This song is about the Zoological Gardens in the middle of Berlin, which was a train station and hangout for "societies' undesirables".
Isaac Lee icleeucdavis.edu (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)
In that song, set as the first track in the AB album, is the introduction (for the fans) into the new u2 style. Infact the song deals of a train (the time that passes also for u2) which take them (the u2) to another station, a new destination (their new music style). The verses time is a train...leaves you standin in the station, your face pressed up against the glass should explain that after the JT success and the RandH critics they had to move in other directions or they would have disappeared.
Ettore Mongelli vito.mongelliba.nettuno.it (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)
This song is about being ready for the future. It's about the struggles and problems they had after the Rattle and hum album. The main question after Rattle was; what are we going to do next? Well, this is what it is, Achtung Baby! and Zoo Station, a train/metro-station in Berlin, is were it starts, look in the album-book and you can see a metromap in the background. You need to know that the intro guitar-sound of Even better than the real thing is the same as the sound you hear when the doors of the metro close in Berlin and the metro in Berlin/Germany is called U-Bahn which means that there is a metro called U-Bahn 2, U2, who stops at the Zoo Station.
Lex Vermazen lexvermazenwanadoo.nl (19:th of June 2001)
There's a book Kids from the ZOO station (I'm not sure if the title is correct in english)written by a teenage girl Christianne F.She's a girl who became a 14 (or 16,don't remember-read the book a long time ago) year old heroin addict,as well as her year older boyfriend Detlef.The time is the late `70-es,the place is East Berlin.It's a shocking story about a large number of kids doing anything to get some money for a shot (selling everything of value at first,being a thief and a prostitute at the end,no matter girl or boy),about lots of them trying to be cured (Christianne made it,still lives in Germany)and larger number of them who died (her boyfriend,and some of her best girl-friends). Since Achtung baby was recorded in Berlin,the title of the song and every lyric sort of ``told" me that Bono read the book.Those kids were so enthusiastic when they started a trip from marihuana to heroin ---``...ready to let go of this steering wheel....";and at the end only a couple of them made it.If you can,read the book,and you'll find so many things that relate the song to it,and again speaks about the stupidity of throwing your life away by using drugs.
Goran Vinovrski vino_rudaryahoo.com (22:nd of June 2001)
Jonas Steverud (Maintainer of U2MoL) (contributed at an unknown date)
I have always felt this song as an alarm clock ringing, in a way. The intro starts exactly like an alarm bell. First with just a simple noise, but then more and more noises are being added on (like an alarm, where it often starts quiet but then grows more and more noisy as it continues, in case you don't wake up). Also, in the end of the Zoo Station version played in the 3rd Dublin night '93 Bono says "time to get up now" which made me think about the alarm clock again. As stated above, this song is an introduction to the new style of U2. It is the alarm call for waking up and seeing U2 as a different band then during the JT time.
Max Luthander maxluthanderhotmail.com (10th of March 2009)