READ

Cleverly Titled: A Deep Dive Into The Lyrics of "Full Moon Fever"

A quick foreword:

I feel like it’s important for me to say, before I dive right in to bearing what is essentially my soul to the internet, that I’ve never really believed in telling friends/family/listeners what a song is about. Everyone experiences lyrics at different times in their life and I don’t want to rob someone of a truly unique interpretation of what I’m saying. I think partly because sometimes I don’t even know what I’m saying until I take a step back and look at what’s happened. The creative process is like that for me. All consuming. It is like a fever dream that you wake up from and suddenly there’s art where before there was not. I dunno. It’s all a little pompous (and slightly egotistical), but that’s what art is. All that to say, this record is different and because of its difference, I feel like it can help do the songs more justice to give some context to each. That and, I suppose, I have had a LOT of people ask me about song meanings, lyrics, etc… So ego be damned. Let’s dive in. 

Full Moon Fever:

Let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, I indeed know that “Full Moon Fever” is a Tom Petty record. Remember when I said that I had hidden tributes to some of my favorite artists throughout this record? Well some are more obvious than others. Now shut up. 

Just kidding, please keep reading. 

Funny enough, I had always intended to pay tribute to Petty on this record, but this song sounds the least influenced by his music. At least, from my ears it does. This was actually supposed to be a rip off of The Killers, but definitely missed the mark there too. 

“You came to me once in a fever dream on a Friday night like a movie scene.

You were silver screen.”

This is a doozy of a line because it was influenced by both Sherwood and the 1975. First, Sherwood has a song called “Alley Cat” that I was damn near obsessed with in high school. Look it up. It’s a bop. That song has a line that goes “with the fever of a Saturday night”, playing off of what I assume is the movie Saturday Night Fever. Rather than be too obvious, I nudged it back a day. Sue me. 

The next portion is basically a rip from Matt Healy of the 1975. He loves using the line “a face straight out a magazine”. So I did a similar rip and made it “movie scene”. They even rhyme with each other. What’s the saying? All good art is an indiscretion? Yeah. That.

“You said “You can’t sweat me out. I’m a part of you darling. No such thing as a clean getaway.

You can move on, but you’ll still be haunted. Part of you leaves. Part of you stays.”

This is a super gutting line and actually super uncomfortable for me to talk about. First, it’s the introduction of the album’s main theme, which is confronting the ghosts that haunt us. Second, it just kind of admits that they’ll always be there. The memories, places, and people are forever etched in our minds. I guess more specifically, this gets me because it’s the admission that you give knowledge of yourself away in every relationship you’re in. There are pieces of you that people know and probably share, even though you two are essentially strangers now. It is weird to think about. Someone out there knows the things that scare you. Things that turn you on. Things that make you mad. Scents that you like. Dumb movies you laugh at. Places you dream about. It’s uncomfortable to say the least. 

“You left behind a piece of someone I don’t recognize when I hold it up to the light”

That’s kind of the entire story of this song. We have all invested in relationships. We have all let the wrong, or I suppose just not the right, person take a look at our naked selves. I don’t believe that cheapens who we are. I think it just crops up sometimes and we’re forced to look at it. Eventually, these memories start to look foreign. Maybe it’s the process of letting go. Maybe it’s the process of losing touch. Whatever it is, it becomes hard to imagine these things ever having meaning in your life. It’s like if you forgot what a spoon was. Seeing it in the silverware drawer would be strange and confusing… and I guess kind of humorous to some degree.

‘I don’t know’ is such a great cop out. So I tried my best to not use it, although it’s truly hard to describe the abstract. Hopefully I did ok. Hopefully someone else has felt at least a modicum of similar emotions. It would really suck to say all of this and have no one else relate. But I suppose, regardless if you’ve addressed this with yourself or not, it is real to me. That’s why I wrote about it. I’m caught between the lines. 

Feel free to speculate the rest:

Full Moon Fever

“You came to me once in a fever dream on a Friday night like a movie scene.

You were silver screen.

Caught me drunk with a liar’s tongue, $5 words, and the courage to be out of touch.

You said “You can’t sweat me out. I’m a part of you darling. No such thing as a clean getaway.

You can move on, but you’ll still be haunted. Part of you leaves. Part of you stays.

I’m caught between the lines. Framed in black and white. Victim to the night. Chasing ghosts and lights.

Second chance, but way off script. Funny how the past never loses its grip. I guess that just takes time.

But you left behind a piece of someone I don’t recognize when I hold it up to the light.

Part of me misses something just like that from time to time.”

Isaiah Dominguez