I pictured a rainbow
You held it in your hands
I had flashes
But you saw the plan
I wandered out in the world for years
While you just stayed in your room
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon

Hmm, you were there in the turnstiles, with the wind at your heels
You stretched for the stars and you know how it feels to reach too high
Too far
Too soon
You saw the whole of the moon
I was grounded
While you filled the skies
I was dumbfounded by truth
You cut through lies
I saw the rain dirty valley
You saw Brigadoon
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon

I spoke about wings
You just flew
I wondered, I guessed and I tried
You just knew
I sighed
But you swooned, I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon

(The whole of the moond) with a torch in your pocket and the wind at your heels
You climbed on the ladder and you know how it feels to get too high
Too far
Too soon
You saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon, hey yeah!

Unicorns and cannonballs, palaces and piers
Trumpets, towers and tenements
Wide oceans full of tears
Flags, rags ferryboats
Scimitars and scarves
Every precious dream and vision
Underneath the stars, yes, you climbed on the ladder
With the wind in your sails
You came like a comet
Blazing your trail too high
Too far
Too soon
You saw the whole of the moon

Lyrics submitted by bambi3k, edited by briantz6, casper1030

The Whole Of The Moon Lyrics as written by Michael Scott

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Whole Of The Moon song meanings
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  • +11
    General CommentThis song was a Godsend. After becoming re-aquainted to a friend I hadn't seen in many years, she lamented about the different paths our lives had taken since high school. It was apparent that things hadn't worked out well for her while my life (as far as she could see) had florished. Of course she was looking at job, money and possesions. So I let her listen to this song so that she could see how much I had always admired her ballsiness. That it was true that I had taken the safer road to who I am today. But it was she who had dared to carve out the trail.
    Xperimentgonawryon January 11, 2008   Link
  • +7
    General CommentThis song came out the same year my husband died and the words emblazened in my brain as I learned to continue on each day without him. He was young and he was an extremist (too high too far too soon). He taught by example (I spoke about wings You just flew). In retrospect, he lived as if his days were numbered - which they were. The lyrics of this song describe how he lived and about how I missed him and our future (I pictured a rainbow You held it in your hands) Twenty six year later, when I hear the song... and I still do from time to time... it reminds me of how fortunate I was to have known him.
    MollyMMageeon November 01, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI think it is about someone who feels the person they are with is too good for them. They are in awe of them, and the way they see the world and interact with it.

    I spoke about wings
    you just flew
    I wondered, I guessed, and I tried
    you just knew

    The person speaking in the song has tried lots of things, travelled the world, but doesnt feel that they are good enough for the person they are talking about. They are amazed by the person, and maybe jealous of them that they can do things without effort. They try to keep up but it is impossible.
    Mikerron December 12, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI just read that this was about Roddy Frame, the former Aztec Camera singer-the article says:

    “Actually, there’s a really good story about that song,” says Paul. “Mike Scott of The Waterboys wrote that song about Roddy Frame. Y’see, Mike Scott was writing all this stuff on his acoustic guitar in Edinburgh, trying to get a record out. Then Aztec Camera released ‘High Land Hard Rain’, their first LP, and Mike Scott thought ‘Shit, that’s exactly what I’ve been trying to do!’. Then the first Waterboys LP came out at the same time as ‘Knife’ by Aztec Camera and it was the same story again: Mike Scott thought that Roddy Frame was always one step ahead of him. ‘Whole Of The Moon’ was basically Mike Scott saying ‘OK Roddy, I give up, I’ll never be as good as you, you’re brilliant.”

    josieroxon June 05, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentMy favourite song of all time! Beautiful lyrics! Conjures up all sort of lovely images.
    1st heard it on my 18th birthday (on it's 2nd release)and LOVED it since then. LOVE LOVE LOVE it.
    cj17on April 21, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI think this describes someone searching (wondering out in the world for years) for something in their life But being frustrated at the other person who just stays in their room and gets to see it all anyway.
    (I had flashes, but you saw the plan), suggest that someone is getting glimpses of what it's all about, but the other person already has the wisdom and insight.
    I was interested to hear the mention of CS Lewis, this could be hinting towards the use of imagination, filling in the gaps in life. (I pictured the rainbow) - stating he had to use his imagination. (you held in your hand) this is a statement rather than a suggestion. The other person is so convinced they have it they are getting the writer to picture it too.
    The other person has so much confidence in their beliefs that the writter believes this other person even has the ability to fly...
    There is a lot to be said for faith and unshakable belief in yourself. With inner strength anything is possible. Maybe the other person is striving for this too. But like fruitlessly chasing butterflies, sometimes if you just sit and wait patiently, one will alight upon you. Like happiness. Stop searching for it and it will arrive. xxx
    Lollyliciouson October 16, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song is so uplifting! It seems to me that he is comparing himself to someone who has had a different experience of life but what they share in common is reaching too high, too far, too soon. He admires this person's or persons' ability to see the bigger picture i.e the whole of the moon. Life for him is confusing "i had flashes", and so he drifted about "I wondered out in the world for years" but they did not. He was grounded, meaning he understood the world in conventional terms whereas the other just lived in the moment drawing from intuition "while you filled the skies". What they both share in common is unrealisticly high aspirations and so they reached too high, too far and too soon. It might be nothing more than a left brain dominant person admiring a right brain dominant and the greater message being that regardless of how you see and experience the world neither is immune to the reality of the world outside their inner world i.e failure.
    cc2010on March 29, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentAfter listening to a radio interview it turns out the song is about the lead singers brother who had autism. looking over the lyrics again. the song is an even more beautiful piece of poetry. wonderful writing.
    seanpoeton April 03, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOn a less speculative note, MIke Scott (The Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Pianist of the Waterboys) has said that the song's subject is "a composite of many people", including C.S. Lewis.
    GrecoCelton December 20, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song seems to be about a heroin addict who has died from the point of view of someone who is looking for the meaning of life by travelling the world..... maybe?
    oilsfanon February 17, 2008   Link

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