“When It’s Cold I’d Like to Die” by Moby

The word “cold”, used within the context of the lyrics of Moby’s “When It’s Cold I’d Like to Die”, is obviously a metaphor. What it points to is the idea of, most simply explained, the singer being in a state of perpetual loneliness and depression. The latter emotion is never actually mentioned in the lyrics. The former is referred to in sort of a past-but-also-present kind of tense.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Moby's When It's Cold I'd Like to Die at Lyrics.org.

Indeed, this song is not the most-straightforward heartbreak song. But the metaphors and allegories which are relayed are generally-practical enough that they won’t frustrate a listener’s thinking.

And what is ascertainable is that the vocalist’s loneliness/depression is due to the absence of the addressee. What’s inferred in the song is that the two of them are/were extremely close. 

Concerning the former sentiment, when the vocalist gets like this, i.e. feeling “cold”, it is such that she basically loses her will to live. So this is something she is letting the addressee know. She is logically doing so in the name of encouraging them to play a more-attendant role in her life.

“I don’t wanna fight the tide
I don’t wanna swim the ocean
When it’s cold, I’d like to die”

Release Date of “When It’s Cold I’d Like to Die”

This track dates back to Moby’s “Everything Is Wrong”. This is an album that Mute Records and Elektra Records put out on 14 March 1995. The album was a moderate hit in the UK, where it has been certified gold. 

This is the closing (i.e. 13th) track on the standard playlist of “Everything Is Wrong”, which is Moby’s third-studio album.

Whereas “When It’s Cold I’d Like to Die” was not issued as one of its singles, this song is a very famous one.

Famous Usage

The song has featured on an episode of uber-popular television show The Sopranos in 2006. The song went on to gain additional notoriety after being effectively featured on Stranger Things, a Netflix hit series. More specifically, it makes an appearance on season one, chapter eight, an episode which itself is titled The Upside Down (2016). In this episode, the song is used during a very emotional scene where Jim Hopper (played by David Harbour) and Joyce Byers (played by Winona Ryder) fight against all odds to save the life of Joyce’s son, Will.

In the process of trying revive Will, Hopper experiences very heartbreaking flashbacks of his own young daughter as she dies in the hospital from cancer.

Credits for “When It’s Cold I’d Like to Die”

Moby produced this track and co-wrote it with the featured vocalist, Mimi Goese, who appears to be another musician from New York City. The pair also collaborated on “Into the Blue”, another song found on “Everything Is Wrong”, which was actually released as a single.

Moby enlisted Mimi Goese to participate on this track. He revealed that whereas he put the instrumental together, she composed “the lyrics and the vocals” herself.

When It's Cold I'd Like to Die

“Everything Is Wrong” Moby

“Everything Is Wrong” was officially released on 14th of March, 1995 as Moby’s 3rd studio album.

The album was recorded at Moby’s home studio, located in his apartment at Manhattan, New York. Moby produced the entire album himself.

Furthermore, he wrote all songs on the album with the exception of “Into the Blue” and “When It’s Cold I’d Like to Die”, which he co-wrote with Mimi Goese.

The album was officially released on two record labels, including Mute Records, a British record label.

“Everything Is Wrong” was a commercial success. As of 2002, it had recorded sales of almost 200,000 copies in the US alone. In the United Kingdom, it peaked at No. 25 on the OCC and has been certified gold by the BPI there.

It was voted the 3rd best album of 1995 according to the critic’s poll, “Pazz & Jop” by The Village Voice, an American newspaper.

The album received positive reviews from critics and music journals including, Chicago Tribune’s Greg Kot and Barry Walters of Spin magazine among others.

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