"A Dustland Fairytale" as written by and Dave Brent Keuning Brandon Flowers....
Dustland fairytale beginning
Just another white trash
County kiss
Sixty one
Long brown hair and foolish eyes
He looks just like you want him to
Some kind of slick chrome American prince
A blue jean serenade
And Moon River what'd you do to me
And I don't believe you

Saw Cinderella in a party dress but
She was looking for a night gown
I saw the devil warping up his hands
He's getting ready for the show down
I saw the minute that I turn away
I got my money on a pond tonight

Change came in disguised of revelation
Set his soul on fire
She said she'd always knew he'd come around
And the decades disappear like sinking
Ships we persevere god gives us hope
But we still fear
We don't know
The mind is poison castle in the sky
Sit stranded vandalized
The draw bridge is closing

Saw Cinderella in a party dress but
She was looking for a night gown
I saw the devil warping up his hands
He's getting ready for the show down
I saw the ending were they turned the page
I threw my money and I ran away
Strait to the Vally of the great divide

And were the dreams roll high
And were the wind don't blow
Out here the good girls die
And the sky won't snow
Out here the bird don't sing
Out here the field don't grow
Out here the bell don't ring
Out here the bell don't ring
Out here the good girls die

Now Cinderella don't you go to sleep
Its such a bitter form of refuge
Ah don't you know the kingdoms under siege
And everybody needs you
Is there still magic in the midnight sun
Or did you leave it back in sixty-one
In the of the cadence in the young mans eyes
And were the dreams roll high


Lyrics submitted by jeremygrim, edited by RLP, cdowheel, jesusituarte, rs232, chanley1, Mtdiorio19, ZorgUK, sirenne, imrightherehey

"A Dustland Fairytale" as written by Dave Brent Keuning Brandon Flowers

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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A Dustland Fairytale song meanings
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  • +16
    My InterpretationBrandon told Rolling Stone that this song is "specifically about [his] mom and dad". Courtesy SongFacts: "This song tells the story of how Flowers' mother and father met when they were both aged 15 and living on the same trailer park." Given that his mother has cancer, the lyrics make pretty much sense.

    Now cinderella don't you go to sleep
    Its such a bitter form of refuge
    Ahh don't you know the kingdoms under siege
    And everybody needs you
    Is there still magic in the midnight sun
    Or did you leave it back in sixty-one
    In the of the cadence in the young mans eyes
    And were the dreams roll high
    arturvvon November 22, 2008   Link
  • +8
    General Commentbeautiful... sometimes music has this way of touching not just your mind but your heart and soul... flowers' has this gift... call it divine inspiration or the amazing strength of human talent call it what you want but agree that it hasn't been in the music industry for some time... this entire album touches on this notion but this song about his own personal struggle to hold on to his mom and dad and help his mother hold on herself speaks volumes not just about the music but also of who he is as a person... strength doesn't always come from the depths but sometimes the words we say and the knowledge that someone will always care about you... our struggle with relationships whether it be with parents or the ones we love is a fight that we battle every day and a struggle that leads to growth... we make the ones we love into something beyond human at times because of the comfort and strength they give us... "cinderella" as seen in the song speaks volumes to this idea ... beautiful, kind, humble, etc. all the qualities of a amazing mother, and its beyond all this that flowers' takes this song as he tries to hold on for his mom in an hour when maybe she needs someone to hold on for her...
    dyc6koon November 25, 2008   Link
  • +8
    General Comment"Now, Cinderella don't you go to sleep,
    It's such a bitter form of refuge.
    Don't you know the kingdom's under seige,
    And everybody needs you?"

