The Meaning of Brooks & Dunn’s “Neon Moon”

Brooks & Dunn’s “Neon Moon” is a country classic from the duo’s 1991 album, Brand New Man, that hits just the right mood. The track was released as the album’s third single in February 1992 and topped the country charts, since becoming one of the genre’s most well-known and beloved tunes.

In fact “Neon Moon” and many other Brooks & Dunn songs have stood the test of time so well that they were given a Reboot in 2019. The compilation features remixed versions of the duo’s finest songs, with different country artists singing on each one. None other than Kacey Musgraves drops in to offer her take on “Neon Moon”, bringing the booze-tinted classic into the modern era.

The lyrics to “Neon Moon” tell a familiar tale of being heartbroken in a hazy bar. Located on the other side of the railroad tracks, this is the kind of bar where nobody will judge you for being sad and lonely. Dunn is apparently a regular at this place, which means that he has been heartbroken for quite some time, as he has his own “table for two way in the back” where he sits alone and thinks of losing his lover.

I spend most every night
Beneath the light
Of a neon moon

Pre-chorus to “Neon Moon” by Brooks & Dunn.

This “Neon Moon” that they sing about is not some sort of psychedelic celestial being (there are other songs for that), but rather a neon bar sign like you’d see at any local dive bar. He sits under those bright lights every single night, dreaming of his lost lover and desperately hoping for her return.

He sits there at his lonely back wall table, watching the cigarette smoke drift around the bar as beams of neon light shine through them. In the smoke-filled room he can see his own dreams fluttering away from him with the loss of his lover. We’re seeing a man in a down-bad state here, and perhaps one that a few of us have been in ourselves.

Brooks & Dunn recognize that they aren’t the only heartbroken fellows in the world, and certainly not the only ones who would like to drink the pain away. The chorus offers an open invitation to anybody who’s lost their “one and only,” ensuring them that “there’s always room here for the lonely.”

Oh, if you lose your one and only
There’s always room here for the lonely
To watch your broken dreams
Dance in and out of the beams
Of a neon moon

Chorus to “Neon Moon” by Brooks & Dunn.

Every sad song that plays on the jukebox seems to describe Dunn’s heartbreak with precision, and he wonders if the pain will ever end. Thankfully, though, he knows that he’ll “be alright, as long as there’s light from a neon moon.” As long as that little country bar is open, he’ll be able to get through this.

Hopefully nobody reading this is currently drinking the pain away, but if you are, at least you know that Brooks & Dunn (and Extra Chill) have got your back. “Neon Moon” will always be there for you.

Listen to the original recording by Brooks & Dunn below, and watch the music video for the 2019 remix with Kacey Musgraves below that.

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