Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn (Photo Credit: billboard.com)
Oh, but I’ll be alright
As long as there’s light
From a neon moon…
Released in February 1992, Neon Moon was written by Ronnie Dunn and recorded by American country music duo Brooks & Dunn. It is the third single from their debut album Brand New Man. The song became their third consecutive Number One single on the country charts.
The song’s narrator is a man who is at a bar, feeling lonely because his woman has left, so he spends “most every night beneath the light of a neon moon.”
Once the sun has set and it turns to night, he’s alone with his feelings of loneliness and abandonment.
The singer presents a clue as to how he relates to where he lives. He doesn’t identify with the town as a whole, just a narrow part of it–his side.
This also supports a reading of the first line that his work, which normally what distracts him from his heartache, is manual, outdoor labor. When the sun goes down, that signals the end of the workday and leaves him alone with his thoughts.
“The lights go out each evening at eleven
And up and down our block there’s not a sound
I close my eyes and search for peaceful slumber
And just then the local memory comes around
Piles of blues against the door
To make sure sleep will come no more”
He is spending his nights in a bar, drinking away his sorrows. His reference to the neon moon is actually the lights coming from the neon bar signs!
If you are dealing with heartache and problems, then the bar always has room for more to come and drown away the sorrows of drinking.
He’s talking about the dreams and plans he once shared with the girl he has since lost. As he sits in the bar and drowns his sorrows, he recalls their best-laid plans for the future and feels as though he is actually watching them dance away from him, taunting him and reminding him of what could have been
He remembers when they first met when they first started dating and they were probably so in love that they lived with no care in the world, and due to the heartache and pain, he is still reminded of her face.
He has spent countless times crying and lying to himself that one day she will return. That he calls that a lie suggests that he now knows it isn’t true, though it’s unclear whether those lies are something in the past because he’s accepted that she’s gone for good, or something that still occurs once he’s drunk enough.
This man feels as though the entire future he was working toward has slipped away from him. This would be an incredibly lonely feeling.
Turning to music when going through a breakup or hard time is very common, and a recent study by researchers at Freie Universität Berlin has shed some light on why. Sometimes, you just need to sit down, turn on that sad song, and have a good cry.
Watch Brooks & Dunn’s Neon Moon.
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