A Manic Summer, 50th Anniversaries and “Dancing In The Moonlight”

What’s it all about indeed – I seem to have lost my blogging momentum, that’s what, due to the fact there is just far too much to blog about at the moment and I can’t keep up! Although this place is ostensibly where I have a saunter down memory lane, revisiting the “tracks of my years”, it is also my web-log, or web diary, where I record what I’ve been up to, ponder on what’s happening in the world (rather a lot!) and post pictures taken whilst out and about.

I am still gutted that I missed writing a “moon post” on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, as between Nov ’17 and March ’19 I wrote a total of eighteen posts featuring a song inspired by the ancient name given to the full moon by the Native Americans. Most of the time the song referred to the beauty of the moon, the colour of the moon or its part in creating a setting for romance, but on the 20th of July 1969, it was all about the science. When Neil Armstrong made that small step for [a] man, his name in the history books was set in stone (or moondust).

88988529-picture-taken-on-july-20-1969-shows-astronaut-edwin-e.jpg.CROP.promo-xlarge2

I watched much of the news footage between the 16th and the 20th of this month, where Michael Collins (the astronaut who didn’t get to walk on the moon) was present at the anniversary celebrations and gave some great interviews recounting their experiences. On television, some fabulous programmes were aired, and if you haven’t yet watched it I would thoroughly recommend Channel 4’s Moon Landing Live made up of original footage from 50 years ago. I was only aged nine back then so despite being really excited by the news stories of the launch and subsequent moon landing, I don’t think I would have appreciated the sheer significance of what was happening. Also, what did all those men dressed in identical white shirts and black ties do at Mission Control? Something a few kilobytes of computer fire power could probably do nowadays, but just makes it all the more impressive that in those far less technologically advanced days, it could happen at all. Poor old Lyndon B. is looking a bit hot and bothered in this clip but had it not been for this famous speech, and the statement made at 1:30, things might well have turned out differently. (Anyone else transfixed by JFK’s accent here? – Mixture of Boston-Irish, Trans-Atlantic, RP and pure Kennedy apparently.)

Coincidentally, a partial lunar eclipse took place in the UK on the 16th of July 2019, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch and despite missing it last time, my friend with the perfect camera for such shots, managed to capture it.

Pictures courtesy of R.J.

Considering this post was going to be a summary of what I’d missed blogging about over the last fortnight – DD’s departure, trips to Edinburgh and Glasgow, a steady stream of guests in the holiday hideaway and my elevation to Superhost, my continuing “pain in the neck”, two more cinema visits, Mr WIAA’s stint as zoo-keeper for a day and resignation from his nice secure job (purely coincidental), the current heatwave, the new occupant of No. 10, a long lost cousin from Australia appearing with a full account of my paternal family tree, the “loft project” and the anniversary of those moon landings – I only seem to have touched on this last one it seems, but apt because of what has gone before I suppose. I will therefore include two moon-related songs, the first being a suggestion made by Brian from Linear Tracking Lives, and the second, one that just didn’t make the cut whilst the series was in full flow.

Swingin’ on the Moon was a 1960 album by Mel Tormé (with a great cover), where every track but one contained the word “moon” in the title. The moon certainly seemed to be a favourite theme for artists of a Swing/Vocal Jazz persuasion, as Mr Sinatra also recorded many such songs. Mel was probably more familiar to our friends across the pond, as he also appeared in many films and television shows in America from the 1940s onward. Here’s an interesting snippet, he apparently composed the music for seasonal favourite The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) and co-wrote the lyrics. Not a bad earner in terms of royalties that one.

My next pick is a song that features dancing in the moonlight, which is a fine pastime I imagine if you live in a country where it is warm enough to do so. I don’t (current heatwave aside), but I still like the idea of it. The band Toploader had a big hit with a cover of Dancing in the Moonlight in the year 2000. I always loved the intro to this song (great percussion) but didn’t realise at the time it had been written and originally recorded by the French-American rock group King Harvest. It was released as a single in 1972 and reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. In view of the fact I recently discovered the band Looking Glass, who look and sound very similar to King Harvest, not much wonder it is now my favourite version of the two.

Dancing In The Moonlight by Toploader:

So, “What’s It All About?” – I don’t think I knew what I was going to end up writing about when I sat down at my desk today, but nice to be back, and I’ll try to keep up the momentum now I’ve cleared the blockage, so to speak.

