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Islands (Mike Oldfield)

The single was released in 1987, from the album of the same name, and features Bonnie Tyler as vocalist.

Islands from the first time we saw
We could wait for this moment, like rocks on the shore
We can never be closer somehow
For the moment that lasts, is this moment now

When the night's on fire, will you keep the candlelight burning?
Hold on to your heart's desire
When you see one bird into the wind another one's turning
And the two can fly much higher

We are islands but never too far, we are islands
And I need your light tonight, and I need your light tonight,
We are islands but never too far, we are islands
And I need your light tonight, and I need your light tonight

Islands never been to before and we climb so high
To where the wild birds soar, there's a new path
That we found just today I was lost in the forest
And you showed me the way

When the night's on fire, will you keep the candlelight burning?
Hold on to your heart's desire
When you see one bird into the wind another one's turning
And the two can fly much higher

We are islands but never too far, we are islands
And I need your light tonight, and I need your light tonight,
We are islands but never too far, we are islands
And I need your light tonight, and I need your light tonight

We are islands but never too far, we are islands
And I need your light tonight, and I need your light tonight,
We are islands but never too far, we are islands
And I need your light tonight, and I need your light tonight

We are islands but never too far, we are islands
And I need your light tonight, and I need your light tonight










ISLANDS= /lənds/

SHORE= Coast, beach.

SOMEHOW= In some unspecified way.

FOR= Because.

ON FIRE= Burning (in this case it is a metaphor of passion or/and love)

WILL YOU...?= It is a polite way of asking for something, so "will you help me?" means the same as "please, help me".

KEEP + ing= If you keep something happening, you make sure that it doesn't stop, so in this case, she is asking his lover to make sure the passion of love (the fire of the candlelight) keeps burning, that is, never stops.

CANDLELIGHT= The light from a candle/candles (see picture)

HOLD ON TO= If you hold on to something, you grab it to keep you steady. But metaphorically, as it is here, it means to stick to something or to an idea without changing it.

HEART'S= Saxon genitive is used to express possession but only when the possessor is a person or a time expression. Here the word HEART is used with a Saxon genitive because it is given human attributes, in this case the ability to feel and to desire.

ANOTHER ONE'S TURNING= Another bird is coming back.

ISLANDS NEVER BEEN TO BEFORE= The correct order might be: "(we've) never been to (those) islands before" or "Islands (to which) we've never been before". The word ISLANDS can't be the subject of this sentence because BEEN TO needs a place adverb (where?) and that place must be ISLANDS. Changing the normal order of a sentence is called a hyperbaton, and it is often used in poetry to create a sense of strangeness and beauty.

WILD BIRDS= A wild animal is an animal who lives free, is not a pet or tamed or a farm animal. Usually all birds are wild, so this adjective here is redundant, but they use it to emphasize the idea of birds (a metaphor for lovers) feeling wild (strong passions).

SOAR= To rise or fly high into the air.

This is a song about passion, wild uncontrolled love. The two lovers are like islands, separated, surrounded by a vast sea. They can never connect, get together, form one common land or just "be closer somehow", but they can never stay away from each other either: "We are islands but never too far".

All the song is made up of metaphors that talk about impossible love and passion.

 
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