"I wrote the lyric based on the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament. It’s a story of intellectual wanderlust. The preacher wants to find out the meaning of life and so he tries a bit of everything. He tries knowledge, educates himself, reads every book, but that doesn’t do it. He tries travel, sees every sight, but that doesn’t do it. He tries win, woman and song, that doesn’t do it. All he says, is vanity, vanity of vanities, striving after wind."
- Bono on The Wanderer
did you know
The Popmart stage design, which looked like a supermarket, appealed to Bono as a supermarket, with its myriad choices and temptations, could function as a metaphor for U2's songs, as they often deal with the struggle between desire and faith.