What does Total Eclipse of the Heart mean?

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Bonnie Tyler: Total Eclipse of the Heart Meaning

Total Eclipse of the Heart Lyrics

Turnaround, every now and then I get a
little bit lonely and you're never coming around
Turnaround, Every now and then I get a
little bit tired of listening to the sound of my tears
Turnaround, Every now and then I get a
little bit nervous...


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    Oct 24th, 10:12am report

    I took a much darker meaning. The boy she loved as a girl died, and she is still carrying on some kind of weird love affair with his memory. She doesn't hear him saying turn around because he is a ghost. This freaks me out because I woke up from a dream where I was hearing this song. I had to look it up because I hadn't heard it in ages.


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    Oct 13th, 10:42pm report

    I believe it is about a marriage and the woman is still very much in love, but the man is not; she is lonely because he's never around. She is very sad, and tired of being sad. Now she is passed her prime and feels she has wasted her youth on him and realizing he only was with her for sex. He was a hot shot in whatever he was good at when he was young, and he gave it all up for her. "Every now and then she gets a little terrified" because she made a mistake marrying someone wo doesn't love her. The only time she has any hope at all that he loves her anymore is when "she sees the look in his eyes", which means he wants to be with her and they make love, which gives her hope that part of him still loves her. But "every now and then [she] falls apart, and understands the reality of the situation and just wants to run away a
    nd start over. Of course being a woman, she is highly emotional, just wants him to hold her in his arms as she cries. Gets furious with him because he doesn't love her the way she loves him. They fight all the time because of this, "living in a powder keg and giving off sparks." The make up sex is so great, it gives her hope, and in the musky darkness she can fiol herself into believing everything will be okay. Then he leaves and the reality sets in that there is only "love in the dark."


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    Apr 14th, 2014 4:02pm report

    It's about true unconditional love. Sometimes people can't be together for whatever the reason might be. It doesn't matter what the reasons are. The true love is always there, there is no real separation. That is why the love is like a shadow on me all of the time. There is always a pull, they can call each other telepathically. It's the twin flame. The other half. And one day, whether in this dimension or the next, forever will begin.


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    Oct 21st, 2013 10:20am report

    It's interesting to see the different interpretations.
    I believe it's about true love, magical, the perfect match made from heaven. Yet there are insecurities, distance, carnal thinking, which is stopping the man from taking the next step. He does love her, but he lets the distance, money matters, doubt, stop him from going further. It's tearing her apart, because he can't make the next step.
    They will always love each other.


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    Sep 22nd, 2013 9:16am report

    In my opinion, at the beginning of their relationship, the love was mutual but after a while, the guy slowly began drifting away, distancing himself from the woman, but she was still in love with him so even though he seemed like he didn't want her, he kept on keeping her hopes up with the way he looked at her. Therefore, she still had hope. She felt the desperate need to feel loved by him and so she felt lonely and in the dark. That is my interpretation of the song.


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    Apr 11th, 2012 4:57pm report

    actually this song Comes from a book called "Wuthering Heights". For those familiar with the book, its about Heathcliff and Catherine's love. "Your love is like a shadow on me all of the time" is about how even after Catherine is dead, Heathcliff still always feels her and is "Haunted" by her spirit. "We're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks"-that's like how even though they are both very open with their love, due to external situations, it isn't allowed to grow


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    Mar 28th, 2012 3:54am report

    This won't explain what Bonnie Tyler's version of the song means, but a little history may give you a few things to think about.

    The song was written by Jim Steinman, who's best known as Meat Loaf's longtime partner. In the late Sixties, Steinman composed a rock opera based on Roman Polanski's horror-comedy "The Fearless Vampire Killers." The song "Total Eclipse of the Heart" was a song from that musical. It was sung by the virginal heroine, who is trying hard to resist the seductive lead vampire of the show.

    ORIGINALLY, the essence of the song was, "I'm terrified of this vampire who's trying to seduce me and drink my blood... but at the same time, I'm sort of excited by the idea. I'm both horrified AND tempted by the idea of rejecting my religious values and giving in to this charming but evil man."

    Steinman wasn't able to get financing to put his vampire musical on Broadway, but he recycled the song (he does that a lot!), changed the lyrics a little, and turned it into a pop hit.

    P.S. About 10 years ago, Steinman got "Dance of the Vampires" to Broadway, with Michael Crawford (aka the Phantom of the Opera) as the star. It was a total flop.


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    Mar 28th, 2012 3:04am report

    Its more likely wanting something that impossible in relationship aka unrequited love. But they both love each other unconditionally. So, they let it go with the flow.



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    Mar 6th, 2012 3:54pm report

    My take is that it's about an extra-marital affair. He never comes around....because he's married, she gets nervous, then he gives her "the look" and she's okay again for a while. But...she has many lonely nights where all she can do is cry. I could go on and on, but it all points to "affair" for me.


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    Sep 27th, 2011 9:45am report

    I hope this helps to show a different side to what the lyrics could mean. I once watched a silent play to this song. It was about a girl falling for a guy that turned her to drinking and drugs. Her parents and friends try to help her, but she runs away because nobody supports her love for him. She becomes addicted. She'd worn out her excuses, resulting in everyone keeping a distance from her. Eventually the boyfriend too. This caused her to overdose and die. I think this song is about a toxic and addictive type of love that someone feels they need and can't live without.


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    Aug 1st, 2011 8:22pm report

    I think most of you have it right, although my thoughts on the songs meaning might have a darker taboo.

    She is a teacher that falls in love with a student and has an affair .. i think somewhere along the lines something happens to that student and he dies (suicide or accidental) .. you see the church choir and the boy fly up to her towards the ending. Then at the very end, the boy is there running up, then the boy as a man with his eyes glowing (angel). He wants her to move past it and go on with her life. Total eclipse of the heart. Sometimes is hard to love again after a great loss. ... Perhaps I even have it wrong as a teacher/student relationship .. perhaps it was a relationship that started when they were young and in school ?? just my thoughts.


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    Aug 1st, 2011 8:20am report

    Love in marriage goes through ecclipses where it seems more distant but the commitment to stay and turn around is what causes it to grow to the next level. To me this song expresses the feelings during that journey through the hard times towards a brighter future.


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    Jul 30th, 2011 7:30pm report

    a lot of people on this forum are trying to match the video with the lyrics, but honestly, i reckon the two have absolutely NOTHING to do with eachother


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    Jul 11th, 2011 7:43am report

    She loves him, and she needs the love and support from him, but for either of them to truly get what they want out of life they can't be together.

    They stay together out of fear, and because they're comfortable together, rather than undying love. They both want to take the chance, but neither can bring themselves to hurt the other or to take the chance on their own.


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    May 16th, 2011 5:38pm report

    I agree and when he says to her turn around bright eyes he's saying he still loves her and it's gonna be okay.

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