Two years ago I had a very distinct routine to my day and to my week, but with all the changes that have happened since then every day is now different, with no discernible routine at all. The biggest change is that we will now have to earn all the spondulicks from self-employment alone and Mr WIAA is trying to be the calm one, whereas I’m running around like Corporal Jones shouting, “Don’t panic!”. Can I justify putting as many hours into blogging when I should really be trying to earn a crust? Probably not, but as has been pointed out around here many times, it does serve as a great stress-buster. I suspect I won’t be going anywhere soon, and to those of you who came up with a number from the master spreadsheet of “posts pending”, I have not forgotten about you, I have just been distracted.

Until next time….

Dancing In The Moonlight Lyrics
(Song by Sherman Kelly)

We get it on most every night
When that moon is big and bright
It’s a supernatural delight
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight

Everybody here is out of sight
They don’t bark and they don’t bite
They keep things loose, they keep things light
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight

Dancing in the moonlight
Everybody’s feeling warm and bright
It’s such a fine and natural sight
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight

We like our fun and we never fight
You can’t dance and stay uptight
It’s a supernatural delight
Everybody was dancing in the moonlight

Dancing in the moonlight
Everybody’s feeling warm and bright
It’s such a fine and natural sight
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight

Everybody here is out of sight
They don’t bark and they don’t bite
They keep things loose, they keep things light
Everybody was dancing in the moonlight

Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight
Everybody’s feeling warm and bright
It’s such a fine and natural sight
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight (everybody)
Dancing in the moonlight
Everybody’s feeling warm and bright
It’s such a fine and natural sight
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight
Everybody’s feeling warm and bright
It’s such a fine and natural sight
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight (everybody)
Dancing in the moonlight
Everybody’s feeling warm and bright
It’s such a fine and natural sight
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight

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. 50 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 that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

21 thoughts on “A Manic Summer, 50th Anniversaries and “Dancing In The Moonlight””

    1. Ah, this was another moon song that missed the cut, just. Nice to hear it again though and to be absolutely accurate it’s called Dancing In The Moonlight (It’s Caught Me In Its Spotlight)!

      Like

    1. Glad to hear it – Love it when I discover an original version of something I hadn’t realised was a cover. Always a lot more simple and pared down.

      Like

    1. Maybe it’s because we’re currently in the throes of a heatwave ourselves that I noticed his distress so much – I feel in need of a large handkerchief myself at the moment!

      Glad you like the King Harvest song (and how did it miss the cut?). Great shots as you say.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Sometimes the best posts come when you have no idea what you’re going to write. This is a case in point. Although I bloody hate Toploader (no offence meant! There’s No Such Thing etc etc etc). Knew it was a cover version, but don’t think I’d ever heard the original, which is waaaaaaayyyyyyy better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha – I have a good memory and I think I mentioned Toploader over at your place once whilst The Chain was in full swing and you made it clear back then what you thought of them. For that reason I thought Dancing In The Moonlight was one best to leave out of the Moon-Post series – But then I discovered the original and as you say, way better.

      I see you’re venturing out this morning? Thanks for dropping by!

      Like

      1. The Chain? What’s that….? Yeh, for a while now I’ve felt bad that I rarely have chance to get round and read what my peers are up to, and since they (including you, of course) are often kind enough to leave comments over at my place, I wanted to partly return the favour, but also prove I’m not a grumpy old sod who doesn’t appreciate those who drop by.

        Like

        1. You work full-time so I know how tough it is to write a blog AND read all the other blogs, but there’s a nice wee community here and I for one enjoy the discussion/banter that can arise within the comments boxes. I came to London recently to meet C of Sun-Dried Sparrows fame and that definitely wouldn’t have happened if not for the community aspect. Next time we’ll have to include you in the meet-up plans?!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Good to have you back, Alyson, and I look forward to reading about some of the other things you’ve been up to in more detail (though I can do without reading ANYTHING more about “the new occupant of number 10”: if anyone would stop giving him oxygen, perhaps he would stop breathing).

