Vampires in Love | “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler

New Moon (Wallpaper) by Angie22Arts is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

“New Moon (Wallpaper)” by Angie22Arts is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Madison Reinhold, Writer/Volunteer

Turn around… every now and then I get reminded of an obscure fact about the origin of one of the most epic songs of the ‘80s, “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”  

What does this song have to do with Halloween? Other than the fact that the music video was filmed in an empty Victorian sanatorium, as Bonnie Tyler explained on Genius Lyrics, before this song’s flight to the top of the pop charts in fall 1983, it was originally a show tune from a musical about vampires. 

Songwriter Jim Steinman told Playbill that when he was looking for a grand love song for a different vampiric musical, he remembered that he had already written this song with the intention of putting it in a musical version of Nosferatu, but instead worked with Tyler to release the track in 1983. 

While Steinman explains that the song was originally titled “Vampires in Love,” Bonnie Tyler doesn’t understand why people think the song is about vampires. On Genius Lyrics, she says she understands where that thought comes from, but she sees her song as a regular, mortal love song. 

The wonderful thing about art is that one work can have so many different interpretations. Whether one believes this is was written as a power ballad or a vampire anthem, the powerful vocals, eloquent lyrics and thunderous instrumentals are not up for debate. It could work for a passionate musical number or an over-the-top pop song. 

This Halloween season, I’ll be wondering what kind of butterfly effect would have if this song were released on the stage as “Vampires in Love.” Though, I doubt much could top Bonnie Tyler’s iconic ‘80s ballad.