I think the best interpretation for the song "Desire" would be in the realization that the term "desire" has double (multiple) meanings. One possible meaning is its literal sense, that is, as a term that could be replaced with "greed" which seems to be the focus of the final stanza, For love or money, money... Then of course there is the metaphorical sense of the term which could be interpreted as a distinct representation of the section in New Orleans, Louisiana known as "Desire". (...where the bright lights and the big city meet) Drugs, gangs, and poverty are dominant here. In this sense the song addresses the overall breakdown of the "inner-city" social structure. This is best illustrated in the lines, Over the counter with a shotgun, pretty soon, everybody got one. Additionally, an item which seems to further validate this interpretation is the use of "she" throughout the song. This "she" doesn't seem to refer to a person, rather, metaphorically to a place. That place, I believe, is "Desire."
George W. Staten statenruraltel.net (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)
I think Bono and the Edge wrote this song to basically embody the vices in big cities (i.e. New York, Vegas, etc.), and why people choose to indulge in them ("For love or money, money...) This is made clearer in the Zoo TV performances of Desire, where Bono's Mirrorball Man Persona further shows these self-indulgent characteristics ("I believe in love!Yes I believe in love!Love!Money!Love!...")
EddyJWeirdo edweirdorocketmail.com (13th of February 2009)