What's the meaning of the expression "bed burning" or "bed on fire"?

  • Tom Brito

    There's a song by Midnight Oil called Beds Are Burning, and the song Psycho Killer also says that "my bed's on fire".

    What do those expressions mean (if they mean the same thing)?

    update: Some friends suggest they're talking about drugs effects. What do you think?

  • Answers
  • Schroedingers Cat

    I think "bed" refers to "home" or safety. In the Midnight Oil song, it means something like, how can we ignore what is happening when it is destroying our homes and houses? It refers to the forceable relocations - very literally, their beds were being set alight, or at least moved on.

    More generally, it refers to a necessity for action, because your home - where you would relax and forget about the problems - is being destroyed or removed.

  • Mark Beadles

    Regarding your update "Some friends suggest they're talking about drugs effects. What do you think?", that's really not applicable,.

    It would make no sense for Midnight Oil to be referring to drug effects -- in fact, the song "Beds are Burning" is well-known as drawing attention to the situation with the lands of aboriginal peoples of Australia, in particular the Pintupi. A drug use mention would make little sense and would not fit with the song. But "Beds are burning" can also refer to an urgent situation, which does fit the song.

  • Related Question

    expressions - Meanings of 'killing moon' and 'killing time' in song by Echo and The Bunnymen
  • Raphael

    I was wondering what the meanings of the expressions killing moon and killing time on the song Killing moon by Echo and The Bunnymen are.

    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


    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

    I assume the song does not refer to some sort of ritualistic murder on full moon. What then are the meanings intended for these expressions?

  • Related Answers
  • oosterwal

    I suspect that there are several word-plays going on here. In American myth and folklore, the full moon of each month is given a name, such as Wolf Moon, Storm Moon, Harvest Moon, Hunter's Moon, etc. A blue moon is a rare occurrence that happens about once every 2-3 years when a single season (three months) experiences four full moons; the third full moon in a season with four full moons is called the Blue Moon. There is no full moon specifically called the Killing Moon.

    An Old Testament poem tells us that there is a time for everything under the sun; a time to give, a time to take, a time to heal, and a time to kill, etc. Calling something a killing time or killing moon would mean that somebody's or something's death is imminent and unavoidable.

  • chaos

    The song is about the conflict between personal striving and inevitability, particularly the inevitability of death; the figures of the killing time and the killing moon are used to suggest death as something that occurs at a preordained moment.

  • msh210

    Killing moon sounds vaguely astrological, as if some alignment or what-have-you in the heavens is being interpreted as related to killing.

    Alternatively, moon sometimes means "month".

  • Daniel

    Killing moon might make perfect sense to a werewolf.

  • Glenn

    I always felt it was about an arranged marriage, the Sitar playing makes me feel like an Indian girl is being given up to an Indian groom and the "killing Time" is when she gives up her virginity and she cannot change the fact that she really does not want this. "Up against her will" "You will wait until you give yourself to him" He will take her with a cruel kiss, because she has no say in it.