this song is about a girl bono knew named julie. she's the daughter of a wealthy lawyer in new york, who ended up moving to ireland and becoming involved in the same bible group u2 were in. she later became involved with pod, a roadie for u2 at the time, the "john" in the song.
katie duncan nick_tiger_babyyahoo.com (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)
Bono at Lancaster University War Tour, 2nd of March 1983, during the War Tour: Some people have accused me at times of climbing up on a soap box. I have no time for soap boxes. This is a song about failure. It is a song called I Fall Down.
Jonas Steverud (Maintainer of U2MoL) (26th of February 2008)