"Speed of Light" as written by Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith....
Another time, another place
A hollow universe in space
I took a trip to see the sights
That will be black over a night

One way ticket no return
My shooting star so fast it burns
On the edge that you can't see

Let's shoot the moon, you and me
I'm not particular you see
Just a lonesome galaxy

Shadows in the stars
We will not return
Humanity won't save us
At the speed of light
Shadows in the stars
We will not return
Humanity won't save us
We slip into the night

I'll say a mass for you and wave
Shooting plasma from my grave
Event horizon lost in space
Running in a human race

I don't know where, I don't know when
But somehow back there time again
I'm on the edge you can't see

I'm not particular at night
A single particle of me
You won't be tracking me by sight

Shadows in the stars
We will not return
Humanity won't save us
At the speed of light
Shadows in the stars
We will not return
Humanity won't save us
We slip into the night

Shadows in the stars
We will not return
Humanity won't save us
At the speed of light

Shadows in the stars
We will not return
Humanity won't save us
At the speed of light

Shadows in the stars
We will not return
Humanity won't save us
At the speed of light
Shadows in the stars
We will not return
Humanity won't save us
At the speed of light

We slip into the night


Lyrics submitted by star tripper, edited by captmetalday, Stealthweasle, sokorny

Speed of Light song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +1
    Song MeaningWell as of writing this comment there is only one other comment on this song so maybe i've missed some detail but i think this song is about a journey, the Universe, Black Holes, Light, and maybe Time Travel.

    First there are many event described that things in space.

    The Universe/Space:
    A hollow universe in space (The Universe is mostly empty space.)
    Just a lonesome galaxy (The 2 lines before are "Let's shot the moon, you and me: And that particular you'll see" so it seem like this is describing what they'll see on their journey. I could mention how spread out everything is but it seem like it could have more meanings.)

    Light:
    One way ticket no returne (Light travels infinity until it hits something)
    At the speed of light

    Shooting stars/Meteorites/Comets:
    My shootin' stars are vastly burnt (They all appear to "burn" Shooting Stars and Meteorites burn in an atmosphere and comets have their tails.)

    Black Hole:
    On the edge that we can't see (Describes a Black Hole's Event Horizon)
    Shootin' plasma from my grave (Black Hole let of a stream of plasma from both sides. It's the only reason we know they exist.)
    Event Horizon lost in space (an Event Horizon is the point that something can't escape the pull of a Black Hole, and it's "lost" because we can't see, sense, or detect these invisible borders)

    Supernova:
    I'll say a mass for you and wave (It may not be for a Supernova but since the following lines clearly define a Black Hole and say "from my grave" I think it's for a Supernova that created a Black Hole. Supernova's only come from high mass stars and create a huge shock-wave when they explode. A loose translation could be "I'll pray for you and/or waving goodbye," But only if you take "mass" as "a church congregation". Waving make sense because of "I took a trip to see the sights" I don't really like either of those ideas.)

    It clearly mentions someone taking a trip:
    I took a trip to see the sights
    Let's shoot the moon, you and me (Shooting the moon means to try the impossible, could be motivation to go with the singer.)
    I'm not particular you see (Could be saying he doesn't care about where they go)
    We will not return
    We're slipping through the night

    And Now the hard to explain stuff

    Time Travel: Now theirs 3 supposed methods of time travel but only 2 are really hinted here.
    Option 1: Not so much as time travel as slowing time around you. Time progression is actually affected by speed. We can't go fast enough on Earth to reach the speed needed but some spaceships can. As you approach the speed of light time slows down the ship and everything inside. 1 year at just below the speed of light is 100 years on earth.
    Lyrics that back this are:
    At the speed of light (The speed needed for this method.)
    One way ticket no return (This can't be used to go back in time or anything, just slow your aging while other people grow old.)

    Option 2: Black Holes can supposedly bend time around them thus getting close enough at close to the speed of light could theoretically make full time travel possible.
    Lyrics that back this are:
    Another time, another place (Time traveling and going somewhere to see what it was like)
    One way ticket no return (There may not be a way to control where you go thus no easy way back.)
    On the edge that we can't see (Means going into the event horizon around the black hole.)
    But somehow back in time again

    I have one other major meaning that i don't have much solid backing for but maybe someone else will agree with it.
    I think this song is also about the time-lapse between an event and the light from that reaching earth. Distance in space is measured in Light-Years, the distance light travels in one year. They are things and places in the galaxy that a are hundreds or thousands of light-years away and it take the light of those thing hundreds or thousands of years to reach earth. Any event that we humans see in other solar systems likely happened hundreds of years ago and only just now reached earth. Maybe this song is really referring to that instead of time travel but who knows.
    But I don't really know why i thought of that anymore

    However there are plenty of Weird/Unknown lines to this song.
    That will be blacker than the night
    Shadows in the stars
    Humanity won't save us
    Runnin' in a human race
    I don't know where I don't know why
    Another take your love at night
    A single party call on me
    You won't be trackin' me by sight (Could mean that something is invisible or moving faster then the naked eye can follow. Could be describing many things from radio waves to a spaceship moving at faster then light.)

    I'm sure i missed something so i hope someone else can figure it out. I hope i helped someone understand it and/or taught someone a little about science with this ramble.
    Stealthweasleon February 20, 2016   Link
  • +1
    Lyric CorrectionA party call on me? Really? Doesn't "a particle of me" make a tad bit more sense? Ya think? Oh by the way, the real lyrics are in the booklet that comes with the cd
    Coxbrotheron July 05, 2017   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe universe is very threatening to our planet. I think this song is about a black hole that could swallow us up and destroy everyone and everything.
    snafuoneon August 17, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentStealthweasle seems to be on the right track - I think Bruce is having fun with wordplays relating to black holes and such.

    A couple observations:

    "I'm not particular" - light behaves as both a wave and a particle (one of the confusing things in physics)

    "you won't be tracking me by sight" - single particles like electrons are too small to track - not just by eye, but since we "see" things by bouncing other things (like light or other electrons off of them), if you bounce an electron off of another electron, you bump the electron you're trying to "track", so you can't figure out where it is . . .

    "I'll say a mass for you and wave" can mean "I'll say a prayer for you and wave goodbye", but in physics "mass" also refers to physical presence - which can be converted to energy (E=MCsquared), which travels in waves

    something falling into a black hole emits gamma rays ("shooting plasma from my grave")

    a black hole would look like a "shadow in the stars" - it's a dark spot in the starry sky
    similarly, the night isn't black (well, unless it's cloudy) - it's full of stars. A black hole is BLACK - no light reflects off of it, its gravitational pull swallows light, so it is "blacker than the night"
    Heavymetalharpon August 22, 2016   Link

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