What does Total Eclipse of the Heart mean?

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Bonnie Tyler: Total Eclipse of the Heart Meaning

Covered By: Glee Cast, Chloe Kohanski (2017)

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Total Eclipse of the Heart Lyrics

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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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    Jan 4th, 2015 1:18pm report

    To me the song is about a very strong love between a man and a woman and he doesn't understand her battle with depression. He gives her the will to live, but he is emotional distant because he fears her depression. This causes a rift in the relationship. He is unable to get her through her dark times. This scares her and she knows she needs to leave him if she's going to survive. She hopes he will be there when she hits bottom, but knows he won't. Maybe the "Turn around Bright Eyes" is him remembering her before the depression took over her life.


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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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    Apr 9th, 2011 4:30pm report

    Here is what it means to me.

    I fell in love with the love of my life at a young age. We were wild and crazy about each other. Wild love. Wild life.

    then we were married. Had kids.
    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. (boredom in marriage)

    turnaround, every now and then I get a
    little bit nervous that the best of all the years have gone by. (boredom, marriage/kids)

    turnaround, every now and then I get a
    little bit terrified and then I see the look in your eyes.
    (he is the love of my life with his love, and his bright eyes)

    turnaround bright eyes, every now and
    then I fall apart
    (fall apart with all the stress.. Fall apart with one look in his eyes/love)

    turnaround, every now and then I know
    you'll never be the boy you always you wanted to be
    (he's never going to be the pro baseball player he wanted to be when we were kids)

    turnaround, every now and then I know
    you'll always be the only boy who wanted me the way that I am
    (it was love at first sight; he loved me as the crazy girl I am)

    turnaround, every now and then I know
    there's no one in the universe as magical and wonderous as you
    (he is the love of my life)

    turnaround, every now and then I know
    there's nothing any better and there's nothing I just wouldn't do
    (i'd never marry anyone but him!!)

    and I need you now tonight
    and I need you more than ever
    and if you'll only hold me tight
    we'll be holding on forever
    (because, at night, when i'm scared, or lonely because maybe something went wrong during the day or i'm stressed with bills or with life, I know I need him ore than ever; and when he is holding me tight, all our problems magically go away!)

    and we'll only be making it right
    cause we'll never be wrong together
    we can take it to the end of the line
    your love is like a shadow on me all of the time I don't know what to do and i'm always in the dark
    we're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks I really need you tonight
    forever's gonna start tonight
    forever's gonna start tonight
    (so no matter what happens, your love is like a shadow on me; and I need you, tonight and always)

    once upon a time I was falling in love
    but now i'm only falling apart
    there's nothing I can do
    a total eclipse of the heart
    once upon a time there was light in my life
    but now there's only love in the dark
    nothing I can say
    a total eclipse of the heart
    (the total eclipse is: once I was young and naive and there was only light and happiness; now there is like a magical eclipse; love in the dark; needed love; always love; it is a total eclipse of my heart; not a bad thing, just a realization of the need fulfilled!)


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    Oct 17th, 10:17pm report

    Plain and simple. A woman who can’t get what she needs from a man. Thinking she could love him into what she needs from him but he’s just not capable.


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    Aug 29th, 8:21pm report

    Total eclipse of the heart is the heart wrenching lament of a confused soul. It illustrates the terror and confusion of a person who after being madly in love for many years discovers that her feelings start to fade. She still wants to love her partner, who reawakened her will to live and granted her the best years of her life, yet she can not fight the feelings starting to fade. She has discovered her love is fading, yet she still wants to love him. Her heart is eclipsed with these feelings of confusion. Once upon a night there was light in her life, now it is just a love falling into the darkness. She does not know what to do, torn between her will to love him while she knows she can not love him anymore. She is going mad with emotion, living in a powder keg, resulting in a mental collapse giving off spark.


