"Sleeping Satellite" as written by John Robert Beck, Tasmin Archer and John Hughes....
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Lyrics submitted by alexandra_, edited by vaguely

Sleeping Satellite song meanings
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  • +5
    General CommentBack in 2004 I wrote Miss Archer and asked her if she could tell me something about the meaning of this beautiful song. This is what she wrote back:

    "....Sleeping Satellite is about mans adventures to the moon and was written in the summer of 1989 at the time of 20th anniversary of the first manned landing on the moon. The song is intended as a comment on how in the 20 years since the first landing little progress appeared to have been made in space travel/exploration. It's not intended as anti space travel, it's just the opposite and it bemoans the fact that at the time of the anniversary the initiative had not been progressed from the original achievement. Hope this helps. Love and peace, Tasmin...."
    Non November 24, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIf there is ONE song that really deserves to be discussed here it would be this amazing song! It's difficult to decipher and I don't know much about astronomy!
    Non November 13, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with your interpretation but i think that the line when she asks herself in the seas are still dry means actually the so called lunar maria (latin for seas) and that because of the exploration she has no more the possibility to fancy about what the moon is because now she can get exact photos of what it is thanks to Apollo missions. sorry for bad english but it is not my main language ^^
    mattoinsideon May 09, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI thought this song was about regrets having rushed to lose one's virginity.
    BeepBeppon November 22, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment@NorthernThunder, cool name btw, I think u aren't reading all of the comments. In 2010 "N" posted that Tasmin Archer herself claimed the song was, in fact, about the American space program, inspired in 1989 by the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. In light of this, all the posts suggesting the song lyrics were really metaphors for things like sexuality, inspiration, humankind's place in the universe, etc. were quite imaginative.

    I always thought "I blame you sleeping satellite" meant, whimsically, "I blame you Moon for inspiring mankind to reach to stars, only to have mankind then stop short by just going to the moon." I guess I was pretty much on target all these years. Archer seemed disappointed with the lack of progress with the space program following the moon landing. This is reinforced again and again in the song with the lines "Did we fly to the moon to soon? Did we squander the chance?", "Have we got what it takes to advance? Have we peaked to soon?" and "Have we got what it takes to carry the weight of this concept? Or pass it by?" Seems likes she's saying we lost our motivation to "shoot for the stars" after the moon landing, in part, because we lost that desire for "man's greatest adventure."

    @fleetman I see you get it and I agree completely with you and Ms Archer. To me everything else concerning the meaning of this song and its potential metaphors is just pure supposition. But I guess that's what this forum is all about.
    Eurasianon January 25, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI really cannot talk about this wonderfull song, cause I'm in pain for a relationship break up. The woman of my life just left me and I dont know what to do. Give it up or try to get her back? i don't know. all I know is that she's the one I really love and care about. without her the world seems so grey!
    BrazilianFanon September 04, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe "I blame you" is what stands out and draws me in to this song.
    Arcadianon February 03, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song that brings back great memories... too bad I don't have a clue of what she's talking about. I can't relate the lyrics to any metaphor, in fact I can't even see what she means in the first place.

    "..the dream that died with the eagles flight" If I had to take a wild guess, I'd say that by "eagles" here she is referring to some astronauts, maybe failing their mission? That would explain "the dream that died" part. The Apollo 10 mission comes to mind..

    "when i wonder why are the seas still dry" The dry-seas (mare area of the moon).. If I recall correctly, in the Apollo 10 mission, one of the first descriptions of the moon from the astronauts was actually about the dry-seas area... well, it's also possible that I have far too much sense of imagination. I'd be happy to hear someone else's comments about the meaning of rthis song.
    Cristiano Repupillion March 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe that Mr. Repupilli has captured some of the aspects of the meaning(s) behind these lyrics.

    To build upon his "Apollo" theme, I feel that Ms. Archer is blaming a higher power, be that God, a spirit or some other form of Supreme Being, for inspiring man to journey to the moon. An alternative source of this blame could be the late President, Mr. John F. Kennedy; who many argue inspired the Apollo mission to the moon.

    It occurs to me that her blame is drawn from a deep sense of frustration that mankind appears more focused on adventure and exploration than on what she feels are more immediate social, environmental and political concerns.

    She also questions mankind's ability to sustain itself and deliver a utopian society that is truly free to explore the universe. This is drawn out when she sings: "If the world is so great, then why does it scream under a blue moon?" and also when she sings: "Have we got what it takes, to carry the weight of this concept?" She develops her own pessimism on this question by asking if mankind will destroy the earth for the sake of its “greatest treasure”, which I feel could be either creativity or freedom.

    In the final line of the chorus, Ms. Archer suggests that we shouldn't blame the world ("sleeping satellite": the earth; a satellite of the sun) for our own problems.

    Perhaps the final beauty of this song is its inherent ambiguity that allows listeners to develop their own meaning(s) to the lyrics. This is just my own interpretation of these lyrics.
    kohaion April 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree regarding the beauty of the song and your references to the Apollo missions.

    I think it is simply about mankind's having dropped the ball on space exploration, especially lunar development, after we went to the moon.

    In the chorus she "blames" mankind for the lost potential, which the moonlight reminds her of (but she doesn't blame the moon itself - the sleeping satellite). She wonders why the seas are still dry there (when presumably they could be filled with man's development).

    In the first verse, she believes we rushed to the moon for the adventure and the race, but have missed the long term possibilities to build upon that for the future.

    In the second verse she alludes to problems here on Earth. Because mankind does not understand the importance of expansion into space, the price we may pay will be our own demise (the loss of earth's "greatest treasure").

    In the final verse, she asks whether man can step up to the plate, or whether we will miss the opportunity altogether.

    I realize I have a fairly nuts and bolts interpretation of what is a beautiful and mysterious sounding song. For me though, this interpretation only adds to its beauty.
    filterfedon April 15, 2006   Link

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