Episode 159: Moonbeam Levels

On episode 159 of the Press Rewind – Prince Lyrics Podcast, Christy Norman from The Mountains and the Sea Podcast joins me in discussing the cryptic, beautiful and emotional “Moonbeam Levels,” which can be found on both the 1999 Super Deluxe and the 4Ever compilation.


“Yesterday, I tried to write a novel, but I didn’t know where to begin.”

A power ballad that eschews the typical ballad topics of love and relationships, “Moonbeam Levels” is a song that is written from the perspective of a man experiencing an existential crisis after the death of his girlfriend and the impending World War III that causes him to ponder his life on Earth. Whether he wants to die (“I’m looking for a better place to die.”) now via suicide or die somewhere else (rings of Saturn, anyone?), anywhere else is up to interpretation. There’s no denying this song’s impact as a could’ve been hit.

The goal of each episode of Press Rewind is to:

  • Take a track by track look at the lyrical content of Prince’s discography
  • Discuss my own interpretation of each song’s lyrics along with any guest I may have
  • If submitted, discuss listener’s interpretations of each song’s lyrics

Thank you for joining me on this journey through Prince’s catalog!

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