No night to stay in
Bad moon is rising again
Dice rolls and you burn
Come down I fear
As that cold wheel turns
I know what I know
Sad Claude's been sleeping around
To stroke the right nerve
Whose needs do I serve
As Catherine's wheel turns

She was always the first to say gone
She's got her Catherine wheels on
Always the first to say gone

Go kindly with him
To his blind apparition
Whose face creases up
With age gone grey
He'll back here one day

She was always the first to say gone
She's got her Catherine wheels on
Always the first to say gone
She's got her Catherine wheels on
Wheels on

Catherine wheels
Catherine wheels
Catherine wheels

She's gone
Vanished in the night
Broke off the logic of light
He woke
Tore the covers back
Found he was empty inside

So they were told
When the moon would rise
The best time to leave with your soul
She's gone
But towards the light
Watching her whole life unfold
Bruises come out dark

So strong was his hold on her
Regarded by some as his slave
He spoke as in a stranger's tongue
Despair us and drive you away, hey
Bruises come out dark

Lyrics submitted by Madame Me

Catherine Wheels Lyrics as written by Neil Mullane Finn Brian Timothy Finn

Lyrics © MUSHROOM MUSIC PTY LTD, Hipgnosis Songs Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Catherine Wheels song meanings
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  • 0
    General Comment

    i love this song its a favourite ,i have no idea what its about .?

    kaatrienon June 12, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    It's about a relationship gone wrong, possibly a abusive one. He's cheating it eludes to 'Claudes' sleeping around. she leaves, either through death or some other means.

    Wanderpopson November 13, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    The Catherine's wheel was a medivial torture device. That seems to fit the idea that it's about a relationship gone wrong. By saying 'She's got her Catherine wheels on', it's implied that she is suffering.

    Zubbyon June 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Neil Finn is the master of songwriting.

    Celtic_FCon December 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I do also think it's about an abusive relationship from which she escapes. How? I do not know: suicide? running off? But the lyrics are breathtaking, so poetic. "She's gone, vanished in the night; broke off the logic of life" I want this to be my epitaph!

    wouterweetraadon January 21, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation

    I would agree that this song is about a messed up relationship where the female partner has been abused and she's finally broken free. My take is that she commits suicide as it is the only way she can see to escape.

    On a side note, this song goes back to the days of Split Enz and was written by Neil and Tim Finn and then resurrected during the "Woodface" sessions with help from Nick Seymour.

    Tim's harmonies on the chorus are breathtaking.

    KareKareon November 23, 2016   Link

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