Larry Mullen refered to it as an Irish drinking song.
Isaac Lee icleeucdavis.edu (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)
For me this song is about a person who forgets the real sense of life (to say he forgets about the real important thing of life like love or some things you can't buy with money) while trying to get more and more power and view about the whole word and trying to put the world in your pocket.
Ingrid Petzer ingrid_petzerblackbox.at (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)
Unless I'm mistaken, Dali refers to a Spanish surrealist artist. His most famous painting is the one with the melting clocks set against a desert landscape.
Angelina cutevioletcheerful.com ( 5:th of December 2002)
This song is about a man who got drunk the night before and just realized that he's in love, and he's "tryin' to throw his arms" around this big concept, as it has hit him out of nowhere. He wakes up the next morning and wants to run to his girlfriend to tell her what he's learned. However, when he tries to tell her what he's figured out, his drunken state has him recount his discovery in a surreal, rambling dialogue, and his girlfriend has no idea what he's trying to say. But he thinks what he's saying makes sense and that he's telling her how he feels. The last verse describes how he finishes telling her, but that his woman has no use for what he's saying when he's drunk and incoherent. He'll have to tell her again later when he's sober. Videos of U2 playing this song on the ZOO TV Tour illustrate this point. When played live, Bono would grab a bottle of champagne and dance with a girl from the audience.
Jonathan Lemon jonathanlemoncox.net ( 3rd of October 2007)
Bono in a 1992 interview with Honor: Tryin' is a cautionary tale about the spiritual emptiness of sexual promiscuity. The main character is trying to sleep with anyone he can get his hands on...or trying to throw his arms around the world.
Paul pkzachariasgmail.com (26th of January 2012)