I found this song to bear witness to the lingering doubts of the rock n' roll life and the threat of fame and ego. The protagonist is Sadie but could very well be Bono. It also displays the message that if any Christian wanted to live he would have to die and be re-born.
Marisa Daniel mld2dana.ucc.nau.edu (contributed before the 20:th of February 1998)
This song is about Bono asking God to go along and give in to sin. The city is portrayed as a thing that knows the singer personally and that attracts him. The city is light and bright in the night, this is very attractive to everybody. The song first portrays the city, then moves on to portray a prostitute (Sadie) who let go and gave in to the life of the city, because she couldn't find out why she was trying to be a good wife, raise a good family, lead a good life etc. She let it go and she is on the streets (prostituting?) and she meets the people we know (movie stars, famous Americans; they live in cities!). Now she finds herself on the 48th floor (penthouse of a wealthy person) to find out what she' living for. Both the first and second verses are ended with four times surrender, in the first verse it being the city which wants us to surrender to it and in the second verse it being Sadie who wants us to surrender to her (so that she can get what she's living for: love). The third verse moves on to portray the city again; Bono feels the city appeal to him. However he knows that the must die to himself someday to get eternal life. The third verse does not end with God asking us to surrender, but rather Bono asking God to surrender to him (Papa, papa sing my song) and to approve of Bono's surrender to the ways of the city.
Tim Tieleman tielemantstudent.northpark.edu (18:th of February 1999)