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The Killing Moon

April 28, 2013

Echo

Near the end of Donnie Darko, during the Halloween party and the trip to Grandma Death’s house – and, of course, right before Frank and Gretchen are killed – you can hear an old song by Echo and the Bunnymen called “The Killing Moon.” I wouldn’t want to make too much of this (who? me?), but the name of the band (Bunnymen – get it?) and the lyrics do a nice job of steering the viewer in the direction the film is taking, as Donnie’s mysterious fate becomes clear. I’ve embedded the video (via YouTube) and included the lyrics (courtesy of Lyrics Freak) below.

I should also say that Echo was a great 80s band which doesn’t really get its due. During the decade, they did work that was, in my opinion, as good (or nearly so) as that done by bands like U2 and R.E.M. that we now think of as dominating the era. This is, I grant you, a highly eccentric opinion. And I certainly don’t deny that a lot of other bands came out of the 80s and developed in interesting and exciting ways that Echo didn’t. This was in part because they broke up in 1988 (the year Donnie Darko is set) and in part because their attempts to regroup after the death of their drummer Pete de Freitas never really worked (again, in my opinion). I don’t know; maybe you just had to be there. But I was. And it was awesome.

Under blue moon I saw you
So soon you’ll take me
Up in your arms
Too late to beg you or cancel it
Though I know it must be the killing time
Unwillingly mine

Fate
Up against your will
Through the thick and thin
He will wait until
You give yourself to him

In starlit nights I saw you
So cruelly you kissed me
Your lips a magic world
Your sky all hung with jewels
The killing moon
Will come too soon

Fate
Up against your will
Through the thick and thin
He will wait until
You give yourself to him

Under blue moon I saw you
So soon you’ll take me
Up in your arms
Too late to beg you or cancel it
Though I know it must be the killing time
Unwillingly mine

Fate
Up against your will
Through the thick and thin
He will wait until
You give yourself to him

Fate
Up against your will
Through the thick and thin
He will wait until
You give yourself to him
You give yourself to him

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