"The Killing Moon" as written by Ian Stephen Mcculloch, William Alfred Sergeant, Leslie Thomas Pattinson and Peter Louis Vincent De Freitas....
Under a blue moon I saw you
So soon you'll take me
Up in your arms
Too late to beg you or cancel it
Though I know it must be the killing time
Unwillingly mine

Fate
Up against your will
Through the thick and thin
He will wait until
You give yourself to him

In starlit nights I saw you
So cruelly you kissed me
Your lips a magic world
Your sky all hung with jewels
The killing moon
Will come too soon

Fate
Up against your will
Through the thick and thin
He will wait until
You give yourself to him

Under a blue moon I saw you
So soon you'll take me
Up in your arms
Too late to beg you or cancel it
Though I know it must be the killing time
Unwillingly mine

Fate
Up against your will
Through the thick and thin
He will wait until
You give yourself to him

Fate
Up against your will
Through the thick and thin
He will wait until
You give yourself to him
You give yourself to him

Fate
Up against your will
Through the thick and thin
He will wait until
You give yourself to him
You give yourself to him

Fate
Up against your will
Through the thick and thin
He will wait until
You give yourself to him

Fate
Up against your will
Through the thick and thin
He will wait until
You give yourself to him

La la la la la


Lyrics submitted by numb

"The Killing Moon" as written by Leslie Thomas Pattinson Ian Stephen Mcculloch

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Killing Moon song meanings
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117 Comments

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  • +17
    General Commentthis song is about the moon becoming radioactive and killing everyone
    incuon May 08, 2004   Link
  • +7
    General CommentActually, according to Ian, the Killing Moon is about death "up in your arms to let to beg you or cancel it....." About fate up against your will. He says in Chris Adams new book "Torquoise Days: The Weird World of Echo and the Bunnymen" something to the effect that he always found it funny that people thought the Killing Moon was about two dudes kissing under a lamp post. No love song here people. Sorry to spoil it!
    NocturnalMeon October 11, 2002   Link
  • +7
    General CommentIts about death, how you have no control over it. I take the' give yourself to him' bit to be about giving yourself to god when you die. It fitted so well with Donnie Darko, especially when you think of what happened in the end.
    Luxieon May 04, 2003   Link
  • +6
    General CommentIt's unbelievable how only few people have can give a good interpretation to this lyrics. Taylor, that's interesting but you went too far.
    tuvia, I agree with you. A sensible interpretation. I just wanted to reafirm it.

    This song is obviously about death. Not only about passing away, but about the death, as character (you may call it god, fate or, preferably, the KILLING MOON), taking people away. In this case, the singer.
    Many of you did talk about death, but nobody realized that the whole song is about it and there's no one else on scene: only the singer and death.
    "Under blue moon I saw you / so soon you'll take me". It's obvious that He saw the death coming to take him in its arms. Now it's too late to beg. He will die anyway: its his killing time. Doesn't it fit perfectly?

    The rest goes like that. He doesn't want to die, but fate acts against his will.
    "He will wait until you give yourself to him". It is talking about fate. That's the only part of the song which is not very clear for me because if fate acts against your will, you should die anyway. So, fate won't wait anything: will just take him away. It's a little contradiction of these lyrics, which doesn't affect this song's beauty.
    ilanon January 15, 2005   Link
  • +4
    General CommentIan has told a few times what it's about (sorry to ruin debates with interview quotes, but that's being a true Bunnymen addict for you). It's about religion, about ignoring earthly pleasures and desires because of wanting to stay true to your religious believes. "He will wait until you give yourself to Him" - the He and Him is not some distant boyfriend or so, it's God. Ian has clearly confirmed this in several interviews, and it was also shortly mentionned in Turquoise Days, the EATB biograpghy. Apart from that I do adore the imaginary of this song: "your lips' magic world, the sky all hung with jewels" - you will rarely find a line more romantic than that. The video is also a must-see, deeply romantic yet somewhat macabre, showing Ian's face lit by the moon only. And last but not least, the sleeve pic for the old vinyl single shows a remote nocturnal rocky beach with a little boat drifting near the shoreline, all lit by only the moon. No picture could suit this song better.
    Cracked Pleasureson June 03, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIn the liner notes for the 2003 reissue of the 1984 Bunnymen album 'Ocean Rain' Ian (lead singer, just to let all you Bunnymen non-fans know) clearly states that "disguised within the veil of a love song is a song about pre-destiny." He also says "The chorus is key; it's about God rather than a woman..." That should clear things up.
    theEasySilenceon July 10, 2006   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningI'm all but certain this song is inspired by the play Bodas De Sangre (Blood Weddings) by Federico Garcia Lorca, or it is an overwhelming coincidence if not.

    I'll look at the verses first, then the chorus;

    The first verse, I think is about Death (Death appears as a beggar woman in the play) 'Under blue moon I saw you, so soon you'll take me up in your arms'

    The second verse is more about Leonardo's feelings for The Bride (In the play) - The Bride is to be married to a son of a wealthy family, but she has fallen in love with Leonardo, who returns her feelings. Due to the social outrage that would be caused if the Bride were to attempt a relationship with someone whose family is in such dire straits as Leonardo's, she must continue with the wedding. At the wedding, the two elope and flee to a nearby wood. However the moon and Death work together to let the Groom catch up with Leonardo and kill him. The moon shines brighter so that the Groom can achieve this, hence the song title.

    The chorus:
    Fate Vs Will is the main theme of the play, not just in Leonardo and the Bride's ill-fated romance, but also several other sub-plots of the play.
    MattofDerbyshireon January 29, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General CommentActually, Luxie, since just a little earlier the lyrics mention fate, I thought that the line "you give yourself to him" to be giving to fate.
    aphekqson May 07, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General Comment..this song was written nearly twenty years before Donnie Darko. It was a great British song of the mid-80s by a great British band. It is good that the song was used in the film Donnie Darko, however the song was known and highly regarded well before the film.
    The song captures the threshold of death and has one of Ian's best vocal perfromances.
    CharmingManon February 27, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti believe this song is about the story of jesus in the garden of gesthemene the night before his death. perhaps those of you that saw the passion of the christ recall the images of him looking up to the moon. it was the night of his arrest.....and he was betrayed with a kiss. the moon above was the moon that was foretelling that he was about to be killed.

    the infinite possibilities magnify the power of this particular piece of scripture, and keep the double edged sword preserved in the haunting lyrics of ian mculloch.
    gingerspeedon May 07, 2007   Link

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