"The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade" as written by Rhiannon Bryan and Rhydian Davies....
A glass
A view
A mirror
Which one
Distracts
Like open windows
In the gusts

A calm day will come
A calm day will come

This dream is
This dream is
This dream is
In a telescope now
This dream is
This dream is

Fever
In bedtime covers
Go unknown
This fright
It grows
And misses
Sinks and floats

A calm day will come
My calm day will

This dream is
This dream is
This dream is (over)
In a telescope now
This dream is (over)
This dream is

A calm day will come

Fever
In bedtime covers
Go unknown

'Til two eyes out
Of the darkness
Bring hope close

This childish
Heart won't
Wait
It dances
Keeps me awake
To think on
To think on
You're the greatest light
The greatest shade
It means that
I can be
Happy for you
Happy for you
Happy for you
Happy for you
Happy for you
Happy for you
Happy for you
Happy for you


Lyrics submitted by xdvr, edited by jaredjeya

"The Greatest Light Is the Greatest Shade" as written by Rhydian Davies Rhiannon Bryan

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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The Greatest Light Is The Greatest Shade song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +5
    My InterpretationI think it's a breakup song. After a breakup, you might be waiting to stop feeling awful about it, waiting for "a calm day to come". A lot of this song seems like the things you might want to say to yourself during such a time.

    "This dream is... in a telescope now"

    Meaning that perhaps whatever you had hoped for (a future with someone, in this case) isn't going to happen now. It's left, like the light from a dying star, only to perhaps be caught in a telescope some day.

    "Fever, in bedtime covers"

    For some people, reacting to a break-up will make them feel sort-of sick, the kind where you want to just stay in bed. The two eyes from out of the darkness might be someone who comforts you, or perhaps a new object of affection. This is the bridge to the coda, so this can be seen as the "climax" of the story of the song. And if the story is about being dumped and moving on, that makes sense.

    Greatest light/greatest shade

    The people who have the greatest effect on your life - family, friends, significant others - can be both the greatest source of happiness for you and the biggest source of misery. An ex may have made your life incredibly happy at one point, but obviously makes you miserable now.

    The end of the song can be read as either somewhat sarcastic or somewhat sad. Wanting an ex to be happy is something that's very hard to do, especially if they've created a lot of pain for you. It's definitely not easy to be so forgiving. Live and in the studio versions, Fitzy sings this with a sort of desperation, sadness and perhaps even sarcasm. It could be that you're not really wanting them to be happy at all, or just that you're really trying to convince yourself to move on by repeating something you know you should logically want - them to be happy and you to no longer be attached to them.
    edible14on October 01, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General CommentExpectation of greater times. Fantastic tune. Used in the Kopparberg advert on UK TV.
    timchillion May 18, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIn my opinion, it's best song by them! I believe it's always about being sort of half-full and unsatisfied with life. We wait in hope for better times in life and our dreams become expectations. I also love when Ritzy sings,"You're the greatest light, greatest shade, it means I can be happy for you."
    joyformidableon April 25, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThe top comment is saying this is a breakup song, but my own opinion is that it's full of hope and optimism. Saying "this dream is in a telescope now" suggests that the dream is finally in reach, that the singer has spotted it and is close to experiencing her dream. The singer also says "two eyes out of the darkness bring hope close" - this is her SO, I imagine.

    The music also gives a clue. It's not at all sad, it's upbeat and full of major chords.

    Also, I never once heard "this dream is (over)", just "this dream is".
    jaredjeyaon January 25, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhere this says "My calm day will", I actually hear "My calm daze will..."
    shardedeon March 21, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is is testimony. The Joy Formidable graduated very quickly from experimental inndiepop to arena scale shows. It was not clear at the start how deep the rabbithole was, that is to say, how far up the scale of grandiosity they could all go. Touring is an escalating maelstrom of chaos, risk, stress, and yes, ilness. But when on a huge stage in front of thousands, the fear sinks. The telescope refers to time compression: the show is over in an instant, the travel takes forever.
    The calm day will come when the tour is over, we are back home, no more frenzied crowds. Fever in bedtime darkness is tge panic and dread of failing before a hufe crowd, thr greatest challenge a performer can face.
    Two eyes in the dark... from the stage, you can see nothing, blinded by stage lights. But then your eyes connect with someone near the front, and you see the hope and the excitement and the thrill of that person who has never experienced this before. The bliss jumps across the gap and the feverish fear from the night before is never known.

    The greatest light is the general intensity of public attention, and specifically the concentrated attention and appreciation of thousands of people in a hug festival crowd that you know you can never know. The greatest shade is the safety, freedom, and relaxation of knowing that you have undertaken a fantastic challenge, and succeeded, and that your Joy is Formidable without a doubt.
    Artseaon April 28, 2017   Link

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