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The message behind “Moon Song” by Phoebe Bridgers

“Moon Song” is the seventh track off of singer Phoebe Bridgers 2020 album “Punisher”. This song never fails to make me cry no matter how many times I listen to it and it’s not just because of it’s slow and dreary melody, but because of it’s heart wrenching lyrics as well. The song is essentially caring about someone that who hates themselves because they feel they aren’t good enough or dumb. In turn you start to feel dumb for caring about them but you if you express this then you worry that they’ll leave, but you care for them too much to let them go. I think what draws me so much to this song is the feeling we all get when we care about someone and we would rather sacrifice a part of ourselves to be around this person because a sliver of unhappiness beats the alternative.

My favorite line in the song comes in at the second verse. The line is, “So I will wait for the next time you want me like a dog with a bird at your door”. Every time I hear this line I sob, it is just so breathtaking and heart wrenching of a metaphor to describe you much you care about a person, it’s just so brilliant. Essentially Bridgers is saying that you can do whatever you want and hurt me as much as you want but I’m not going anywhere, I’ll be loyal to you because I am so in love with you. When a dog brings it’s owner a dead animal, the dog sees it as a gift, even though the owner has no use for it. Never the less by using this metaphor Bridgers is saying that she will always be there for her partner ready to give them the gift of her love, even though her partner doesn’t see it as a gift. I think in life we’ve all experienced the heartbreak of knowing you care for someone more than they care for you. It is a tough pill to swallow when you know that they can do anything to you and you’ll still always be there to care for them, even though they don’t reciprocate that feeling.

In the chorus Bridgers says ” And if I could give you the moon I would give you the moon”. This line is only further relaying that feeling of wanting to give anything you can to this person that you care so deeply for. You think so highly of this person that you want to give them everything you can, even though they give you very little. I read this thing once that said “I think in every relationship one person always loves the other more”. When we love someone we tend to put them on this pedestal, even though thats not reality. We think so highly of them and we become so invested in them. I think this song is a great representation of that saying. When someone is not reciprocating the feelings we have for them back, we tend to notice it but often will ignore it, especially in a relationship because we think if we ignore it than it doesn’t exist and everything is fine. Ignoring problems never makes anything better, eventually all the feelings we’ve been holding in for so long get unleashed and usually nothing good comes from it.

In the outro, Bridgers says “But you’re holding me like water in your hands”, another brilliantly written line. Water is something so fragile and delicate, it can slip right through your fingers, people are the same way. At any moment someone can leave, relationships are such a fragile thing that we tend to take for granted, especially the people in them with us that care so much. She follows this line up with the final lyrics of the song “When you saw the dead little bird you started crying but you know the killer doesn’t understand”. We are circling back to the dog metaphor. When we know the end of a relationship is near we can become emotional over it, especially when we know we cannot reciprocate the same love and affection the other person is giving to us. When she says “the killer doesn’t understand”, she is essentially saying that we don’t understand why they cannot accept the gift of our love. Love and relationships are such a complicated thing and they become even more complicated when one person begins to fall out of love with the other, especially when the other person is giving them everything they can. This is one of my favorite songs, which I’m aware sounds really depressing, but it’s one of my favorites because of how real it is. It’s not a breakup song, and it’s not a love song, it’s a song about having love that you don’t know what to do with when the other person doesn’t want it anymore, no matter how much you care for them.

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