"Turn To Stone" as written by and Jeff Lynne....
The city streets are empty now
(The lights don't shine no more)
And so the songs are way down low

A sound that flows into my mind
(The echoes of the daylight)
Of everything that is alive
(In my blue world)

I turn to stone when you are gone
I turn to stone
I turn to stone, when you comin' home
I can't go on

The dying embers of a night
(A fire that slowly fades 'till dawn)
Still glow upon the wall so bright (turning, turning)

The tired streets that hide away
(From here to everywhere they go)
Roll past my door into the day
In my blue world

I turn to stone when you are gone
I turn to stone
I turn to stone, when you comin' home
I can't go on

Turn to stone when you are gone
I turn to stone

Yes, I'm turnin' to stone
'Cause you ain't coming home
Why ain't you comin' home
If I'm turnin' to stone
You've been gone for so long
And I can't carry on
Yes, I'm turnin', I'm turnin'
I'm turnin' to stone

The dancing shadows on the wall
(The two-step in the hall)
Are all I see since you've been gone (turning, turning)

Through all I sit here and I wait
(I turn to stone, I turn to stone)
You will return again some day
To my blue world

I turn to stone when you are gone
I turn to stone
I turn to stone, when you comin' home
I can't go on

I turn to stone when you are gone
I turn to stone

I turn to stone when you are gone
I turn to stone
Turn to stone, when you comin' home
I can't go on

I turn to stone when you are gone
I turn to stone


Lyrics submitted by Kenobi65

"Turn to Stone" as written by Jeff Lynne

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Turn To Stone song meanings
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22 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentIt's 1982, and I'm playing Dungeons and Dragons over at my friend Leon's house. My character got petrified (turned to stone) by a basilisk. Although the effect got reversed, I spent a good chunk of the game unable to do anything, so it was a frustrating evening. As I got into my car to drive home at the end of the night, this song (of course!) was on the radio...
    Kenobi65on July 08, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe meaning of the song is relatively straightforward. The love of his life has left him and he remains miserable hoping that she will return some day. The melody of this song is beautiful and resonates a style that is distinctively ELO. Even if you heard another band play it you would recognize it as an ELO song. The brilliance of the song is not in its simplistic meaning, it is found in the poetry of the lyrics, and the craft in which this melancholy feeling is conveyed to the listener.

    He begins by explaining his emptiness and how his world has gone dim. He uses the imagery of the city streets being empty and the lights not shining any more. The sadness and lost of zest for life are, "the songs that are way down low". These thoughts keep turning and turning around in his head.

    He contrasts these sad thoughts with faint memories of the good times he had with her in the past. The memories of the past, of "everything that is alive", are the "sounds that flow into his mind". These memories are faint, occurring within the background of the more intense sadness, which is why they are only "echos of the daylight". This is his current condition, the condition of being in his "blue world".

    His love for her still burns like a fire, but the torment he goes through each day is worst at night and begins to fade by dawn. This subtle insight will ring true for anyone who has experience love loss. He uses this romantic phrase "the dying embers of the night" to capture this meaning.

    The next line, "still glows upon the wall so bright, burning, burning". Perhaps some time has passed and yet his passion for her still glows bright. I like the usage of the word burning here. In the previous verses he used turning, turning to mean the thoughts of sadness in his mind. Here he uses burning, burping to mean the torment of the heart. So this affair affects both heart and mind and it is all consuming.

    "The tired street hat hide away, from here to everywhere they go. Roll past my door into the day". In the night he goes searching for her. At every turn and corner he does not find her so the streets look the same or tired. The search is endless but finally at daybreak the search leads him back home. This may not literally be a search on the physical streets, but more likely he is constantly imagining and scheming a way to get her back.

    Turn to Stone, the title and theme of the song, indicates a stone, an inanimate object, not alive. The will to live has left him and like a tone he's paralyzed to participate in living his life. On a different aspect, like a stone, he can make his heart hard, so that it is protected from being broken. His only salvation is that she returns. In a last ditch effort he doesn't give up hope and resolves that she "will return again some day." Meanwhile, he's still turning to stone.

    …so many poetic ways to convey a single feeling.
    junkkilliton June 07, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHoly shit Kenobi...that's an awesome story. I
    Egghead15229on August 07, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe singer's world has lost all meaning without his lover. He's simply waiting until the day she comes back.
    GhostmanXon June 25, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIts his dog whose left at home. im not going post the lyrics, but look at them. the first 2 verses, to me, don't seem to the perspective of a human. in between the 2nd and 3rd verse is that part where it seems to be a little frantic, which reminds me of when you have a dogs ball and he's giving you that "throw me the ball,throw me the ball,huh,huh,huh,o my god,huh,huh, throw me the ball" look. and the part about the dancing shadows on the wall, the two step in the hall. i picture the shadow of dog legs moving through a hall. thats my 2 cents, great song either way
    jessegtgton May 29, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Commentooooo k lol
    spacepirateon July 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthaha, Kenobi. Nice tie-in with the song, didn't see it at first. This should be the theme song for D&D players who get petrified. They play it whenever they get petrified and pester the other players by playing it over and over again.
    suclid003on January 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is a killer song, D&D aside. i love that verse near the end that's sung really fast and high by the chorus
    greatness
    cielsoion June 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"you will return again someday / to my blue world"

    A callback to "Shangri-La" I think.
    Duncan905on October 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a fantastic song if Medusa-y so myself. ;)

    Of course, it's about someone who feels that they cannot do anything with their partner gone.
    Zudrakon May 17, 2010   Link

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