"Mad Man Moon" as written by and Tony Banks....
Mad Man Moon
Was it summer when the river ran dry,
Or was it just another dam.
When the evil of a snowflake in June
Could still be a source of relief.
O how I love you, I once cried long ago,
But I was the one who decided to go.
To search beyond the final crest,
Though I'd heard it said just birds could dwell so high.

So I pretended to have wings for my arms
And took off in the air.
I flew to places which the clouds never see,
Too close to the deserts of sand,
Where a thousand mirages, the shepherds of lies
Forced me to land and take a disguise.
I would welcome a horse's kick to send me back
If I could find a horse not made of sand.

If this desert's all there'll ever be
Then tell me what becomes of me.
A fall of rain?
That must have been another of your dreams,
A dream of mad man moon.

Hey man,
I'm the sand man.
And boy have I news for you;
They're gonna throw you in gaol
And you know they can't fail
'cause sand is thicker than blood.
But a prison in sand
Is a haven in hell,
For a gaol can give you a goal
[and a] goal can find you a role
On a muddy pitch in Newcastle,
Where it rains so much
You can't wait for a touch
Of sun and sand, sun and sand...

Within the valley of shadowless death
They pray for thunderclouds and rain,
But to the multitude who stand in the rain
Heaven is where the sun shines.
The grass will be greener till the stems turn to brown
And thoughts will fly higher till the earth brings them down.
Forever caught in desert lands one has to learn
To disbelieve the sea.

If this desert's all there'll ever be
Then tell me what becomes of me.
A fall of rain?
That must have been another of your dreams,
A dream of mad man moon.


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"Mad Man Moon" as written by Anthony George Banks

Lyrics © IMAGEM MUSIC INC

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Mad Man Moon song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +1
    My InterpretationI can't help but see this as a message from Banks to Gabriel.
    Lots of metaphors about people leaving behind their realities for dreams, pretending to fly when you have no wings, falling to earth from heaven and becoming trapped and changed, regrets and disconnection. And not realizing that everyone wants something different from what they have, and how one man's desire can be another's prison.

    Then again I tend to think the song that immediately precedes this one "Squonk" also had portions addressed to Peter.
    grimjackon November 19, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBeautiful Song...

    I think It's basically a tale of "the grass is always greener..." Wherever the character is, he wished he were somewhere else, a place opposite of where he is now, i.e., when he is stuck in the dessert, he wishes to see rain and clouds, but then when he is at a muddy pitch in Newcastle, where it rains constantly, and Heaven is a place where the sun shines, he wishes he were in the sun and sand, and then is thrown back into the desert, where he stays...
    BitterBoshon January 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPurely for the sake of translation: gaol is pronounced jail...tis ye olde english!
    K-nuxXxon April 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentArguably Collins best vocal performance ever.
    scoonmanon April 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGuess why I chose this username &:-D...this song simply means EVERYTHING to me !!!
    Mad Woman Moonon October 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think most of genesis' early albums had a certain theme running through them but not exactly being a concept album(except the lamb). Just like aqualung from
    Jethro tull and ok computer radiohead. As for this album I can't quite see it. If you know pls comment!
    sgtfloyd101on January 21, 2015   Link

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