"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 the live performance of 'The Electric Co.' from 1983's Under A Blood Red Sky, Bono sang a snippet of Stephen Sondheim's 'Send In The Clowns'. U2 had failed to get permission for this 27-second snippet and later agreed to pay a $50,000 penalty as well as removing the snippet from later pressings.