The Waterboys, “The Whole Of The Moon” and Hello 2018!

A Happy New Year to everyone who visits here.

Since I’ve taken to posting on a Monday, I will make this offering the next in my “full moon” series, as the first lunar spectacle of 2018 should appear in our night skies tomorrow, the 2nd January. Since starting this series we’ve had the Beaver Moon in November and the Cold Moon in December. January is the month of the Wolf Moon, again taken from the Native Americans as it used to appear in the sky when wolves were howling in hunger, outside their villages.

And here is where I get to share the song I have most looked forward to revisiting since starting this series – The Whole Of The Moon by The Waterboys. No need to wait until tomorrow to attempt an amateurish shot of the Wolf Moon then, as the picture in this clip is pretty special in itself.

The Whole Of The Moon by The Waterboys:

Appropriate that this song should feature at the time of year often associated with the Scots and Hogmanay as it was written by a native of Edinburgh, head Waterboy Mike Scott. The Whole Of The Moon was first released in 1985 but only achieved moderate success in the charts. By the time The Waterboys had released their greatest hits album in 1991, Celtic Rock was in the ascendance so when re-released the song reached the No. 3 position in the UK Singles Chart. The early Waterboys sound was often referred to as “The Big Music” after a song on their second album. That sound either influenced or was used to very aptly describe a number of other Scottish or Irish bands who specialised in anthemic music at that time – U2, Simple Minds, Big Country and the Hothouse Flowers.

Gene and Cyd in Brigadoon

Some great lines in this song, my favourite being this one, “I saw the rain dirty valley, you saw Brigadoon” – It sums up how we’d all like to be in life, but not always easy to get into that mindset. I really wish I could always see Brigadoon rather than the rain dirty valley and I also wish that I could always see the whole of the moon rather than just the crescent but hey, I’m only human, and we humans can get bogged down in the detail sometimes losing the ability to see the big picture.

Cross fingers then that we’ll get to see tomorrow night’s Wolf Moon. An unusual month this in that there will be another full moon at the end of it, as the lunar cycle takes 29 and a half days to complete. I shall therefore return on the 31st with another song, this time about Blue Moons which is what that phenomenon is called and why it is also used for “something that doesn’t come along very often”. As I often say around here – Every day’s a school day.


Until next time….

The Whole Of The Moon Lyrics
(Song by Mike Scott)

I pictured a rainbow
You held it in your hands
I had flashes
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 stars
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
But you swooned
I saw the crescent
You saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon
The whole of the moon

The torch in your pocket
And the wind on your heels
You climbed on a ladder
And you know how it feels
To reach too high
Too far
Too soon
You saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon

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 high)
Too far (too far)
Too soon (too soon)
You saw the whole of the moon
The whole of the moon
Yeah, you saw the whole of the moon

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 “The Waterboys, “The Whole Of The Moon” and Hello 2018!”

  1. Happy New Year, Alyson.

    I seem to remember reading years ago that The Whole Of The Moon was about John Lennon and Mike’s frustrations that he would never be the songwriter Lennon was. Although I’ve also seen that disputed elsewhere, so who knows?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A very Happy New Year to you too Rol and the rest of the family.

      As for Mike and John Lennon, I can see how that could be one interpretation of the lyrics but not one I’d read about when looking into the song a bit more. Hope all goes well with your blog in the new year – Apologies if I don’t have time to drop by as much but I doubt if I’ll be able to refrain from Saturday Snapshots.


  2. A Happy New Year to you and yours, Alyson.

    Thanks for an uplifting opening to 2018 with “The Whole Of The Moon”. Love that song and the title track “This Is The Sea” – both songs to make your spirits soar.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What great timing again, Alyson. I just picked up a copy of that Waterboys best-of CD last week at a library sale (for all of one dollar!) and got re-acquainted with this great song. Also, I was driving east on a wide-open highway on Jan. 1st with the Super Moon (aka Wolf Moon) just as it was rising. So I was driving straight at this huge moonrise for almost 30 minutes. What an awesome sight. Happy New Year to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy New Year Rick – Yes we seem to be on the same wavelength at the moment in terms of our viewing and listening habits!

      Glad to hear you saw that moon earlier in the week – It didn’t appear in our skies until last night but was pretty spectacular.


  4. I often go to concerts, sometimes out of curiosity. Usually it was worth the time, even if I don’t see the band ever again nor buy any recordings. Occasionally, I go out of curiosity and find the band quite good and put at least some of their stuff on my list of things to buy. A Waterboys concert a year or two ago was such an experience. Another was Oysterband.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes The Waterboys seem to be still going strong which is great – A few different styles of music over the years but good you managed to go and see them and enjoyed the experience.


  5. A few years back I got rid of all my vinyl. I recorded some first – and then found, after the discs had gone, that I had set things up wrong and I only had mono versions. No matter, I’ll get the CDs I thought. Unfortunately the 12″ version of TWOTM is not on CD. It is only 40 seconds longer but there are more Scott whoops and an extra horn solo – and is thus inestimately better. So, I bought the 12″ again off discogs – only to find that my new amplifier was not compatible with turntables. So I bought a pre-amp. All in all a very expensive exercise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for dropping by – always nice to have a new visitor and having looked at your site am fascinated by all these photographs. Will revisit later when I have more time to really appreciate Doris’ collection. Good on you for taking on the project but what an archive.

      As for your dilemma about having to replace everything, it is rubbish isn’t it – I kept all the vinyl (bar things that disappeared during parties back in the day) but then ended up getting rid of everything that I could play it on. Recently bought myself a basic turntable but the sound quality is just awful compared with what I got rid of. This song TWOTM I would have had on cassette tape and on CD but again nothing left to play that on – Fortunately most of the CDs are already copied onto hard drives but as of last month no computer left in the house with a disc drive so a new problem. With this project I am getting a bit stuck in the past however so why this is even an issue. Will really have to put more effort into investigating all the great new music around (but hard when the older stuff is just so good!).

      Thanks for that snippet about the 12″ of TWOTM btw – Every day’s a school day!


Leave a Reply to Alyson Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: