Up on a hill, as the day dissolves
With my pencil turning moments into line
High above in the violet sky
A silent silver plane - it draws a golden chain
One by one, all the stars appear
As the great winds of the planet spiral in
Spinning away, like the night sky at Arles
In the million insect storm, the constellations form
On a hill, under a raven sky
I have no idea exactly what I've drawn
Some kind of change, some kind of spinning away
With every single line moving further out in time
And now as the pale moon rides (in the stars)
Her form in my pale blue lines (in the stars)
And there, as the world rolls round (in the stars)
I draw, but the lines move round (in the stars)
There, as the great wheels blaze (in the stars)
I draw, but my drawing fades (in the stars)
And now, as the old sun dies (in the stars)
I draw, and the four winds sigh (in the stars)

Lyrics submitted by radioardilla

"Spinning Away" as written by John Davies Cale Brian Peter George Eno

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Royalty Network, JOHN CALE MUSIC INC

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Spinning Away song meanings
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  • +5
    Song MeaningAs i was listening to this song for the billionth time, it suddenly dawned on me what the hell Eno is singing about: what it must have felt like to Vincent van Gogh as he painted his stunning “The Starry Night”. If you don’t know the painting, google it--you won’t be disappointed. The stars in the night sky are swirling in such a stylized manner they end up resembling the yin/yang symbol. It was painted shortly before he offed himself, while living in an insane asylum. Clearly, he had lost all interest in rendering reality in any kind of objective sense, but his ability to manifest his inner reality reached its peak in this painting. My fav part of the song is that Eno captures the passage of time: in the first verse, the sun is setting, leaving the sky violet; in the second verse, the stars appear one by one; by the third verse, Vincent now is reflecting on his finished painting, as he stands under a black (raven-colored) sky. Eno’s biggest clue to this song’s meaning is that it takes place in Arles, where Vincent lived his final years. For me, Eno’s choice of subject matter is especially fitting since his lyrics tend to be Impressionistic, like Vincent’s paintings. An extraordinary painting, an extraordinary song.
    evolved1on September 23, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt seems like Eno really takes the effort of adding depth to his lyrics, at least more so than I've seen in a lot of other music. Generally speaking, this song deals with the notions of change, subjectivity, and the philosophy that 'you never step into the same river twice.' It's also very nostalgic in that it tries to relate the observer's place in an ever-changing world -- everything is finite except the world itself. Considering how short the song is, I think it does a very good job at capturing the whole modern feeling.
    iamjach727on March 20, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPerhaps my favorite Eno poem, I memorized this after playing it a few hundred times. Absolutely ethereal.
    boombudon March 14, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIn addition to the great lyrics he's written, I love the layering of the melodies and countermelodies throughout, and finally, the addition of Eno's harmonies in the latter half of the song. It just gives it sense of a neverending composition, which is think is most appropriate given the subject matter of the song. Just beautiful.
    prufrock68on October 03, 2012   Link

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