"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
In 1999, a bag holding personal papers and a laptop computer containing lyrics for the ATYCLB album was taken from Bono's car. Bono offered a reward of £2,000 for the return of the computer. An Irish man returned the laptop after having bought it for £300 thinking it was from a reputable source. He realised it was Bono's when he saw a picture of the singer's child Elijah Bob on the screen, prompting him to contact U2's management.