"Windmills" as written by and Dinning/guss/phillips/nichols....
I spend too much time raiding windmills
We go side by side
Laughing until it's right

There's something that you won't show
Waiting where the light goes
Take the darkest hour-break it open
Water to repair what we have broken

There's something that you won't show
Waiting where the light goes
And anyway the wind blows
It's all worth waiting for

Pull on the borders to lighten the load
Tell all the passengers we're going home

I spend too much time seeking shelter
World without end couldn't hold her

There's something that you won't show
Waiting where the light goes
And anyway the wind blows
It's all worth waiting for
Anyway the wind blows


Lyrics submitted by rabidpenguin

"Windmills" as written by

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, THE ADMINISTRATION MP, INC.

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Windmills song meanings
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28 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commentmost soothing song i've ever heard
    adimak07on July 16, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentYes, oh yes, the "title track" because of the album's reference to Don Quixote's dream lover. We all have a dream lover, be it a love for an actual person or just an idea of how things are supposed to be.

    I agree, Toad the Wet Sprocket is the most under-appreciated band of the 90s, and this has to be one of their best songs. I'm also surprised, however, that no one has yet picked up on the "world without end" part of the lyrics, as they are straight out of the Christian vernacular.

    "World without end" is the last line of a Christian prayer that basically states that the world is perfect, the way that God (the trinity) conceived it to be. Don Quixote's love for Dulcinea is perfect, but only in his own mind. In the end of the novel, it's not enough.

    So is any ideology worth it, waiting or fighting for?

    Answer yes, and you're a romantic.

    Of course, the line "anyway the wind blows" is a direct reference to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," which, in turn, derives from the plot of Albert Camus' "L'etranger", which leads us to "Killing an Arab" by "The Cure"...

    ...it's all part of a rich tapestry.

    Okay, I'm going to bed now...
    davidecoyoteon December 28, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is definitely about loss. It happens to be the one of the best songs that I have ever heard!!
    jacobkeldon December 12, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commenthe says "maybe anywhere the wind blows" instead of "and anyway"

    but..the part where it says "Take the darkest hour-break it open"
    does anyone think it says "take the darkest doubt-break it open"? just always sounded cooler to me.

    great great song. i saw them (toad) live recently back to back shows and they played this both times. amazing.
    RichBOHon December 14, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThere are a number of errors in the lyrics, here and all over the web.

    "Pull on the borders to lighten the load" doesn't make a lot of sense, and it doesn't seem to connect to the next line. That's because the correct lyrics are "Call on the porters to lighten the load." Porters are people whose job it is to carry your luggage.

    As one person noted, it is "Take the darkest doubt"

    And as another noted, it's is "Anywhere the wind blows," not "anyway."
    MatthewFon December 24, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentApparently, no one who has so far commented on this song has seen the movie "Latter Days" by C.J. Cox. The melody of this song is played repeatedly throughout the movie and the entire song sung by Toad the Wet Sprocket is play in the joyous final 2-3 minutes of the movie and while the credits roll.

    Latter Days is about a closeted gay Mormon missionary boy, Steve Sandvoss,who ends up in West LA living next door to a swinging-hot gay party boy, Wes Ramsey. The two encounter each other and struggle with their totally different lifestyles, values and attraction to one another.

    When you consider the words to Windmills in the context of the movie, it makes sense, its all about the transformation from being a person inclined to hide who he/she is, to being genuine to the world about what they think they must hide. The person playing behind the Windmills wants to cut out the nonsense (pull on the borders; tell the passengers we're GOING HOME!) and accept that the world won't end and the damage that may result by their self liberation (it will only take water to repair the damage) will be minimal compared to the joy that awaits them. Now matter what happens; no matter how the wind blows, IT'S ALL WORTH WAITING FOR! Waiting, as opposed to doing it immediately may suggest that if one is not quite ready today, wait and do it when you are ready but definitely plan on doing it.

    Now I don't know if the guys who wrote this song had this in mind, but clearly CJ Cox did when he selected Windmills to be the lead song in the Latter Days soundtrack.

    I'm gay myself am gay and came out of the closet as a result of seeing the movie Latter Days a few times over a period of days. I've always fantasized that if I ever get married, we'll play Windmills to walk down the aisle.
    Moishgilon January 08, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI have been reading through each and every comment/interpretation and realized that your folks are very book smart and perceptive. I don't believe I could have disected and interpreted the music the way you all have. It's quite impressive and I really find it fascinating to read your thoughts. It gets kind of deep sometimes but I understood what most of you wrote and they all seem plausible. That's one of the great things about music. It's open to interpretation. I think the meaning of the song is in the "Ear Of The Beholder", which means there is no right or wrong (unless the artist provides us with an explaination as to how the song came about). When I hear a song, especially one as amazing as this one, I pay attention to how it makes me "Feel". I think the purpose of music is to make your think and feel. And if your lucky, it will transport you back in time in a matter of seconds and the memory that was brought back to you is as clear as if it happened yesterday. It's a wonderful gift it gives us. I love the Toads/Glenn Phillips music. I think he is a brilliant songwriter. He not only writes songs, he writes masterpieces. He hasn't recieved nearly the credit he deserves in my humble opinion. I rambling on to long here. I love to talk and it crosses over when I write a comment. I haven't learned to self-edit:)
    Distarron October 17, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is such an amazing song, why has no one said anything about it?

    the "spend" i think is past tense "spent"....little difference but means a lot to the song. very sad song. personally this i relate to my dad dying of cancer because its the first song i heard after he died. dont know what the lyrics were meant to mean...except that it is about regret.

    the allusion is to the character don quixote, who was a guy in spain that was kinda off and dressed in medieval armor and thought he was a knight in like the 1800's. his horse was a goat i think and he used to attack windmills all the time. don quixote was confused and mislead in life - and very alone because of it, and i think glen is identifying himself with that. its a very sad song.

    its like she, or whatever is gone, and he is still waiting to see the something that they wont show. the line "i spent too much time, seeking shelter - world without end, couldnt hold her" is very striking. its like he tried so hard to keep things controlled and contained, and in the end he couldnt hold on, there was no way he could have.

    sad song, love it...
    Davkay20on June 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song really is amazing. It's one of those songs that you feel the first time you hear it and can't stop listening to it afterwards. Probably my favorite song now...
    NateKalbachon August 01, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with the whole Don Quixote allusion. I think this song romanticizes the idea of romanticism. even though Don Quixote ended up being wrong, his intentions were right and in the end, he ended up doing what he thought was right. "It's all worth waiting for...anyway the wind blows."
    stinkycheezman22on March 18, 2003   Link

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