Moonbeam Rays

From This Might Be A Wiki
Official music video for "Moonbeam Rays"

song name Moonbeam Rays
artist They Might Be Giants
releases BOOK
year 2021
first played June 8, 2022 (79 known performances)
run time 2:51
sung by John Flansburgh, John Linnell harmonizes


  • This song was originally titled "Moonbeam Ray" and recorded in August 2017 alongside others that were released in the Dial-A-Song (2018) album cycle, but it was held over and rerecorded for 2021's BOOK.[1][2]
  • John Flansburgh further explained the song's process in a 2021 interview

I started writing the song probably five years ago. It started with the opening line, which was "By the time you read this, it will be too late," which is just an expression that's in movies. It's next to ransom note language, one of those melodramatic phrases that ends up in movies. Then John [Linnell] came in with a song that essentially had the same line in it (By The Time You Get This). This has happened before, and it's really flummoxing, because I actually thought the song was working pretty well. So I just kind of shelved it for a little while, and waited. [...] I tried rewriting it and it just wasn't as effective, so I just had to sit it out. But now it's in the world, and I think that it's just a good, well-crafted song. [...] It's just a sad breakup song, written by a happily married man.

  • The music video for this song, released three days before BOOK, features an alternate live in-studio performance of the song.

Song Themes

Dancing, Fire, Hair, Insects, Mirrors And Reflections, Money, Nonsense Words, Sleep, Time, Weapons


  • Watch it on Youtube.png - Live in-studio

Current Rating

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Moonbeam Rays is currently ranked #289 out of 1012. (73 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.60)