"Earthshine" as written by and Geddy Lee Weinrib Neil Peart....
On certain nights
When the angles are right
And the moon is a slender crescent
It's circle shows
In a ghostly glow
Of earthly luminescence

Earthshine
A beacon in the night
I can raise my eyes to earthshine

Earthshine
But you're out of reach
Form a dream to rise to earthshine

Floating high
In the evening sky
I see my faint reflection
Pale facsimile
Like what others see
When they look in my direction

Earthshine
A beacon in the night
I can raise my eyes to earthshine

Earthshine
Stretching out your hand
Full of starlit diamonds earthshine

Reflected light
To another's sight
And the moon tells a lover's story
My borrowed face
And my third-hand grace
Only reflect your glory

Earthshine
Stretching out your hand
I can raise my eyes to earthshine

Earthshine
You're still out of reach
Form a dream to rise to earthshine
Form a dream to rise to earthshine


Lyrics submitted by Sublime.

"Earthshine" as written by Gary Lee Weinrib Alex Zivojinovich

Lyrics © OLE MEDIA MANAGEMENT LP

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Earthshine song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentFenJazz - yes indeed. Also wonderful poetry in "Pale facsimile, Like what others see, When they look in my direction" he's saying looking at the moon like this should show a faint image of the Earth (light reflected from the Earth afterall) but it's not an accurate image. Similarly, he doesn't think people see the real image when they look at him or read his words - just a "pale facsimile" - you only get a vague impression of the real man, and it's likely that everyone sees a different thing ... just like we do when interpretting his songs!! :-)
    oggy07on December 21, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationHonestly, I think that the third verse is the most beautiful. "Reflected light/To another's sight/And the moon tells a lover's story" Obviously, this is showing the part of the other and comparing them to the moon. "My borrowed face/And my third - hand grace/Only reflect your glory." This is showing that this person realizes that others think they are wonderful, but are modest. They say that you bring this out in them. Without you, this could never be. Like I said, this part seems to me as the most meaningful. He's using such amazing words as "a beacon in the night" "a jewel out of reach" "full of starlit diamonds", and instead of being thankful, the "moon" says that they would be NONE of these things without him. Side note: I do like seeing other's point of view. At first I may think "Meh, I don't know about this..." but this soon turns to "hmm... interesting. I didn't think of it like that". Please tell how you think the other verses fit into this interpretation (if anyone has looked on this since harper in 2008). Another side note: Rush is awesome.
    AhtenXeviouson December 11, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationMore than anything, this song is a LOVE song - just not a chicks and hair and happily ever tune. In other words, it is a love song like no others. A love song about loss and longing, but instead of cheesy overdubbed strings, you get Rush's hard driving and pulsing opening riff, leading to Neil's description of the physical phenomenon of "earthshine". A beacon in the night ... a jewel out of reach. A beautiful description of the lover's passion inspired by the moon's light.

    Then, as it seems only Neil can, he proceeds to personalize the phenomenon. In an out of body experience, he sees HIS faint reflection, one that others see but he himself doesn't feel. Others see him as competent and complete. He sees an emptiness and shallow approximation of the real him ... "a pale facsimile, like what others see".

    Looking back at this phenomenon that looks different than what others know is really there ... he sees his missing lover, stretching out her hand and telling her story to him again through the reflected light "full of starlit diamonds". The momentary happiness as he bathes in that light produces a "borrowed face", one of contentment - but he knows it is only borrowed and only given to him third hand. Not directly from his own (first) hand or directly from her (second) hand, but from the lingering effect (third hand) left behind by this now absent person who gave him so much happiness.

    But in the end, she's "still out of reach, Form a dream to rise to Earthshine". Gone but not forgotten. Fitting that today is November 11th - Remembrance Day in Canada.

    My wife has never been a fan of heavy metal or progressive music, so she obviously was never a Rush fan. However, I sat her down to listen to this song and really comprehend the lyrics. After listening to it, I told her THAT was how I felt about her and how I would feel if she was absent from my life. I've since dragged her to two Rush shows since, so I can safely say she is now a convert.
    svrtas1036on November 11, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEarthshine is about looking for answers, when all along the answers are within you. It’s about acting upon ones feelings, yet never knowing if it is right or wrong. This song proves that there are really no scientific reasons for anything. Many things happen beyond our control.
    YYZ_2112on December 31, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNo, this is actually about a double-reflection called earthshine, which occurs when sunlight bounces off the moon onto the earth, but the earth bounces it back right at the moon, so at night on the dark part of a crescent moon, you can see light that was bounced off the earth ^_^
    Green Weezer Dayon June 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTechnically, you're both right. Green Weezer Day in the literal sense, and YYZ 2112 in the underlying meaning.

    Excellent song nonetheless. =D
    TheEndIsNearon July 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm really lost with this song. I'm in LOVE with the beggining of this song. It sends chills through my spine thanks to the wonderdul works or Alex and Neil, but as for the lyrics I am utterly lost. Maybe-- possibly-- someone could do a paragraph by paragraph translation for me..? Please..?
    stephanierush07on March 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentscience.nasa.gov/headlines/y2002/…

    I agree with TheEndIsNear.
    tigerx2374on September 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe "third hand grace" line is very interesting, and excellent poetry. Earthshine is seen when you look at the moon and notice that part of the dark side is illuminated. The dark side of the moon is dark, of course, because it isn't facing the sun, so the way it is lit is when sunlight reflects off the clouds of the earth and, like a big cosmic mirror, bathes the dark side of the moon. The earth is therefore illuminated "first hand" by the sun. The moon is illuminated "second hand" by the earth. The lyricist is then illuminated "third hand" by the moon.
    FenJazzon September 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song reminds me of the book "The Hobbit"

    "On certain nights
    When the angles are right" Might refer to Thorin Oakenshield's map, and how certain parts of it only work with the moon's rays once a year. I know Rush write songs about Lord Of The Rings, so perhaps they wrote this one about The Hobbit?

    Iain
    SixxManon September 30, 2007   Link

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