    The JFK speech reminded me of this Brad Paisley tune which follows on from an extra of that very speech on one of his albums (I think you may even have picked up on that and offered it as a Hot 100 suggestion some weeks ago). On the surface, it’s a cheesy “ain’t America great” tune, but underneath there’s more to it than that. I think it’s actually saying “ain’t people great… if we could just put aside all the political bullshit and do something positive and life-affirming like JFK, NASA, Neil Armstrong et al. did back in the 60s” (yes, I know there were political motivations behind that, but the outcome was still an example of human achievement at its best).

    Plus, this bit always makes me fill up… you know what a sucker I am for this sort of thing,

    Outside the other night
    You should’ve seen the moonlight
    It was enough to make you squint your eyes
    So my five year old had learned about
    The lunar landing and he walked out
    And started staring at the sky
    Stood there for a while
    Got a great big smile and said “dad I think I can see it, can you?”
    I bowed my head
    Closed my eyes and said,
    “Yeah, son, I think I do”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a great song and not one I had actually listened to before despite having discovered the JFK 1962 snippet for your series. I now realise why that speech was so familiar when I watched it (many times) last week on docs re the moon landings. Yes, as someone with a five year old, those lyrics will really make you fill up. I’ve been filling up myself tonight as the “loft project” has entailed me being very ruthless with all of DD’s old art and crafts kits and paraphernalia – We didn’t ever make a moon-base, or Tracy Island, but just about everything else. Can’t keep on storing this stuff though so most will have to go – Sob.

      No I won’t be writing much about the new occupant of No. 10 but I’m going to have to cover some of the other things mentioned I think, if I have time between disposing of DD’s childhood – Sob. Talking of which, thanks for dropping by as I’m sure your move will be taking up most of your time at the moment – Good luck with it all.

      Like

  3. Good to see you here again and you have my total sympathy with all that’s going on to keep you so busy and away from posting – you have my admiration too for putting this post together amongst everything else. Your long list of what you’ve missed blogging about these last two weeks says it all – life gets very full-on and the irony is of course that when we have all these things to draw on as subject matters we don’t then have the time to write about them, but I hope you’ll be able to give us a catch-up on all these topics soon. Much to intrigue and interest us! (Except, as Rol says, the new occupant of No. 10. Still, whenever I see the news footage from outside that particular address, I am reminded of our lovely day in the city and walking past it with you- looking in through the railings, plus all those armed police…)
    Just trying to catch up with everyone’s posts myself too as in a busy spell with work and still recovering from it being 36 degrees here on Thursday. (Just so thankful we hadn’t booked our London meet-up for then!) I’ll come back later to have a proper watch of the videos…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi C – Yes it is ironic that just at the time we have the most interesting things to blog about, we run out of time to write the posts, because we’re so busy doing all the interesting things. I’m going to try and play catch up for my own benefit though as I like how this place has become my web diary as well (with a few songs thrown in!). Tough being in the shedio when there’s a heatwave on the go – Hope you’re coping ok. It’s been incredibly hot up here even which is a tad worrying for the future of the planet, and our local ecosystem. Used to be a cause for celebration a heatwave, but now it’s become a cause for concern.

      No need to return if you are busy, but worth watching JFK at 1:30 I think as I love how he enunciates (we like that word don’t we?) the statement made. Also, he looks cool as a cucumber throughout whereas Lyndon B and the rest of them look unflatteringly hot and bothered. He was a cool dude indeed for the times.

      Like

  4. Mel! So happy you remembered that one. Great album. Great cover. Of all the myriad of Apollo 11 facts we were hit with this anniversary, the one that floored me the most was the article “a” in “one small step for man” that I knew nothing about. That empty pause hits me over the head now every time I hear the famous line.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you spotted this post as I ran out of steam with this series before I managed to include everyone’s suggestions, but the anniversary post was the right time for it. Yes indeed, I only found out about the missing article “a” after reading the book Moondust by Andrew Smith, but like you, I now only notice the pause in that oh so famous phrase. Still a massive achievement 50 years on.

      Like

  5. Yes, blog writing/commenting is a stress-buster by slowing things down, though it’s hard to justify the time spent when you have other priorities. Thinking of cutting down myself and just do the occasional monthly check-in! Dancing in the Moonlight (the cover) I remember fondly from 2000, that was during high school for me.

    Like

I'd Love To Hear From You And I Always Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s