"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
On tour in Australia in the autumn of '89 Larry had told Bono that if this is what it meant for U2 to be superstars, he didn't like it. It was one of the reasons for the musical and artistic revolution in the nineties.