Fireworks, Full Moons and “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)”

Well, socially it’s a busy time of the year in my neck of the woods and there have been two soirées in the last week alone. Last Tuesday our “across-the-road-neighbours” hosted a Halloween party which was great fun. We all specialise in different kinds of events (I do quiz nights and landmark dates in the calendar) but Halloween belongs to them. Despite being in their late sixties now, their son’s old baby bath is hauled out to enable “dooking for apples”, the garage is given a spooky makeover and all the local kids drop by in their costumes.

Then on Saturday, friends who live across on what is called the Black Isle (it’s not actually an island but it’s bordered on three sides by firths, so almost), asked if we’d like to join them for their local Bonfire Night celebrations. The best bit of the whole night however was that we witnessed the most spectacular full moon I think I’ve ever seen. The picture below is not of that actual moon, as I wasn’t quite on the ball with my camera equipment, but it could well have been.


Having looked into it a bit more it was called the Frost Moon which peaked this year on the 4th November. It is also called the Beaver Moon however, that name coming from the Native Americans as this was the time of year they set their beaver traps to make sure there were enough warm furs ahead of winter. It turns out all full moons have a name which is something I hadn’t realised before and they go as follows:

December – Cold Moon
January – Wolf Moon
February – Snow Moon
March – Worm Moon
April – Pink Moon
May – Flower Moon
June – Strawberry Moon
July – Buck Moon
August – Sturgeon Moon
September – Corn Moon
October – Hunter’s Moon 
November – Beaver Moon

Over the last year I have written about all the landmark dates in the ancient Pagan, or Celtic calendar, but as that cycle is now complete I think I can feel a new series coming on, this time all about moons! But of course Saturday’s moon wasn’t just impressive because it was a full one – Oh no, it was also a “supermoon”, when it comes to that point nearest the Earth. Despite being only about 26,000 miles closer than at other times, it appears around 14% larger and a whopping 30% brighter than usual. I love all this stuff.


But this is a music blog, so which song came to mind as I wandered along the beach on Saturday night on my way to the bonfire? Perhaps because I have written both about Frank Sinatra and the song Fly Me To The Moon in my last couple of posts, I ended up going down the Rat Pack route, and serenaded our friends with this golden oldie.

“In Napoli where love is king
When boy meets girl, here’s what they say:

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore”

That’s Amore is a song written by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks which became a big hit (and signature song) for Dean Martin in 1953. Funnily enough, I remember it best from the Cher film Moonstruck, where she plays a widowed Italian-American who falls in love with her fiancé’s estranged, hot-tempered younger brother (played by Nicolas Cage). Cher won the Oscar for Best Actress in that one and as I haven’t watched it in years, I think I will now go and seek it out.

But what else comes to mind when I think of songs with the word moon in the title or lyrics. Well, this might be a good time to include something by Christopher Cross in the blog. I have held off as long as possible as it seems that Christopher has unfortunately ended up being attributed to that category of artists who produce what is called soft rock, or even worse yacht rock. Apparently yacht rock relates to the stereotype of the yuppie yacht owner, who enjoys smooth music while out for a sail. Also, since sailing was a popular leisure activity in Southern California, many yacht rockers made nautical references in their lyrics, videos, and album artwork, particularly Sailing by Christopher Cross.

But hey, I have never owned a yacht nor am I ever likely to, but I still warm to the melodic tones of Mr Cross and always enjoy that romantic line from his Academy award winning song Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)If you get caught between the Moon and New York City, the best that you can do is fall in love”.

Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) by Christopher Cross:

It is no surprise really that I have always liked this song as it was written by Burt Bacharach (amongst others) for the 1981 film Arthur starring our own Dudley Moore. Burt’s song Wives and Lovers featured in my last post so definitely on a Frank and Burt roll at the moment it seems. What I have just discovered however is that the line about getting caught between the moon and New York City was inspired not by a romantic encounter but because one of the credited songwriters, Peter Allen, got stuck in a holding pattern waiting to land at JFK airport in New York several years earlier. Oh well, best not to know sometimes how these memorable lines came to pass.

So, “What’s It All About?” – I seem to have a new series on my hands! (Yes, I know I have a few others in progress but I will make time for them too, promise.) There are certainly many, many songs that mention the word “moon” in the title but which are your favourites?

In December, all being well we will witness the Cold Moon, that name again from the Native Americans as it was associated with the month when winter cold fastens its grip and the nights become long and dark. Any suggestions for songs therefore that relate to both the moon, and to the cold grip of winter, gratefully received. I will get my thinking cap on myself before that date and apologies that I couldn’t muster up anything this time that related both to the moon, and to beavers – Might have been a stretch?!

Until next time….

Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) Lyrics
(Song by Burt Bacharach/Carole Bayer Sager/Christopher Cross/Peter Allen)

Once in your life you find her
Someone that turns your heart around
And next thing you know you’re closing down the town
Wake up and it’s still with you
Even though you left her way across town
Wondering to yourself, “Hey, what’ve I found?”

When you get caught between the Moon and New York City
I know it’s crazy, but it’s true
If you get caught between the Moon and New York City
The best that you can do,
The best that you can do is fall in love

Arthur he does as he pleases
All of his life, he’s mastered choice
Deep in his heart, he’s just, he’s just a boy
Living his life one day at a time
And showing himself a really good time
Laughing about the way they want him to be

When you get caught between the Moon and New York City
I know it’s crazy, but it’s true
If you get caught between the Moon and New York City
The best that you can do,
The best that you can do is fall in love


Out of interest here are a few pictures from the display we went along to on Saturday night – The fireworks were indeed spectacular but not quite as spectacular as that amazing full moon reflected on the water of the firth. Very special indeed.


Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days. I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 57 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team, Bacharach and David. The opening line to that song was, "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

20 thoughts on “Fireworks, Full Moons and “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)””

  1. Love this post. I love the moon and that funny feeling you get when you look at it, the wonderment, the knowledge that it’s so far away yet so visible, and also just thinking about how I’ve been looking at it since I was a small child and all the thoughts and emotions and memories it evokes, and that our ancestors did the same. It’s a powerful thing. Plus I’m Cancerian, so it’s my astrological ruler too, if you want to believe that stuff! I had no idea about the different names for each month, having only ever heard of Pink Moon (through the Nick Drake album/track – so there’s one song?) and also October’s Hunter’s Moon, although I’m not sure where or how I know that. I could really get into learning the background of these names, so would welcome further informative posts if you’re up for it!
    Also I’d never heard the term ‘Yacht Rock’ before now but yes, I can see how it came about. It could spawn a whole new series of genre names…. quite liking the idea of Coracle Rock myself!
    Great photos too. Looks like your neighbourhood really knows how to do things in style.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hope you managed to catch that moon on Saturday night as it really was stunning, especially early on in the evening. I really enjoyed finding out about a bit more about those dates which make up the “wheel of the year” and I think I’m going to enjoy these moon posts just as much! Thanks for the Pink Moon suggestion by the way.

      Yes I can just imagine the sound of Coracle Rock, folksy and raw. Longboat Rock could be all Scandinavian – The list goes on!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. No didn’t expect Yacht Rock to be your thing but perfect for this post.

      You mention the only anomaly in the list of full moons – The Harvest Moon can fall in either September or October depending which one is nearest the equinox so they have other names for those months as well. Depending on whether I can keep up the momentum with this series, Neil Young’s Harvest Moon may well pop up next Sept/Oct. Apparently the moon is a really big deal to Neil and here’s a quote from him: “Before there was organized religion, there was the moon. The Indians knew about the moon. Pagans followed the moon. I’ve followed it for as long as I can remember, and that’s just my religion. I’m not a practicing anything, I don’t have a book that I have to read. It can be dangerous working in a full moon atmosphere, because if there are things that are going to go wrong, they can really go wrong. But that’s great, especially for rock ‘n’ roll.”

      Sounds as if this is a good series to take over from my “Wheel of the Year” one.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked “Arthur’s Theme” for its great lyrics and “Sailing” is quite pleasant, but my favourite Christopher Cross song is “Ride Like The Wind”, from his 1st album – mostly for the terrific backing vocals by Michael McDonald.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, Ride Like The Wind a favourite of mine too but having looked it up, it barely made it into our UK Charts!

      I can tell that there’s not a lot of love for “yacht rock” amongst the musos but always went down well with me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Time to ban the words ‘cool’ and ‘uncool’ around here! As long as everyone’s love for whatever it is they they love is genuine and not contrived, who gives a flying one! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I know we always say that but somehow we still recognise some music as being “cool” and some as “uncool” so have to use the term guilty pleasure when we share it! A shame but seems to be impossible to get away from it. Strangely enough however if ever someone who is universally thought of as “cool” comes out and shares their love of something usually though of as “uncool”, it suddenly becomes “cool”! Arghh… It’s just all so subjective isn’t it. Best to just stay true to yourself as you say.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I saw that moon. It was best to see it early in the evening when it was low in the sky. Once it had risen it seemed less impressive.

    I love yacht rock. This should come as no surprise. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother typing these things. Katie Puckrick did a whole show on it on Radio 2 last year and I took notes while I listened…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, it was best between 5.30 and 6pm before the fireworks started – There will be another supermoon on the 3rd Dec apparently (moons are my new interest obviously!) and I have drafted in a friend who takes really good close up shots of the moon to hopefully get some pictures for my blog. Cross fingers there will be no cloud cover.

      Might have to search for that Radio 2 programme in their archives – I might not have a yacht but I am definitely partial to a bit of yacht rock.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The full moon you saw sounds amazing, thanks for the bonus info with the alternate names, I wasn’t aware of those. Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Bad Moon Rising is one of my favorites that directly references the moon. Not sure why the moon is “bad” though?
    I watched Arthur (1981) a couple of years ago, a heart-warming romantic comedy with a wonderful theme song. I particularly remember Dudley Moore’s notorious drunken laugh 🙂 Favorite quote from the movie: “Tonight is New Year’s Eve, the third time this week!”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for dropping by – Not sure if it’s easier for you to see my posts now you’re on WordPress – I tend to use the Reader tab at the top to visit the WP blogs I follow but be warned, any visits to your site via that method don’t count on your stats. It’s only when someone has clicked on the actual URL that the visit shows up – Makes for a bit of an anomaly really as keen followers may not show up as visitors whereas accidental hits via a search engine trawl will show up. Anyway hope you enjoy the new platform.

      Yes an amazing moon last week and another with any luck at the start of December. Thanks for the suggestion – It was on my short list but not sure if I’ll include it as never liked that song very much. I have this theory that some songs are masculine and some are feminine – I tend to warm to the latter much more (Arthur’s Theme?) and not so much to the former. Have worked out already that there could be another 12 posts in this series as there will be a month with no full moon and two months with blue moons! All will be revealed.

      Liked by 2 people

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