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    Aug 21st, 8:52pm report

    Meaning of this song to me: It's about true unconditional love. Sometimes as a couple gets older they are together emotionally but not physically. Women need that closeness, the hugging, the squeezes along with the words. The true love is always there, there is no real separation. That is why the words: “Your love is like a shadow on me all of the time.” And one day, when we both have left this world, we will be together forever. Like the words say: “And I need you now tonight. And I need you more than ever, And if you'll only hold me tight, We'll be holding on forever.”


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    Aug 21st, 8:59pm report

    He is an alcoholic.


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    Aug 8th, 8:46pm report

    ("once apon a time there was light in my life, but now theres only love in the dark.") "light in my life" she used to be happy with someone, but "love in the dark" now shes just sleeping with random men to get over him .


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    Aug 1st, 8:09pm report

    I think it is about a mother who lost her son when he was very young. Even though time has passed she is overcome with heart wrenching grief. She feels it at night in the dark and she is begging him to come to her one more time to hold him, thinking it will be enough. And as a child he had bright eyes as all children do, and with his death he couldn't become the boy he wanted to be. Then in those later years, to fill the void she teaches at a private school for boys who still had brightness in their eyes.


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    Jul 26th, 7:37am report

    I read a response on there which said that the music video and lyrics are unrelated. I disagree. The music video, in my view, always provides clues to the meaning of a song.

    Clearly, this is a song about a teacher, principal, or other school official who is in love with a student, but can never act on this love because it's inappropriate for someone in her position. So this "boy" is a fantasy she's manufactured in her mind, and her desire is to have a relationship with him, but due to the inappropriateness of such a relationship, her love can only be in the dark, that is, in her dreams. So the thought of this boy haunts her, and it's a shadow over her heart.


    James Snowden II
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    Feb 14th, 2017 2:27am report

    The song is a vampire love song. The original title for this was vampires in love.

    Steinman said in an interview with Playbill:

    with Total Eclipse of the Heart, I was trying to come up with a love song and I remembered I actually wrote that to be a vampire love song. Its original title was Vampires in Love because I was working on a musical of Nosferatu, the other great vampire story. If anyone listens to the lyrics, they're really like vampire lines. It's all about the darkness, the power of darkness and love's place in dark..


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    Feb 3rd, 2017 2:48pm report

    The lyrics are meant to be taken literally and the song is about vampires in love. Not joking. "Once upon a time there was light in my life, now there's only love in the dark."


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    Jun 25th, 2016 6:53am report

    I don't know what it means but I know that I literally cry every time I hear this song. I want to know what that means.


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    Nov 28th, 2015 11:33am report

    It's obviously about the sordid love affair between the limo driver and Miss Daisy. She's always telling him to "turn around," sometimes when they're driving, live "turn around, I forgot to feed the cats," and other times in the sheets, like "turn around, it's uncomfortable like that for me." She knows the love can't last, that's why she gets sad sometimes.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Mar 12th, 2015 3:08am report

    I think that this song had no meaning whatsoever. This was the 80's. They were seriously coked up. Watch the video. There is absolutely no correlation to anything on the song that is happening in the video.
    this was just some song created to make money because the tune is catchy. If you really think there is a deeper meaning then you are on drugs as well.


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    Jan 20th, 2015 1:23am report

    They are married and part of her deeply loves him but the other part of her wants to leave the married. She feels lonely and in the dark because he cannot meet her needs. He is not there for her most of the time but he still gives her hope of happiness during the few moments they have together which he shows that he still have feelings for her. She knows she needs more than that and she knows he does not love her as much as she loves him. She knows she is not happy in the relationship but that few moments that she still gets to be with him make her stay. She is lonely and she is afraid at the same time and does not know what to do because her life revolves around him and trying to make him love her. She was happy once in the past with him before she realizes he did not care about her like he should and that's why she talks about the eclipse of the heart, because now she is living in the dark.


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    Oct 24th, 2014 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, 2014 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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