Film Nights, The Waterboys and ‘How Long Will I Love You’

I wrote a bit of a depressing post last time, so want to follow it up with something a whole lot lovlier. With trips to the cinema no longer happening in my neck of the woods I have gone old-school and am hosting a socially-distanced weekly soiree at the holiday hideaway (now sitting empty for obvious reasons) where we take turns in picking a DVD to watch. With so much choice out there nowadays via the various streaming services, it’s sometimes more satisfying to just pick a single film and run with it, a bit like when we all went to the local arts centre on the last Thursday of the month to watch whatever was on at 8.30pm. (Made some amazing new discoveries that would otherwise have been missed.)

It was my turn to pick and as the only customer in our local HMV last Saturday I felt duty bound to buy something, so started looking at the section for films starting with the letters A-D (I’m a great fan of alphabetisation). I know he’s not for everyone, but I am also a great fan of Richard Curtis movies so went for this one, About Time from 2013. Mr WIAA is not and never has been a member of Film Club, so the fact it was a very girly movie didn’t matter as he could stay home and watch Movies For Men. Despite finding common ground most of the time, we do occasionally like to veer off to the extremes of the genre spectrum.

As it turned out, the film was not vintage Richard Curtis, and seemed to have been written to a very familiar formula. Plenty of posh middle class Englishmen and smart American women, but somehow not as funny as the other films I’ve written about here and a basic premise that was slightly ridiculous – Time travel effected by standing in a wardrobe and clenching your fists (not quite the Tardis or a DeLorean). One aspect that did work for me however was the soundtrack, and I have been afflicted by yet another earworm this week because of one particular song choice. In the film it was sung by a group of tube station buskers (played by Jon Boden & Friends), who also provided the version for the end credits, but for me, the best version is still the original – How Long Will I Love You by The Waterboys.

How Long Will I Love You by The Waterboys:

It’s a love song, but a low key and not overly sentimental one. A simple proclamation of undying love written by band member Mike Scott for their 1990 album, Room to Roam. I am a great fan of The Waterboys and they have appeared around here before as I shared their 1985 masterpiece The Whole Of The Moon as part of my Full Moon Calendar in Song series. Back then they were proponents of “The Big Music”, anthemic rock popularised by many Scottish and Irish bands of the time, but by 1990 they were more of a folk rock band. Surprisingly this song was never released by them as a single, which is a shame, as 23 years later Ellie Goulding reached the No. 3 spot in the UK Singles Chart with it, no doubt because of the publicity it received from its connection to the film.

Not sure why this song has affected me quite so much this week – Touch wood Mr WIAA and I are still good, despite his occasional foray into the world of Movies For Men and my fondness for the odd rom-com. With DD back living at home I am once again involved in the lives of her friends, and really feel for them trying to navigate this brave new world filled with anxiety, and hurdles to be overcome. Finding love has never been tougher, and I doubt very much if Mike Scott considered a global pandemic when he wrote his beautiful lyrics back in 1990. No, I doubt it very much indeed.

Until next time….

How Long Will I Love You Lyrics
(Song by Mike Scott)

How long will I love you
As long as there are stars above you
And longer if I can

How long will I need you
As long as the seasons need to
Follow their plan

How long will I be with you
As long as the sea is bound to
wash upon the sand

How long will I want you
As long as you want me to
And longer by far

How long will I hold you
As long as your father told you
As long as you are

How long will I give to you
As long as I live to you
However long it you say

How long will I love you
As long as are stars above you
And longer if I may

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.

14 thoughts on “Film Nights, The Waterboys and ‘How Long Will I Love You’”

  1. I’m missing the cinema so much.
    About Time was something of a departure for Curtis, I thought.
    I saw it is a lovely father/son film and can remember saying to James he should watch it in about 30 years time.
    And it’s got Bill Nighy in.😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m missing cinema and theatre more than anything else I think and can’t see when it might safely reopen. It was when I met up with friends, as well as going for the film/show.

