourish and grow without the care of man.

Considering that U2 formed from members of a church youth group in Ireland, it's helpful to keep these points in perspective in deciphering the deeper, intentional meaning of these lyrics.

Optimus Prime said...

This post is getting very seedy....

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to the war reporter explaining his life as he brushes the sweat off of his brow?

When did moses transport himself to enemy lines? I think the song may have some religious significance but on the surface it is about a war and how it is tearing up families and people......

Choose your enemies carefully coz' they will define you.......

Anonymous said...

idiot. don't you see. this is just what Bono is shouting out: the Truth. stop disguising the Truth.

This U2 site serves to simply collect the lyrics to U2's album, No Line on the Horizon, and to share U2 news and views! Lyrics will be corrected following the official release of the album. Your thoughts and ideas on them are very welcome in the Rattle and Hum comment section.