MGMT – “Of Moons, Birds & Monsters” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

“Of Moons, Birds & Monsters” is a fascinating journey through metaphorical landscapes. The song’s core reflects on existential dilemmas and the human condition. It’s about confronting the unknown, our struggles, and the constant search for meaning in a chaotic world. The songwriters seem to ponder the futility of specific endeavors and the inevitability of change, symbolized through vivid imagery of moons, birds, and monsters. This track contemplates life’s more significant questions and our inner demons. Its creation likely stems from a desire to explore these deep, introspective themes.

Ever wondered what lurks in the shadows of MGMT’s “Of Moons, Birds & Monsters”? Join me in unraveling the mysteries hidden in its lyrics.


“Of Moons, Birds & Monsters” Lyrics Meaning

“Of Moons, Birds & Monsters” is a lyrical odyssey, beginning with a questioning tone: “Why’d you cut holes in the face of the moon base?” This opening line sets the stage for a song that delves into themes of alteration and the impact of our actions on the environment. The “moon base” could symbolize human ambition or progress, with the “cut holes” suggesting the unintended consequences of these endeavors.

As the song progresses, it touches upon feelings of disillusionment and frustration: “Are you mad at your walls or hoping that an unknown force can repair things for you?” This line could be interpreted as a metaphor for feeling trapped or helpless in the face of life’s challenges, yearning for an external solution to internal problems.

The imagery of a “pale gray garden” and a ship that never comes speaks to unfulfilled dreams and the passage of time. It’s a poignant reflection on how we often wait for change or rescue that might never arrive, highlighting the importance of self-reliance and moving forward.

The song also explores themes of destruction and rebirth. “The prick of a feather could make a kingdom burn” suggests that even the smallest actions can have significant consequences. This line, along with the imagery of a burning pyre and a drowning rat, illustrates the cycle of creation and destruction inherent in nature and human experience.

In the chorus, “To catch a monster, we make a movie,” there’s a hint of irony and self-awareness. It suggests that sometimes, in our quest to confront or understand our fears (the monsters), we dramatize or fictionalize them, perhaps as a coping mechanism.

The Story Behind “Of Moons, Birds & Monsters”

When MGMT penned “Of Moons, Birds & Monsters,” they were pondering the complexities of human existence and our place in the universe. The choice of imagery – moons, birds, and monsters – is particularly telling. Moons can represent the cyclical nature of life and the constant presence of change. Birds might symbolize freedom and the human desire to transcend limitations, while monsters could be metaphors for the darker aspects of the human psyche or the external challenges we face.

The writers seem to be questioning their personal experiences and broader societal issues – environmental concerns, the consequences of human actions, and the search for meaning in a seemingly indifferent universe.

It’s not just a poetic exploration of abstract concepts; it’s a reflection of the writers’ own journey through life’s uncertainties and the universal quest to find purpose and understanding. The song, therefore, becomes a mirror for the listener’s own experiences, inviting them to ponder their personal “moons, birds, and monsters.”