    This was the point in the song where I started to cry.
    makeitmorphineon December 17, 2008   Link
  • +5
    My InterpretationIn my opinion, the first two stanzas set up the plot of the song. The third stanza is where metaphors begin. Cinderella is "leading lady" of the plot, who is going to die (I read about this song being about his mom and dad), and she's giving up (looking for a nightgown), and the devil (in his mom's case, cancer) is going to make it happen. The singer pins all his hopes on a last chance (got my money on a pawn tonight). Another thing I think is that the "boy" in the beginning and in the fourth stanza (he) are the same person as the singer. He changed his life and tried to live it out to the fullest, also to try to help his loved one. But even though he tried, and God gives the hope of heaven and the hope of a miracle, he doesn't know what will happen and is afraid. The next stanza is about the killer progressing and options (drawbridges) closing. Then afterwards, he knows there is nothing he can do and gives up to a place where everything is so literal, no hope, no comfort, just bleak fact; that good girls die. However, the last stanza says he still wants her to stay alive, even though the killer is attacking, but everyone still needs her. I don't really know if everyone agrees, but I think the last four lines basically say that is she still determined to live personally, or did she depend on the boy met in 1961?
    bisurgeon August 03, 2009   Link
  • +4
    Song Meaningreminds me of when you were young... again... youth & falsed hopes...
    chungieon November 21, 2008   Link
  • +4
    General Commentaww i adore this song!
    it's sweet thats its about his parents.
    you really get the feel of like teenage life and love bakc in the day and that, and how everyone feels special when they fall in love etc.
    very sams town
    whitlock1843on November 24, 2008   Link
  • +3
    General Commentinc wall of text

    Aside from it being related/about his parents. This is my take on the song itself which is nothing related to religion.

    Obviously(The way i see the song at least), the song is about losing some one that you find is very close to you, or in your mind that you deeply love.

    Saw Cinderella in a party dress
    But she was looking for a nightgown
    I saw the devil wrapping up his hands
    He's getting ready for the showdown
    I saw the ending where they turned the page
    I took my money and I ran away
    Straight to the valley of the great divide

    Cinderella is dissapearing from the man's life, and some one or something is taking that away from him.

    "The Devil wrapping up his hands."

    When the man saw the ending to her, he wanted to leave it all behind and some how either forget what had happened or take that feeling with him for the rest of his life, as he knows it is what gave him hope and dreams.

    Change came in disguise of revelation, set his soul on fire
    She says she always knew he'd come around
    And the decades disappear like sinking ships
    But we persevere, God gives us hope
    But we still fear what we don't know

    When he started to see the change in her life, or see the signs of her leaving in some form or another, it gave him a feeling of sickness and upset him so that it caused him tireless days/nights.
    Through being together for so long, saying that life goes by so fast, and the only thing that gives you something to look forward to is the fact that you have hope in each other, whether it's through god or something else. He begins to see the loss of her since neither of them know their exact fear.

    The mind is poison
    Castles in the sky sit stranded, vandalized
    Drawbridges closing

    The mind blinds you to what you want to see and what is real. All the "Castles" are, are just dreams being thrown into the air, but unable to reach them in one way or another. As the drawbridges closing, the dreams are slowly being taken away, and your time to reach them are limited to what you have left with that person, so act fast.

    Now Cinderella, don't you go to sleep
    It's such a bitter form of refuge
    Oh don't you know, the kingdom's under siege
    And everybody needs you

    The man is asking her to not dissapear from him, to never leave him at all. He is saying that, even if she feels bad about one thing, or leaves for something else, everyone else around her needs her and is trying to convince her of that.

    Is there still magic in the midnight sun
    Or did you leave it back in 61?
    In the cadence of a young man's eyes
    I wouldn't dream so high

    Here, the man is asking about all the good times they have had together will still continue to last and dream about, or if it was only a sort of "fling" and only was there when they had first met. Through his eye's, without the sight of her or the loss of her, he won't be able to dream of anything else so magnificent.

