What does The Whole Of The Moon mean?

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The Waterboys: The Whole Of The Moon Meaning


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Song Released: 1985

The Whole Of The Moon Lyrics

I pictured a rainbow
You held it in your hands
I had flashes
But you saw the plan
I wandered out in the world for years
While you just stayed in your room
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
The whole of...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Dec 25th 2013 report

    I always thought it was about the comparison of two friends, one who saw the big picture of life and seemed to have attained great wisdom and insight, whilst actually doing nothing with their own life. While the other is desperate the for same wisdom and insight and tries to fulfill it by doing and seeing as much as they can, but no matter how hard they try, they still can't seem to see the big the picture.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Jun 8th 2011 report

    I always thought this song was about a person seeing the deep secrets and truths of reality that are obscure and unattainable to others. Like a mystic who has penetrated the veils and 'seen Brigadoon'while other mere mortals toil on in ignorance at 'the foothills'. The line that says 'I travelled the world- you just stayed in your room' is telling as it suggests that the real journey lies within. There are many mystical references throughout the song and I know Mike Scott is heavily influences by spirituality and would be be well versed in mystical writings. There are many symbolic and mystical references throughout the song with some fanciful fairy tale and mythical allusions as well. I read an article where Mike Scott said that the song was about admiring from a far a great musical genius like Jimi Hendrix whom he could never hope to emulate and could only stand in awe of. But I still prefer to think it has deeper ramifications.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Feb 8th 2014 report

    the whole of the moon, is one of my favourite songs, which has a profound meaning to me.

    I think the song is about bi-polar (manic depression)

    its about perception, like when it goes I saw the rain dirty valley, and you saw brigadune. its the manic phase you see more than is there. one lyric is. I was out in the world for years and you just stayed in your room, is depression. in mania you see things that aren't there, which are often euphoric. the biggest seller for me is the lyric,. you know how it feels to get to high, to far, to soon.

    I have bi-polar myself, and the song is how I feel when manic.

    the song also is heavily about perceptions, as most people see different things. it is just my interpretation.

    it is lyricly immense.

  4. anonymous
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    Jan 26th report

    I think its about love.
    One sided love.
    One peson is cautious cynical about love .Probaly been hurt so holds back the other is open to love.

  5. Jonjo_Shamen
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    Aug 20th 2020 report

    It's about you and I and our experience and appreciating that no ones experience is less valid than anothers!

  6. anonymous
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    May 16th 2020 report

    This is about optimism over pessimism. The person that sees the whole of the moon/ Brigadoon etc is the optimistic

  7. anonymous
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    Apr 14th 2020 report

    I think it is a spoiled friendship story of a kind that’s between two young men finding themselves and trying to figure out what themselves and life’s all about but with one at the heights of his confidence goes crashing down into a depression at the great sudden realisation that his new love and new discoverys of everything is not reciprocated or pleasurable . Told by the more grounded of the two .

  8. anonymous
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    Jan 20th 2020 report

    It’s about a person who has a spectacular, meteor-like rise, but burns out or dies young. Though the song ain’t about him, the nearest equivalent would be Hendrix.

    The group gave that response in an interview...

  9. anonymous
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    Dec 2nd 2019 report

    This song is about two gay dudes making sweet love. The bottom is the singer referring to the crescent (or curved) body part, and the top sees the whole (hole) of the moon (Butt). The bottom is not into his dirty valley but the top sees brigadoone. Came like a comet? Held a rainbow? I mean I’m pretty sure I’m right here.

  10. anonymous
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    Nov 17th 2019 report

    Absolutely adore the tune the words!!in my relationship I always want the rainbow the moon!!not the crescent!!❤️The words about how he see’s dirty river she or he see’s Brigoodoone !! Feel good when I hear this song!!!xxx

  11. anonymous
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    Nov 6th 2019 report

    I love this song after listening to it by the Waterboys and then by Fiona Apple.
    What resonated for me was that it was a comparison of how 2 people go through the journey of life. It felt like they were writing about that encounter with the one who just grabs hold of life, its gifts and runs with it. Special creatures who are very atypical of most who just stay in their room.
    The lyrics just blow me away. I love each line and it not only makes me look at my life but also Im curious as how others perceive me. I so want to be able to see the whole of the moon.

  12. anonymous
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    Nov 5th 2019 report

    You are entitled to your interpretation but I've actually explained it once.

    Without me doing it again it is quite straight forward.

    He realises the other person, a woman, get that, man woman relationship, has the qualities he doesn't.

    That's it.


    He admires those qualities but falls short of them as 99.999% of us do.

    He is not Picasso, Mozart or Messi and never will be. He realises there are bigger, better, bolder, brighter people in the world and that his efforts in comparison to be anything will fall far short of what others are capable of.

    And if you can't see that it's because you are the 99.9999%.

    That's Life …. now go boil the kettle not your head.

  13. anonymous
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    Nov 4th 2019 report

    I think it's a person letting go of what is expected of him , not carding he wants to chalange life!
    The person whos in the room is more controlled by fear and others opinions .
    He lives the life of what's expected of him rather than living his true self !

  14. anonymous
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    Sep 20th 2019 report

    For me ...me going to my mum and not realising after she had gone her knowledge...for the last verse...too soon.

  15. anonymous
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    Mar 19th 2019 report

    Am going with the bipolar disorder theory myself but it is open to many interpretations and lots of different meanings to everyone who listens to this wonderful song was ahead of it’s time in my opinion and yet still so relevant today brilliant lyrics brilliant song ...whole of the moon yeh baby ...

  16. anonymous
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    May 30th 2018 report

    I always thought it was about drugs. The one who stays in his room and sees things (acid) in the end they have burnt out too high too far too soon hinting at death, this was happening to a lot of young people at the time it was written.

  17. Mtndog28
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    Sep 10th 2017 report

    It has meant Emily Dickinson to me. She created incredible poetry, yet rarely left her house. He wandered around the world, yet she just stayed in her room. She sees these incredible visions and he fills his life running around looking for them.

  18. anonymous
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    Aug 29th 2017 report

    Not only the self criticism but negative comparison with others. Not satisfied with praising others it balances the self perceived low achievement against the considerably greater success of another person. It is admiring of them by comparing one's own lesser achievements. So is it about self or some one else? It is self.

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