I'm a melancholy man, that's what I am,
All the world surrounds me, and my feet are on the ground.
I'm a very lonely man, doing what I can,
All the world astounds me and I think I understand
That we're going to keep growing, wait and see.

When all the stars are falling down
Into the sea and on the ground,
And angry voices carry on the wind,
A beam of light will fill your head
And you'll remember what's been said
By all the good men this world's ever known.
Another man is what you'll see,
Who looks like you and looks like me,
And yet somehow he will not feel the same,
His life caught up in misery, he doesn't think like you and me,
'Cause he can't see what you and I can see.


Lyrics submitted by weezerific:cutlery

Melancholy Man Lyrics as written by Mike Pinder

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Melancholy Man song meanings
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21 Comments

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  • +5
    General Comment

    Well, I believe that Melancholy Man is actually Pinder himself. THe song has kind of a pacifist feeling to it in my opinion and refers to events at the time, such as the Cold War.

    "That we're going to keep growing, wait and see." Hopefully mankind will learn peace and end war, or they will develop new weapons.

    "When all the stars are falling down Into the sea and on the ground, " Stars = bombs. It's talking about a plane dropping a payload of bombs on innocent targets.

    "And angry voices carry on the wind," When all negotiations fail...

    "A beam of light will fill your head" You'll see the flash of a nuclear explosion.

    "And you'll remember what's been said" By all the good men this world's ever known. " Possibly a reference to Oppenheimer's quotes after reading Hindu (In Search of the Lost Chord? Om is a sacred text in Hindu) verses.

    "Another man is what you'll see, Who looks like you and looks like me, And yet somehow he will not feel the same, His life caught up in misery, he doesn't think like you and me, " The victims of Hiroshima/Nagasaki who won't ever recover.

    "'Cause he can't see what you and I can see. " Because of what man did to him, he has became angry and bitter.

    LolBananaPhoneon May 28, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Apparently, this is one of those love/hate songs - people seem to love it or hate it. I love it.

    Okay, I don't have a clue what the words mean. I know the author was fairly religious, so it definitely has those overtones to it.

    I like that it sets a 'mood' and paints a picture with the words. I can 'see' the stars falling down and I can 'see' the angry voices on the wind. I also love the dual acoustic guitars (that's Hayward AND Pinder playing guitars) and how the song builds with the keyboards.

    Digi-Gon July 18, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I think it is about the end of the world. The line about "when all the stars are falling down/ into the sea and on the ground" sounds like a reference to the book of Revelation

    Gimodonon April 14, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I always kind of invisioned Melancholy Man as God and that the song was about the end of the world. God ended the world because he was so disatisfied with it. That's how I saw it, but my interpretation was influenced by a graphic novel I was reading while listening to this: Persepolis.

    rubbersoulon May 21, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    i believe that this song starts off fairly straightforward by explaining the characer of the narrator. In my opinion the whole when all the stars are falling down part is tellin us that he dies then the beam of light is like his life flashing before his eyes and he describes watching himself when he was alive and didnt know all the things he knows now

    its an odd interpretation but its my personal opinion so whatever

    farrellon January 14, 2007   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning

    ersonal Favorite Food for thought... "A beam of light will fill your head" (enlightenment) "And you'll remember whats been said by all the good men this worlds ever known" (egregore) "cause he can't see what you and i can see." (ORDO AB CHAO) what you and i can see or are seeing, is described in the next track balance.

    This entire album is filled with the worlds most weighty themes :)

    Windfieldon January 30, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    so sad.... reminds me of when I was depressed and when I was slowly realizing there was something wrong with me.

    "I'm a very lonely man, doing what I can, " I never really had any real friends when I was depressed, and I struggled throught life, not being able to see the positive aspects of things at all, always seeing the negative, always punishing myself & beating myself down, becoming so emotionally dead that I only felt pain and sorrow, and emptiness. Following lines also describe this "Another man is what you'll see, Who looks like you and looks like me, And yet somehow he will not feel the same, His life caught up in misery, he doesn't think like you and me, 'Cause he can't see what you and I can see. " Being depressed, I also wondered what made other people so different, so happy? What did they have that I didn't? I figured I was just meant to be this way, that in the game of life there were winners and losers, and I had lost somehow.

    At least, there is hope (just like when one realises what he's feeling is depression, and he might be able to get healthier somehow) : "That we're going to keep growing, wait and see. "

    "When all the stars are falling down Into the sea and on the ground, And angry voices carry on the wind," When everything goes wrong...

    "A beam of light will fill your head And you'll remember what's been said By all the good men this world's ever known. " ...There's still some hope

    AldinTheMadon September 30, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    an underrated song. The song is relativley straightforward in its meaning. the tune of the song - repetitive with great backing vocals - seems to give the lyrics even more power. A song of foreboding..

    CharmingManon March 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Relatively straight forward??? You have a bigger brain than I :)

    The easy answer about any of the stranger Moody Blues songs is that they are about drugs. But this one. . . I don't know.

    It starts easy enough, sure, the guy is lonely, and why not?

    Then it goes onto one of the Moody Blues regular trips. Beam of light? Stars falling down?

    I cannot help wondering if there is an intentional change of perspective mid-song - that the Melancholy Man he is at the start is the same person he is talking about a little later. That's fine - but why the switch?

    It is just possible that I have way over-analysed this song. . .

    altsainon May 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I agree folks either love it or hate it. I, too, love it. It starts out kind of square (ie, not hip), but gets better with ".. when all the stars ..."

    It is one of those tunes left up to the interpretation of the listener. For me, I don't think the melancholy man is God or Jesus (neither would be melancholy even at the end of the world - also, they would see what you and I see).

    But, rather, he is one of the "good men this world's ever known", one, in particular, that has had a lot to say.

    To me, this would be a classic author or songwriter, one who comments on the state of humanity (Twain, Dickens, John Lennon, etc.) Often these are truly good men, but not particularly happy since they see and write about the state of human affairs.

    What I cannot reconcile with this interpretation is "he can't see what you and I can see". Usually a wise old commentator on the state of humanity can see what you and I see. My best guess is if you and I are blissfully ignorant, happy people, and the melancholy man cannot see the little things that make us happy.

    tsreybon August 10, 2006   Link

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