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Marquee Moon
Television Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

I remember
Ooh, how the darkness doubled
I recall
Lightning struck itself

I was listening
Listening to the rain
I was hearing
Hearing something else

Life in the hive puckered up my nights
A kiss of death, the embrace of life
Ooh, there I stand 'neath the Marquee Moon
Just waiting

I spoke to a man down at the tracks
And I ask him
How he don't go mad
He said, "Look here, junior, don't you be so happy
And for heaven's sake, don't you be so sad"

Life in the hive puckered up my night
The kiss of death, the embrace of life
Ooh, there I stand 'neath the Marquee Moon
Hesitating

Well, the Cadillac
It pulled out of the graveyard
Pulled up to me
All they said, "Get in, get in"
Then the Cadillac
It puttered back into the graveyard
Me, I got out again

Life in the hive puckered up my night
A kiss of death, the embrace of life
Over there I stand 'neath the Marquee Moon
But I ain't waiting, uh-uh

I remember
How the darkness doubled
I recall
Lightning struck itself

I was listening
Listening to the rain
I was hearing
Hearing something else

Overall Meaning

The lyrics of Television's "Marquee Moon" seem to be delving into the complex feelings and experiences of the singer, as well as ideas about the nature of life itself. The opening lines of the song describe a moment of intense energy, where the darkness doubled and lightning struck itself, likely a metaphor for a powerful and transformative experience. This is followed by images of listening to the rain and hearing something else, suggesting a sense of otherworldly awareness or intuition.


In the chorus, the singer describes "life in the hive" causing him discomfort, a kiss of death and an embrace of life. This imagery could refer to the mundanity and limited opportunities of everyday life, juxtaposed with the fact that life itself is a gift worth cherishing. The title phrase "Marquee Moon" is repeated twice in the chorus and is analogous to a waiting period, signifying that the waiting for something is represented in a sense by the perpetual darkness of the moon, only illuminated by the glowing marquee beneath it.


When the singer asks a man at the tracks how he does not go mad, he is essentially asking him how he copes with the pressures of life. The response he receives is ambiguous, it destabilises both the concept of happiness and sadness, implying that both are dangerous extremes. It serves to question the idea of emotional stability and whether society views it as dangerous, and in several ways, suggests going against this norm.


Overall, Marquee Moon is a highly enigmatic and evocative piece of music that invites the listener to interpret its lyrics in many ways. The imagery alludes to the transcendent and transformative aspects of personal experience, and the chorus repeats the waiting for something is never ending. It could also be a commentary on the struggles and uncertainties of modern life, and the ways in which we may find peace and meaning amidst it all.


Line by Line Meaning

I remember
Starting with a moment of reflection, the singer recalls a past memory.


Ooh, how the darkness doubled
An eerie feeling of darkness and confusion intensifies.


I recall
Continuing the recollection of a past memory.


Lightning struck itself
A vivid and unusual image is remembered or imagined.


I was listening
The artist shifts to a present tense moment of listening and observing.


Listening to the rain
Specifically, the singer is listening to the sound of rain falling.


I was hearing
Continuing the focus on the sense of hearing.


Hearing something else
Something unexpected or unusual is heard in addition to the sound of rain.


Life in the hive puckered up my nights
The artist reflects on a difficult period in their life, where they felt constricted and trapped.


A kiss of death, the embrace of life
The artist describes their conflicting feelings about this difficult period: it was both destructive and life-giving.


Ooh, there I stand 'neath the Marquee Moon
The singer visualizes themselves standing in a particular place, represented metaphorically by the 'Marquee Moon.'


Just waiting
The artist is in a state of anticipation or indecision, unsure of what will happen next.


I spoke to a man down at the tracks
Switching to a past moment of conversation, the singer shares something they learned from a complete stranger.


And I ask him
The singer initiates the conversation, expressing curiosity or concern.


How he don't go mad
The singer asks how the man is able to stay sane in a world full of chaos and confusion.


He said, "Look here, junior, don't you be so happy
The man responds to the artist by cautioning them to moderate their emotions.


And for heaven's sake, don't you be so sad"
The man further advises the artist to take a balanced approach to life.


Well, the Cadillac
Shifting back to the present moment, the singer describes a surprising event that occurred.


It pulled out of the graveyard
A car, specifically a Cadillac, emerges from an unexpected place.


Pulled up to me
The car comes to a stop next to the artist.


All they said, "Get in, get in"
The occupants of the car invite the artist to join them.


Then the Cadillac
The car starts up again.


It puttered back into the graveyard
Just as suddenly as it appeared, the car disappears into the same unexpected place it came from.


Me, I got out again
The artist declined the offer to join the mysterious passengers and remains where they started.


But I ain't waiting, uh-uh
The singer resolves not to remain indecisive or stagnant, and takes action.




Lyrics © Rocking Gorillas Music Ltda
Written by: Tom Verlaine

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@weiwei1845

I remember how the darkness doubled
I recall, lightning struck itself
I was listening, listening to the rain
I was hearing, hearing something else
Life in the hive puckered up my night
The kiss of death, the embrace of life
There I stand 'neath the Marquee moon
Just waiting
I spoke to a man down at the tracks
And I asked him how he don't go mad
He said, "Look here junior, don't you be so happy
And for Heaven's sake, don't you be so sad"
Life in the hive puckered up my night
The kiss of death, the embrace of life
There I stand 'neath the Marquee moon
Hesitating
Well a Cadillac, it pulled out of the graveyard
Pulled up to me, all they said, "Get in" (Get in)
Then the Cadillac, it puttered back into the graveyard
Me, I got out again
Life in the hive puckered up my night
The kiss of death, the embrace of life
There I stand 'neath the Marquee moon
I ain't waiting, a-a
I remember how the darkness doubled
I recall, lightning struck itself
I was listening, listening to the rain
I was hearing, hearing something else



All comments from YouTube:

@wubzy5516

Rest In Peace Tom Verlaine, an unappreciated icon who’s work on this album along with Richard Lloyd’s, influenced countless bands to follow.

@mcnallyaar

The best of the best. We will always love this man and his work.

@Saybleu

The smart crowd knew of his genius 🎸😞
RIP Tom, thank you for the tunes.

@hipmantis8908

Thanks and bye Tom

@JJthename55

The informed crowd knew of his genius.
One can't appreciate if one was never exposed to it.
Good stuff.
RIP.

@williamwachterjr9803

Peace, Tom.

And for heaven's sake, don't you feel so sad.

23 More Replies...

@cellojordan

Verlaine's solo is exhilarating every time I hear it. The tension near the end, while he keeps moving up the neck bit by bit, is practically unbearable. Just hypnotic. RIP, Tom.

@omchambo5741

@josephstalin6940

no it ain't

@marccoleman2029

To the author of one of the greatest guitar solos in history.
RIP Tom Verlaine

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