      Yes I can see that in your case it must have been the father/son relationship that really resonated and the friend I watched it with also has a son who is very close to his dad so it hit home. I have a feisty and independent daughter so a different dynamic!

      Anything with Bill Nighy in it is worth a watch and he was classic BN in this one. Was just saying to my friend, I dread the day he no longer pops up in things, but a long time off yet hopefully.

      I think I’ll watch it again over the weekend with Mr WIAA as I was distracted the other night being the host and just felt there were too many ingredients included according to a tried and tested recipe – Having said that I am open to revisiting it with new eyes/ears. Loved the soundtrack.


    2. Just watched the film again at home with Mr WIAA and got much more out of it. We both thought the lead actor’s voice/mannerisms could have been that of Hugh Grant, and there were many scenes copied straight out of 4 Weddings, Notting Hill and Love Actually BUT a beautiful story about the love between a father and son.

      Liked the final scene where Tim comes to the following conclusion:
      “The truth is I now don’t travel back at all, not even for the day. I just try to live every day as if I’ve deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.”

      During these strange days, where nothing is as it should be, I’m going to have to try and remember that.


    1. Of course it does and I hadn’t spotted that. Richard Curtis used God Only Knows for the end credits of his film Love Actually so he was probably following the same successful formula, complete with voiceover. Methinks Mike Scott was channelling his inner Brian Wilson!


  2. Not sure if you ever watched the TV show The Affair, but in the final season they used The Whole of the Moon in a very memorable fashion, including a dance routine at a wedding and a final scene at the very end of the show that had me blubbing. It’s a powerful song as it is, but the way it was used there made it even more powerful. It was worth watching 5 whole seasons of that show just for the closing scene.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No not seen that one but from the title I can tell there were probably many heart-wrenching scenes. Can’t remember watching anything with extra-marital affairs in the plotline where all ends well with everyone happy. When music is involved too it can lead to much bubbling – Yes definitely been there too.

      The Waterboys seem to have cornered the market In providing songs for soundtracks. I was reminded of their song Fisherman’s Blues when I went to see What We Did On Our Holiday with Billy Connelly – Scenes there that also led to a bit of bubbling.


  3. Alyson,

    My wife and I loved this movie. It is funny though, the name somehow just seems forgettable. We’ll tell our friend, “Hey, you have to watch this great movie we just saw last night. It is about time travel and really touching. It’s called…..hey dear, what’s it called again?” “Yeah, I forgot too.” You get the picture. In fact, we’ve sometimes seen the picture pop up on our Netflix feed and thought, this looks good. Watch the trailer and realize, oh yeah, it is THAT movie. Movie itself is not forgettable at all though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right, it’s an easy title to forget and I kept confusing it with After Time, About Turn etc.

      I was less than flattering about the film in this post, but knowing the other Richard Curtis films well it seemed he had copied some of the best scenes from them and adapted them. On the second watch I got past that and enjoyed it a lot more. Very poignant ending and I think I now love Bill Nighy that little bit more. Loved the song.


      1. You might be surprised, but Yesterday was the first RC film I saw and this was the second. My wife has probably seen most, if not all, of the others as well as the Vicar, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah that explains it then. You wouldn’t have been constantly comparing to other scenes from the previous films – Most starred Hugh Grant and the main character in this film sounded so like him with an identical accent (must have gone to the same posh school).


  4. Room to Roam is funny album, seemingly made up of little bits and pieces of songs (only 5 of the 17 tracks clock in over the 3 minute mark), but it’s one I love dearly and, to be honest, play more often these days than the band’s classic Big Music period recordings. How Long Will I Love You is a particular favourite.


    1. I don’t have Room to Roam, but funnily enough since starting blogging the Waterboys have kept popping up on film and tv drama soundtracks so have realised just how wonderful their songs are. Always a joy to revisit old stuff and listen with new ears. How Long Will I Love You was the best bit of the film.


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