    Out where the dreams are high
    Out here, the wind don't blow
    Out here, the good girls die
    And the sky won't snow
    Out here, the birds don't sing
    Out here, the fields don't grow
    Out here, the bell don't ring
    Out here, the bell don't ring

    Out here, the good girls die

    With these lines, the song, to me is related to the idea of being a Hopeless Romantic.
    You want something you can't have. You miss your chances in life. Everything that you could have dreamed of having in your "fairytale world" comes back in reality as being un-obtainable. All the things you could have ever wanted in life, the nice things, the perfect significant other, the wonderful home, all die out once you realize what is real and what separates it all from a FairyTale and Reality.

    That is just my take on the song. I know its about his parents. But, throwing that out, this is what i think it is about.
    Zeratul001on November 15, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentSong's def about Flowers' mother in some aspects....but it's MORE THAN THAT! It's about love! Love in Las Vegas! The shallow women out there! Heartache/break! Come on people!!! Can't you feel it!!!

    He's talking about Vegas when he says the wind don't blow, the sky won't snow, the bird don't sing, the good girls die....it all ties in with the desert/the cold-hearted ways of a busy, party town!

    "Cinderella don't you go to sleep, it's such a bitter form of refuge. Don't you know the kingdom's under siege, and everybody needs you" I believe this is talking about his mother dying, but ALSO about any girl who may have broken his heart/fallen out of love with him. AGAIN, as I've said many times before....Brandon Flowers' lyrical genius allows him to focus multi-dimensionally with the same lyrics....meaning that he can take several emotions and portray them in through the same lyrical content.
    analytical1canthelpiton December 14, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis song is making me cry...
    it is really so heartfelt.

    at first thought i believed it was criticism about society, like seeing our heroes tired (cinderella, looking for a nightgown) and hoping times get better but still being afraid. i thiught it could be about the amount of kidnappings, murders and wars that take place right under our noses with so much frequence...
    i thought it talked about not giving up, about going to or finding a place where things will be better than here, where the bells will ring, and wind wont blow...

    "here the good girls die"
    that part is beautiful. to me, it represents the atrocities that happen to women: the raping, the killing, the abuses... and it's exposed in a way that shows how inhumane the world is.

    i do believe it could be a criticism to the impunity with which things happen, crimes, disease... whatever it may be...
    comparing the times around the 60's when the world want so abnoxious. --> (And the decades disappear like sinking ships
    But we persevere, God gives us hope
    But we still fear what we don't know

    The mind is poison
    Castles in the sky sit stranded, vandalized
    Drawbridges closing)






    still it makes a nice interpretation applied to his parents and his mother's cancer. this album has many references to that. it must be hard.

    i love the piano in "here the bell dont ring"
    its tragic
    tefon November 27, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is sheer brilliance.

    How Flowers can describe all of his feelings towards such a loved one in such a beautiful way is amazing.

    I feel it also sympathises with how his father feels about the passing of his mother as he sets the scene of their Romance at the start.

    ''A Dustland Fairytale beginning
    Just another white trash county kiss
    In '61, long brown hair, foolish eyes

    He looks just like you'd want him to
    Some kind of slick chrome American Prince
    A bluejean serenade, and moon river, what you do to me
    I don't believe you''

    then next part of the song, i believe, is about his mum getting cancer and her deteriation, with the lines ''And the decades disappear like sinking ships
    But we persevere, God gives us hope
    But we still fear what we don't know'' Refering to they're emotional strugle.

    For the next part i feel that his mind turns to what happens when shes gone as he refers to it as poison, but he realises that it will be so hard for everyone without her with the lines ''Out here, the birds don't sing
    Out here, the fields don't grow'' etc
    but with him also noticing that it seems to be the people, who mean the most, whose lives are cut short with the line out here the good girls die.

    finally the last part of the song is him pleading with his mum not to slip away when hes singing 'cinderella dont you go to sleep'
    i feel that he says 'its such a bitter form of refuge' because he knows that the best thing for her is perhaps to go linking to the refuge but he says bitter because he knows that his life will never be the same without her.

    its a really powerfull song and gets better the more times you listen. it must be very hard for him to sing about something that means so much to him.

    thats my view of the song although i may be wrong.
    Tozeron November 30, 2008   Link

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