The moon is a prominent symbol in various forms of art – in literature, film, paintings, and songs. The moon is traditionally seen as a feminine symbol, the antithesis, and partner, to the Sun’s masculine. If the Sun is yang, then the moon is yin. Furthermore, the phases of the moon lend itself as a further representation of a cycle of life. The waning moon is for surrender and letting go, the new moon for new beginnings and rebirth, the waxing moon for growth, and the full moon as the peak of power and clarity. The rich association of the moon to various stages of one’s life and the various intersections means that there is an abundant number of songs that use the symbol to enhance the lyrics.
The first song is Dreamcatcher‘s “Full Moon.” The track relates the love story to the moon, wherein the moon is utilized to symbolize how the love shined brightly like the moon. It talks of how “the sky is filled with moonlight / in it is you and me” and how the moments of the two lovers being together is as if “I’m a star in the sky.”
I will remember you
I will meet you again
I will draw you in my dreams every day
You and I, under the blue night sky
I promised love
I will give you moonlight in this night sky
I want to fill this whole world with this light
The chorus underlines the moon and the shine that it gives. However, it should be noted that the moon actually reflects light from the sun – it does not make its own light. Thus, it can be surmised that the other party is the source of light for Dreamcatcher. Ultimately, though, Dreamcatcher’s song tells of a love that has gone by. By the end of the song, it begs the other party to “please remember me / please meet me again” and how their promised love would shine forever as the moon does.
Moving on, the next song is Red Velvet‘s “Moonlight Melody,” a track from their second album, Perfect Velvet. One of the ballads, it is straightforward when it comes to its use of the moon. The moon is also used as a symbol of their love but in a different way. If in Dreamcatcher, it was to draw an analogy to the moon and its light, then Red Velvet uses the moon as setting the scene of a memory.
The songs also use vague references to the moon to tell the time. Joy‘s opening line of “It was especially bright / On that night” can be a reference to the full moon where the moon shines it’s brightest. The full moon, as mentioned previously, also symbolizes the peak of clarity and power – in Red Velvet’s case, it is the peak of love. However, this moment of clarity – of realizing love – does not bring forth the start of a relationship. Instead, there is a step backward, afraid that the other party may be overwhelmed. The window to this emotion is closed so that the other party does not know.
Is it the moon?
Was it shining on us and did it want to say something?
I’ve never heard it before
That unforgettable sound of the moonlight
Do you remember?
It sang for us, it blessed us
Out of the many stars
It was the biggest and brightest
The chorus has the moon as a third party watching over this confusing scene. The melody of bells is later identified as the sound of moonlight that sang and blessed them. Red Velvet continually returns to the spot where this moonlight melody was heard, in hopes of hearing it again. However, the “precious and unforgettable sound of the moonlight” is not heard, despite coming back to the same place every day.
Finally, from his 2016 album, 130 Moon: TRBL, is Dean‘s “D (half moon)” featuring Gaeko. This is perhaps the most intimate and mature of the songs in this Music and Lyrics. Dean relates himself to being a “half-full moon” one that looks just like his current emotional state: half complete with his significant other.
In the traditional phases of the moon, the half-moon can be either the waning or waxing phase, which denotes surrender and growth respectively. Dean notes that while “Nothing’s really different / It’s the same air / It’s the same bed” his world has become empty and small, with only the feelings of longing to fill his boring days. Thus, the song can also use the waning and waxing phases. In the waning half-moon, Dean finds himself surrendering to the emptiness. In the waxing half-moon, he feels a growing sensation of longing for the longing for the love that is lost.
Nothing comes even close
To half of you
It can’t fill me
It doesn’t fill me up, yeah
If only I had just half of you
Then I wouldn’t feel like this
If tomorrow’s darkness
Takes one bite of the moon
Then our world that we made
Would become smaller too
Only longing will fill it up
After I spend a boring day
When the full moon rises to the sky
A common theme between these three songs, apart from the prominence of the moon, is that these are love stories already at their end, with one party reminiscing about the other. With Dreamcatcher, it is remembering a promise to love the other whilst under the moonlit sky. Red Velvet’s song is a recollection of the first time they felt the blooming of love, relating it to a melody of the moon. Dean’s “D (half moon)” the moon is used as a metaphor for the completeness his significant other brought to his life.
These are just some of the moon-themed songs. There are more to be found, such as GFriend‘s “Time for the Moon Night,” Hyorin‘s “Blue Moon,” Sunmi‘s “Full Moon,” and Jonghyun‘s “Moon,” just to name a few. These songs, like the songs enumerated above, use the moon to give atmosphere to the track and use analogies to further make the song easily understood and even relatable to the listener.