Dear friend as you know
Your flowers are withering
Your mother's gone missing
Your leaves have drifted away

But the clouds are clearing up
And I've come reveling
Burning incandescently
Like a bastard on the burning sea

You're just like your father
Buried deep under the water
Your resting on your laurels
Is stepping on my toes
Whose side are you on?
What side is this anyway?
Put down your sword and crown
Come lay with me on the ground

You come beating like moth's wings
Spastic and violently
Whipping me into a storm
Shaking me down to the core
But you run away from me
And you left me shimmering
Like diamond wedding rings
Spinning dizzily down on the floor

You're drifting like a fire
Buried deep under the water
You're pressing on your laurel
Is stepping on my toes
Whose side are you on?
What side is this anyway?
Put down your sword and crown
Come lay with me on the ground.
Come lay with me on the ground.


Lyrics submitted by 4sds1

Moth's Wings Lyrics as written by Michael Angelakos

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Moth's Wings song meanings
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36 Comments

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  • +4
    General Comment

    Alright so I was listening and it hit me this could be seen as someone who's struggling to cope with their mother dying, shutting out his friends, and getting angry at those that try to help.

    Dear friend, as you know Your flowers are withering -Flowers withering is a sign of oncoming winter, which is symbolic of death Your mother's gone missing -Many have said the correct lyrics are "missing" which would be who'd died Your leaves have drifted away -an allusion to fall, this person was forced to cope and mature, and could be acting coldly towards people. But the clouds are clearing up -the hard times/winter have ended And I've come reveling Burning incandescently -this person shows up trying to shine some light and be positive about the situation Like a bastard on the burning sea -this person is seen as a "bastard" trying to meddle in his problems

    You're just like your father Buried deep under the water -like his father this person is drowning in sorrows You're resting on your laurels And stepping on my toes -now he's being confrontational, acting smug and being a general douche Whose side are you on? What side is this anyway? -this person doesn't understand why they're fighting in the first place Put down your sword and crown Come lay with me on the ground -a plea to stop fighting, get off your pedestal and just relax, enjoy life again

    You come beating like moth's wings Spastic and violently Whipping me into a storm Shaking me down to the core -he comes and just suddenly and spastically start ruffing the other's feather But you run away from me And you left me shimmering Like diamond wedding rings Spinning dizzily down on the floor -he ends up running from the person, choosing to not deal with the other and wanting to sulk instead. The other person, who might be more (or wants to be), feels abandoned.

    KillaTequillaon October 23, 2010   Link
  • +3
    My Interpretation

    I have no idea why, but this song always reminded me of Virginia Woolf's essay 'Death of a Moth'...it sounds like he's alluding to Virginia Woolf, but I could be wrong. She was mentally insane, and she committed suicide by "drowning" herself. He even mentioned "You're just like your father Buried deep beneath the water".

    bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/everythingsanargument4e/content/cat_020/Woolf_DeathoftheMoth.pdf

    Does anyone see it? Or am I insane too? =P

    ajeetakhannaon June 16, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Yep... I definitely agree with you capturedanthems. Also this part seems correct in the words, but this I think makes a little more sense:

    "You're drifting like a fire, Buried deep beneath the water. You're pressing on, you're low, low, You're stepping on my toes. Whose side are you on? What side is this anyway? Put down your sword and bow, Come lay with me on the ground."

    As to the meaning, my guess (and this is purely a guess) is that the narrator is speaking to someone (perhaps even himself) who has lost their way (spiritually, I think)("dear friend as you know, your flowers are withering, your mother's gone insane, your leaves have drifted away") and built up their defenses against everyone else. You know, the kind of person who upsets everyone with their constant dismay and argumentative nature ("you come beating like moth's wings, spastic and violently, whipping me into a storm, shaking me down to the core").

    And the message seems to be that it's okay to just be still and quiet (both in body and mind)("put down your sword and bow, come lay with me on the ground") and enjoy the beauty of both physical and psychological/spiritual silence.

    This is just what I read into it, and I can see other possibilities as well. For instance, I wouldn't be shocked if it really had political undertones ("whose side are you on? what side is this anyway? put down your sword and bow, come lay with me on the ground.") or if it were a love song ("...whipping me into a storm, shaking me down to the core. but you run away from me, and you left me shimmering, like diamond wedding rings spinning dizzily down on the floor.")

