The Bizarre Real Meaning Behind The Bonnie Tyler Song Total Eclipse Of The Heart

When you break out that old, worn 45 from your teenage years or hear "Total Eclipse of the Heart" on an all-'80s station (or your own digital playlist, since it is the 21st century after all), you picture a sad and powerful story of a breakup leaving a woman lonely with a broken heart. All she wants her ex to do is to turn around and remember all that she's remembering as she wonders if the best of her life is over. The lyrics to the 1983 hit can be considered dark by some — and for very good reason. Bonnie Tyler wasn't singing a song that was telling a human love story. Instead, it was telling a vampire love story, according to Song Meanings and Facts.

"Total Eclipse of the Heart" was the smash hit for Tyler in 1983, but its composer, Jim Steinman, actually originally wrote the song for a musical he was working on based on the 1922 vampire flick, "Nosferatu". In fact, the song got a new name when it eventually did make it into Steinman's 2002 Broadway musical "Dance of the Vampires". That's when "Total Eclipse of the Heart" became "Vampires In Love" to open the second act, according to

The seemingly endless vampire life of Total Eclipse of the Heart

"Dance of the Vampires" gave "Total Eclipse of the Heart" new life nearly two decades after its original release, and composer Jim Steinman explained to Playbill why it ended up in his vampire musical.

"That was an accident almost. I'm surprised it stayed in. [For the original production] in Vienna ... we needed a big love duet ... I remembered I actually wrote ['Total Eclipse of the Heart'] to be a vampire love song. Its original title was 'Vampires in Love' because I was working on a musical of 'Nosferatu,' the other great vampire story," Steinman said. "If anyone listens to the lyrics, they're really like vampire lines. It's all about the darkness, the power of darkness and love's place in dark. And so I figured 'Who's ever going to know; it's Vienna!' And then it was just hard to take it out."

In 2017, "Total Eclipse of the Heart" got another run. That's the year the world experienced an actual total eclipse of the sun. Royal Caribbean featured a "Total Eclipse Cruise" in which one of its ships would be in what is known as the path of totality just as the moon eclipsed the sun. And who was also on board to belt out an iconic song fit for the day right at that moment? Why, Tyler, of course, giving those on board an incredible treat during a historical day (via TIME).