The Whole of the Moon

Despite all the reported death throes of terrestrial radio, there are times when it can still pack a punch. Driving around town with the family today, running errands, “The Whole of the Moon” by the Waterboys came on the local community alternative radio station WXRY-FM 99.3 (not to be confused with the much cooler but way more unpredictable local college station WUSC-FM 90.5, but that’s another post). It’s a classic song from the Celtic rock band’s 80’s album This Is The Sea, with all the hallmarks of that era–chiming guitars, tinkly piano fills, big boss drum sounds, but Mike Scott’s voice over the top of it trumps any notion of it becoming dated. My wife and I sang along, loudly, and the kids bounced along in the back, not knowing the words but recognizing a great song when they heard it.

It’s the chance hearing of a song like this that keeps me tuning in to the few decent radio stations still out there. Whether it’s an obscure old favorite or a newly discovered one, for me it reinstates the sheer joy of listening to and experiencing music, again and again.

“The Whole Of the Moon”
Mike Scott/Waterboys

I pictured a rainbow
You held in your hands
I had flashes
But you saw then plan
I wondered 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 at 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 truths
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!

With a torch in your pocket
And the wind at your heels
You climbed on the 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 tenemets,
Wide oceans full of tears,
Flag, rags, ferry boats,
Scimitars and scarves,
Every precious dream and vision
Underneath the stars

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!

This is the Sea at Amazon.com

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One thought on “The Whole of the Moon

  1. It’s a great song, and I’m glad we have a radio station that will play it.

    I wonder about the future of terrestrial stations though, too. 90.5 is safe because it’s not dependent on advertising, and 99.3 is at least somewhat insulated because of its nonprofit status (though of course it needs to meeting operating expenses). For most stations, though, I think it’s like anything in the media universe these days: adapt or die.

    But when your model is based on advertising and you’re up against a subscription model,I’m not sure how much adapting you can really do.

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