    HopeSoForYouon May 03, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I think I just figured out one of the lines, and I'm about 90% sure it's right: "<b>You're resting on your laurels</b>, you're stepping on my toes." Almost positive. I'm so obsessed with this band right now.

    kellyelephanton May 04, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    great song. looking forward to the new album coming out.

    rentboyon April 29, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Dear friend, as you know Your flowers are all withering Your mother's gone missing Your leaves have drifted away

    But the clouds are clearing up And I've come reveling Burning incandescently Like a bastard on the burning sea

    But you're just like your father Buried deep under the water You're resting on your laurels And stepping on my toes

    Whose side are you on? What side is this anyways? Put down your sword and crown Come lay with me on the ground

    You come beating like moth's wings Spastic and violently-- Whipping me into a storm Shaking me down to the core

    But you've run away from me And you've left me shimmering Like diamond wedding rings Spinning dizzily down on the ground

    But you're just like your father Buried deep under the water You're resting on your laurels And stepping on my toes

    Whose side are you on? What side is this anyways? Put down your sword and crown Come lay with me on the ground

    (These are pretty much the correct lyrics; however, I hear "Spinning dizzily down on the FLOOR," but either way, great song).

    JusdePommeon October 16, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I'm listening to this song at ungodly volumes, and it's definitely

    "Your mother's gone missing" "You're just like your father" "buried deep under the water"

    Interpretation: It's from the perspective of the subject's spouse.

    The first stanza sets the stage.

    Dear friend, as you know Your flowers are withering Your mother's gone insane Your leaves have drifted away But the clouds are clearing up And I've come reveling Burning incandescently Like a bastard on the burning sea

    The narrator reaffirms that he is a friend, meaning she only wishes to help him and the rest of the song isn't some kind of angry accusation. She says that his luck has gone sour and he's wrong about something. As a result, she is victorious in some kind of argument. She takes pride in the anomaly that is her victory, and "lights on fire" with smugness. The purpose of "your mother's gone missing" is still lost to me. Maybe it's just another way to state that he isn't in control of his life.

    The refrain is the ensuing argument.

    (Wife) You're just like your father Buried deep under the water You're resting on your laurels And stepping on my toes

    (Husband) Whose side are you on?

    (Wife) What side is this anyway? Put down your sword and crown Come lay with me on the ground

    The wife is pleading with him to calm down and stop acting as if he had authority ("put down your sword and crown"), and join her, romantically, in peace as a common person ("come lay with me on the ground"). She adds that his pride is really starting to make her uncomfortable. "You're just like your father" clues us in that the subject is male and the narrator is his wife.

    You're just like your father Buried deep under the water These lines are especially symbolic. Water symbolizes baptism and renewal of self. This couplet means that at some point he forgave himself for his faults and decided he wasn't going to be like his father. But his wife knows him well enough to see that under that renewal, he's still like his father. The succession of traits from father to son also adds to the royalty motif found in this song; the sword, crown, and laurels are all references to this.

    The second stanza is very dramatic

    You come beating like moth's wings Spastic and violently Whipping me into a storm Shaking me down to the core But you run away from me And you left me shimmering Like diamond wedding rings Spinning dizzily down on the floor

    The subject gets violent in the face of such cutting, true, hurtful words. He batters his wife a little bit and throws his wedding ring on the ground, then runs. "And you left me shimmering" means that the narrator was crying from such a display of violence toward her, the woman he is supposed to love. The specific use of moth's wings (as opposed to butterfly wings or another bug's wings) is unknown to me, but it seems as it would have significance. Maybe if I were a bug expert I could identify the subtle differences between the wings and the way the bugs use them.

    Motifs:

    • Royalty; laurel wreaths were put on the heads of those who won victory, or who were otherwise royalty, in Greek and Roman culture. Imagery of "sword and crown" reinforces this. "You're just like your father" references the succession of kings.
    • Conflict; "who's side are you on," "you come beating like moth's wings," once again "sword and crown" all give credit to the theory that the subject is violent and likes to start conflicts with others, like some sort of warring king.

    Themes:

    • relationships
    • confronting your issues
    • pride
    commonsgon April 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    isn't it "competing like moth's wings"..or "beating like moth's wings"

    lulzmasteron May 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    yeah i definitely hear:

    "you come beating like moth's wings spastic and violently whipping me into a storm shaking me down to the core"

    capturedanthemson May 02, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Yes, it is "resting on your laurels" -- I was just going to post the same thing.

    J.Diddyon May 04, 2009   Link

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