You're not being pedantic at all ... though that is a 5 EURO ($4 USD) word for a Sunday morning. When I was checking the authorship of the song, I was surprised to find entire web-sites devoted to how the song came about and what it means. The consensus seems to be that the band was feeling quite frustrated thinking that their creative juices had come to a standstill and were considering disbanding. Supposedly, Bono starting singing the words to the song and the rest of the band just sort of spontaneously joined in. Interestingly, "One," was the song on the album most despised by Brian Eno, the producer, and it turned out to be the most successful.
When you begin to delve into the song's meaning, there are quite a few theories that range from AIDS to the reunification of Germany to relationship troubles to a father/son conversation. Supposedly, Bono let on in an interview that it was about a father/son conversation.
I find the song very moving, particularly the lines ...
Love is a temple
Love the higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl.
I tend to like dramatic voices and thought that Neil Diamond, who is very underrated as a musician and vocalist (the glitter shirts probably don't help his case any) would produce a version on par with, if not better than, U2 or Johnny Cash. I would love to hear Rosanne Cash do a version of the song as well. Raul Malo's version might come off as too sweet and without edge, though he would do a great version of "Kentucky Rain" ... made famous by and I think written by Elvis Presley.
Best regards, Rich