The Whole of the Moon

Remember The Waterboys?  That classic, The Whole of the Moon?  It’s one of my favourite songs, always there, often played, occasionally left in a mental drawer for a few months. Fantastic lyrics, of course!

It all came back to me after a lovely chat with the amazing Yasmin Selena, who reminded me of this much-loved favourite.  It’s been playing in my head on and off ever since, having plenty of poignant memories attached to it for me… not least one of the first dates with my now husband in a dingy little pub in Stockwell, London.

So ring in Music Monday!  Take a look at these lyrics and have a listen to the song (video below). I’ve highlighted my favourite bit for you in bold font–tell me, which part of these lyrics captures your imagination?  And do you have a special song that takes you right back in time, ten, fifteen years even, evoking feelings so real as though they’d only just happened?

The Whole of the Moon

I pictured a rainbow, you held it in your hands
I had flashes but you saw the plan
I wandered out in the world for years while you just stayed in your room
I saw the crescent, you saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon

You were there in the turnstiles with the wind at your heels
You stretched for the starts and you know how it feels
To reach too high, too far, too soon
You saw the whole of the moon

I was grounded while you filled the skies
I was dumbfounded by truth, you cut through lies
I saw the rain-dirty valley, you saw Brigadoon
I saw the crescent, you saw the whole of the moon

I spoke about wings
You just flew
I wondered I guessed and I tried
You just knew
I sighed
And you swooned
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon

With a torch in your pocket and the wind at your heels
You climbed on the ladder and you know how it feels
To get too high, too far, too soon
You saw the whole of the moon, the whole of the moon, hey yeah

Unicorns and cannonballs, palaces and piers
Trumpets, towers and tenements, wide oceans full of tears
Flags, rags, ferryboats, scimitars and scarves
Every precious dream and vision underneath the stars

Yes, you climbed on the ladder with the wind in your sails
You came like a comet, blazing your trail
Too high, too far, too soon
You saw the whole of the moon


16 responses to “The Whole of the Moon

  1. OH MY GOD!
    What an amazing way to start Monday : )
    I’m about to dive in the bath and then rush off to my writing class but seriously, chuffed, chuffed, chuffed to have had something to do with this post. There must be a Twitter for the Waterboys and/or Mike Scott, go tweet! I shall come back to this post to pick lyrics, but I just know this song is going to be going around in my head when I’m shampooing my hair : ) xxx

    • Good morning, Yasmin! I thought you’d like this… !!! 🙂 Thanks for reminding me of this amazing song. Have a great morning and I’ll look forward to your pick of lyrics!

  2. Morning Yasmin and Nicky 🙂
    Always loved the lyrics to the song, and rain-dirty valley/Brigadoon always seems to be the phrase that seeps into my mind (for some obscure reason!)
    But I also love the pace and rhythm of the ones you’ve highlighted, Nicky; so many images flashing through my mind one after the other, like the horses whizzing past on the merry-go-round (and I’m sure that analogy arose because I’ve been reading Sophie’s Turn this morning!!)

    • Hi Joanna, thanks so much for visiting and for your lovely comment, you made me smile. I am so happy that you enjoyed the post and that you ‘get’ why the song ‘gets’ me. (Is that too many obscure gets in one sentence?). Intrigued that you made the connection between the song and Sophie’s Turn… I’m sure it would have been on the playlist while I was writing but I hadn’t made the conscious connection, and yet… there it is! 🙂 XX

      • Not too many ‘obscures’ lol. Loving your book, by the way – Chapter 27 is coming up next! I was reading it at my Dad’s – he was laughing at my “burst out laughing” moments 😉

      • BRILLIANT!!! That’s what I was aiming for, LOL moment. And hey, it’s Showtime… that’s when things really heat up. Whoop! Thanks for letting me know, you know how much that means to ‘the author.’ xx

      • Yep, that I do!
        I was so chuffed when one of our readers said she fancied one of our male ‘lead’ characters, but thought the other one was cute, too! 😉
        BTW I’ve lived in Devon for nearly 20 years, and my co-author is Cornish, so I love that Sophie is a Cornish lass!
        Looking forward to more Music Mondays……

      • I love it down Cornwall way, and it’s my dream to settle there some day. Unfortunately, life’s taking the Wells family to the opposite end of the country very soon… ho hum, different seaside, but still. You got it RE Music Mondays… watch this space, and I might just take a request if you’ve got one! X 🙂

  3. THIS line:

    “I wandered out in the world for years while you just stayed in your room”

    I thought it was genius and I loved the way he sung it, it’s really intense, almost resentful and tinged with anger. I can also visualise both halves of it. In terms of imagery, this song is packed to the brim with pictures. It’s not often a song does that for me to this extent, where you listen out for the words. The words can often get lost in the music. Not with this song they don’t. You really hear them : ) xx

    p.s. Hello you to you too Joanna! x

    • Hi Yasmin! As soon as I saw Nicky’s blog post title on Twitter, I thought of you! 😉 Happy Monday 🙂

    • That’s a great line, and I love your thinking. What gets me is “I saw the crescent, you saw the whole of the moon” — does that mean she’s more optimistic, more embracing than he is? Is he a pessimist? But then again, she reached too high, too far, too soon (or at least she knows what’s it’s like) — does that mean she’s too headstrong, too impulsive? Lots of questions, lots of beautiful imagery in this song, which is just so powerful. Yasmin, Joanna, glad you two ladies connected again, hope you have a lovely evening!

      • I always read this song as being about someone seeing a soul waste opportunity after opportunity when things came to them so easily and they could have had so much. Someone who burned out maybe, but exasperated and broke the heart of the onlooker watching on, who tried so hard but never saw or received as much? The song sings as a polemic rendition of someone feeling as if they are banging their head against a brick wall, seeing talent and potential go to waste and confronting that soul. It’s such a brilliant, vivid song! So pleased you blogged about this today. xx

  4. I think music works as one of the strongest ways for our mind to hang onto associations with the past. Even a small phrase will evoke all sorts of memories. Powerful stuff.

    • Absolutely. I find music the best memory maker. Incidentally, I used to revise to music and when I got stuck, I’d recall the songs I’d listened to. Only works if you have a set playlist, but it certainly got results. Hm… maybe there’s a blog post there. thanks for stopping by, Anneli, I love it when you visit!

      • lol I learned a definition for Direct Marketing to the tune of Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks once!! It was such a bloody boring defn it was the only way I could cope, that was 1996 I think?

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