Why'd you cut holes in the face of the moon base?
Don't you know about the temperature change
In the cold black shadow?
Are you mad at your walls
Or hoping that an unknown force can repair things for you?
Pardon all the time that you've thrown into your pale grey garden?
If the ship will never come you've got to move along

Even a bird would want a taste of dirt from abyssal dark
The prick of a feather could make a kingdom burn and the bloodshed start
The falling apart
Made me a shadow in the shape of wonder
The waves of black
If she's going under I can hold my breath till the sky comes back
Or drown like a rat, rat, rat
He's a rat!

To catch a monster
We make a movie
Set the tempo
And cut and cut its brains out
It will inspire on the burning pyre
Half the distance
Half the motion
It's easy as the ocean

Lyrics submitted by jjjonatron

Of Moons, Birds & Monsters Lyrics as written by Benjamin Nicholas Huner Goldwasser Andrew Wells Vanwyngarden

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Of Moons, Birds & Monsters song meanings
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  • +12
    General CommentI'll say what this song means to me...

    This song is about getting so analytical in your own head, coming up with your own rules for how to interact with people, how to carry on just the right image, that you miss out on the things that are really important, all because you were working on your own "pale grey garden."
    Also, as we're building our own gardens to show off to other people, we feel that something will come along to save us and turn all of our hard work around and reward us. This may be the ship that is being waited on. And when the ship doesn't come, you've gotta adapt, and let go of whatever you were waiting on, or you've got to take control of your life more.

    you may get mad at your walls because they're the only ones that see the real you. They see everything: the loneliness, the boredom, the genuine love and concern....all the good and bad in you, and yet they have no comfort to offer, nothing to say.

    Now, switching gears, I think the second verse is about a loss of identity in a coming world crisis.
    "The prick of a feather could make a kingdom burn and bloodshed start." i see this as predicting that the world is approaching some kind of volatile instability, on the verge of revolution or complete chaos.

    "The falling out made me a shadow in the shape of wonder."
    I feel this could refer to a complete existential crisis, where everything is stripped off of you into you barely exist but as a shadow. His extreme state of wonder and awe has turned him into a dumbfounded shadow. If that makes any sense.

    If she's going under....I take this to mean him and the world he is in. If everything gets more chaotic, he's not always in control of the boat, but he'll ride it out.

    I take the last bit about catching a monster to be some metaphor about art and the artist trying to capture beauty. The artist's struggle to capture monstrous beauty and dissect it into pieces.

    And finally "communication is easy as the ocean." This is just a reminder of how easy and fluid communication can be when we let it flow in and out like the ocean.

    But by far the best part of this song is the dreamy breakdown at the end of the song.

    These are just random thoughts...my own connections. hope you enjoyed. I'd love some feedback.
    sgr7447on July 18, 2008   Link
  • +6
    Lyric CorrectionIf the ship will never come you gotta move along
    PeytDavon August 20, 2011   Link
  • +5
    General Commenti think it means...how much are you willing to make things change in your life? you decide your own destiny. take control cuz its all in your hands. be the director of your own life.
    stellafataleon April 28, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentHoorah!
    Another MGMT masterpiece!
    kratosaurionon February 10, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Commentone of the best songs.
    i agree with most of you. I have another suggestion.
    I think it's about people who have neglected to take care of this beautiful, wonderful place that we were given. Also its like one is hiding in the shadows and knows its wrong, but they think some miracle is going to spwan out of the sky and fix global warming and clean the pollution. Though the Earth is still a unbelievably pretty place, the pale garden may symbolize the mess thats been made. When we should, like the indians, instead of take take take, use use use, we should give more than anything. That is because we were given this place, so we should make things even better and give back. there is no other way to fix things. So we have to move along in a more positive way. Because even a bird is used to the way we are and has adapted to the way we are. So its only making things worse. the person is like " i've been wondering when its goin to stop. if we could just wake up and learn to communicate with one another (which communication is easy and not rocket science) around the world and we could establish change and can pic mother earth back up. But if we dont then its our loss and anyways y would we selfishly risk the consequences and ruin such a lovely place.
    ambient musiqon September 24, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentCommunication.
    It's easy as the ocean.
    Proof327on May 09, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt is about moons, birds, and monsters
    umbrillianton June 22, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWow. One of thee best songs i've ever heard from MGMT!

    I think it means
    You should let yourself be the director of your own life movie, and when something in your life goes wrong...just move on and get the good out of the rest of your life!
    lostxdemonon July 20, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song really really reminds me of House of Leaves, the book. Does anyone else get this vibe...
    mr.monsteron September 15, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentit's like the butterfly effect thing; the feather which can make blah blah blah etc.
    Awesome song.
    koolthingon October 14, 2008   Link

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