One man come in the name of love (song lyric)

italy italian
Hi everybody!
I'd like to ask you a question. I've found in a U2's song these words:

One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come, he to justify...

I can't understAnd the verbs...why there's "a man COME" instead of "a man COMES"?
Thanks for yuor help...and forgive my bad english!
  • italy italian
    Caspita...non mi è proprio passto per la testa il congiuntivo, pensavo a qualche strana regola...stavo impazzendo!!
    Grazie ancora e ciao.


    Senior Member
    English (American)
    Very few English speakers would recognize it as subjunctive. As an AE speaker, I had thought it was an Irish eccentricity -- or just plain poetic license. ;)



    Senior Member
    Ma non potrebbe essere il participio passato??:confused:

    Un uomo venuto... E' vero che poi "one man come and go" sarebbe complicato da spiegare, però poi nel testo dice "one man caught on a barbed fire fence, one man washed on an empty beach, one man betrayed with a kiss". E in questi casi non si potrebbe certo parlare di congiuntivo...


    Senior Member
    Argentina - Spanish
    I didn't know that the subjuntive tense exists in English.
    Does it exist?

    I have met loads of American students of Spanish, and they told me that learning the subjuntive is very difficult for them because they don't use it in English.

    But perhaps exists even they don't use it often.... Io non lo so...

    It exists but it is less frequent than in other Romance languages, such as Spanish, French, Italian....
    It exists only for the present tense; only the verbe "to be" has a past subjonctive : it's "were", like in "If I were you..." = se fossi in te.
    Some examples:
    He demanded that he not be disturbed.
    It is necessary tha you be present at the meeting.

    However, in BE, should is more frequently used in this kind of sentences.
    And you can also find the simple present (familiar) :
    It is necessary that you are present.....

    There are also certain expressions, like :
    If need be.....Se necessario
    Come what may.....sia quel che sia
    USA, English
    Anche si usa il congiuntivo in inglese, pero secondo me, l'uso di questo modo e' piu sottile e meno esplisito in inglese. Un esempio del conguintivo in inglese sarebbe:

    "If I were a rich man"

    ma molte persone dicono "if I was a rich man" senza un pensiero. Mi sembra che il uso del congiuntivo sia practicamente voluntario. Man non sono sicuro perche' non sono un esperto della grammatica inglese. Tuttavia, sono molto sicuro che la grande maggioranza delle madrelingui inglesi non capiscono il signficato del conguintivo.


    Senior Member
    English (American)
    There are a number of threads about the subjunctive in English in the English Only forum. Please use the "search" function to find them. :)

    As for this song lyric, I'm still not convinced it's a conscious use of the subjunctive by U2, but that's the thing about lyrics -- they're open to multiple interpretations. :)



    Senior Member
    Italian, Neapolitan
    No, è veramente il congiuntivo, quello che si ritrova nelle espressioni tipo God bless/love you = Che Dio ti benedica.
    TrentinaNE said:
    As for this song lyric, I'm still not convinced it's a conscious use of the subjunctive by U2,
    I agree with Elisabetta. Interpreting that "come" as a subjunctive doesn't make sense in the context of the song lyrics. I agree with Sicanius. The man is Martin Luther King, who had "come in the name of love". U2 probably bent the rules of grammar to make the lyrics fit the music.

    As for "one man caught on a barbed wire fence" etc

    mishabe said:
    Ma non sono nemmeno dei 'past participles', sono dei 'simple past'.
    I don't think so. "A man betrayed with a kiss" is clearly "un uomo tradito con un bacio", isn't it?


    Senior Member
    Ma non sono nemmeno dei 'past participles', sono dei 'simple past'.
    Com'è stato detto, potrebbero esserci diverse interpretazioni. Ma come fai a dire che non possono essere "past participles"?

    Se fossero "simple past" avrebbero un significato attivo, e invece qui mi sembra abbastanza chiaro che abbiano un significato aggettivale, di participio appunto:
    -one man come in the name of love = un uomo venuto nel nome dell'amore
    -one man come here to justify = un uomo venuto qui per giustificare
    -one man caught on a barbed wire fence = un uomo sopreso/catturato (ha sopreso/catturato??) ad una recinzione dal filo tagliente
    -one man washed on an empy beach = un uomo lavato (??ha lavato??) su una spiaggia vuota
    -one man betrayed with a kiss = un uomo tradito (??ha tradito??) con un bacio

    Ovviamente questo è solo una mia interpretazione!
    italy italian
    First, thank you all for your help...
    Well, I was thinking about Sicanius' interpretation...
    It seems quite good, but..."one man come and go"? why GO instead of GONE?
    :confused::eek: (don't kill me,...ihihi!!!!)

    Sir James

    New Member
    Listen to yourselves. It's as if you never heard a song that does this. That is go against "the rules" for sake of the sound of the song. One person here got right however, it's known as a poetic license. It's as simple as that. Every lyrical artists has one. One should pay attention the song's message and not how it is or isn't grammatically correct. I, myself, would never write a piece of literature (unless I'm trying to capture the essence of the way people in a certain area speak, slang, double negatives and the like) that was grammatically incorrect, but for a song I would definitely consider it.

    Be well all.

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