"Is this the train to Desert Moon?" was all she said
but I knew I'd heard that stranger's voice before.
I turned to look into her eyes, but she moved away
She was standing in the rain
Trying hard to speak my name
They say first love never runs dry

The waiter poured our memories in a tiny cup
We stumbled over words we longed to hear
We talked about the dreams we'd lost, or given up
When the whistle caught the night
And shook silence from my life
As the last train rolled toward the moon

Those summer nights
When we were young
We bragged of things
We'd never done
We were dreamers, only dreamers
And in our haste
To grow up too soon
We left our innocence on Desert Moon
We were dreamers, only dreamers
On Desert Moon
On Desert Moon
On Desert Moon
Desert Moon

I still can hear the whisper of the summer nights
It echoes in the corners of my heart
The night we stood waiting for the desert train
All the words we meant to say
All the chances swept away
Still remain on the road to undo

Those summer nights, when we were young
We bragged of things we'd never done
We were dreamers, only dreamers
Moments pass, and time moves on
But dreams remain for just as long as there's dreamers
All the dreamers

On Desert Moon
On Desert Moon
On Desert Moon
Desert Moon

Lyrics submitted by vimalraja

Desert Moon Lyrics as written by Dennis Deyoung

Lyrics © Wixen Music Publishing

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Desert Moon song meanings
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    My InterpretationIt is a great song about reconnecting with a person from your past that slipped away. The lyrics tell a story of a man at a train station presumably returning to his hometown (the "Desert Moon" of the title), perhaps for a holiday, and is addressed incidentally by a woman asking if it's the right train for his town. They simultaneously realize that they know each other, in fact they were high school sweethearts. She just happened to be returning there too, and they have met again as if by fate. They take the train together and reminisce in a dining car as the train leaves. It's implied that they may fall in love again, and the chorus layers in general nostalgia and lost innocence themes.

    Then we get to the video.

    It turns the whole story on its head and deconstructs it mercilessly. He comes to his hometown, arrives by himself, is greeted by friends/family. Something's distracting him, and at his first opportunity he asks after his old girlfriend and finds that she no longer lives there and moved to Chicago. So the story told by the lyrics? It's a fantasy he made up in his head. My own speculation follows -- when it came up that he was returning to Desert Moon, he regretted having lost contact with his old girlfriend, and daydreamed about randomly running into her again on the train home. It fits with how perfectly out of the blue it was, and how even the minute details were suffused with deeper symbolism: "The waiter poured our memories in a tiny cup". He built up his daydream into the perfect, most romantic moment he could imagine.

    The whole time at the departing station he probably looked around for her, even though there was no reason to imagine she'd turn up. Finally he got on the train and headed home. Now starting to obsess, he decided maybe she still lived in Desert Moon and he'd look her up.

    Back to what's actually in the video, after hearing the news, he's totally listless. He practically sleepwalks through being reunited with his family and oldest friends, not even being able to completely enjoy getting his classic Mustang from the old days going again. All he can think about now is finding her. He has a pretty good time with his buddies, but in the morning he's on a mission. So he gives his beloved car to his... friend? brother?... it isn't clear...and takes another train to Chicago (from an iconic station) to try and find her there.

    A couple of thoughts come to mind--the song connects with me so much because I've had that fantasy before, of randomly meeting someone that used to be important to me, that parts of a lost past of unfinished stories can suddenly start again.

    The second, and perhaps sadder thought: such a fantasy is now all but impossible. Not because you can't find old friends, but because it's too easy. In 2009 I got on Facebook and managed to reconnect with just about everyone from my past that I gave a damn about. It felt good but obviously didn't have the romantic sheen of random fate. Technology has rendered obsolete that entire genre of story except as a period piece--today's youths will rarely lose contact entirely with their childhood friends and loved ones, and almost never quite feel firsthand the emotions that inspired this song.
    tjarethon February 18, 2021   Link

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