Aug 07

IHM Health & Safety watch: THE WATERBOYS “The Whole Of The Moon”

FT + I Hate Music3 comments • 1,029 views

Mike Scott was not a clever man. For instance, he seems unaware that all he has to do to see the whole of the moon, rather than a crescent, is wait a couple of weeks.

However, the object of his affections in this song is perhaps even more stupid than him. The lyrics – while couched in the visionary allegory one might expect from a man who has “heard the big music” and so “will never be the same” – paint a pretty shocking picture.

“I wandered out in the world for years – you just stayed in your room.”

OK, Mike’s crush is a bit idle, but am I really being fair in calling them an idiot? Maybe they have good reason for staying indoors.

“I saw the rain-dirty valley. You saw Brigadoon!”

Ah, there, you see? It’s wet out and there’s an old film on BBC2. It seems that it’s Mike who’s the foolish one! BUT WAIT.

What happens if – because of the rain – the TV goes on the blink?

“With a torch in your pocket
And the wind at your heels
You climbed up the ladder”

FOR GODS SAKE – have we learned nothing from Rod Hull?

“And you know how it feels
To reach too high
Too soon”

NO! Reader I can hardly watch.

“I spoke about Wings
You just flew”

Ouch. So there you have it. While Mike Scott was trapping on about Paul McCartney his beloved was involved in a tragic aerial-repair accident on a windy night. No wonder he quit town and became a fisherman.


  1. 1
    Pete on 21 Aug 2007 #

    This puts the lines

    “I was grounded
    While you filled the skies”

    into context finally for me, thank you Tanya (admittedly it might have been more obvious if Mike had used the word “Earthed”). I can imagine the look on poor ole Mike Scott’s face while his beloved was struck by lightning trying to fiddle with the ariel of her TV. And Brigadoon isn’t even WORTH IT.

  2. 2
    Alan on 21 Aug 2007 #

    You know I always imagined the other person to be male – in the manner of a crush. Plus this other person sounds awfully dogmatic. “I wondered, I guessed and I tried – you just knew”. I suppose it goes with the laziness of staying in a room for a whole year. I’m all in favour of Mike’s more empirical approach.

  3. 3
    Tom on 21 Aug 2007 #

    You always imagined him to be male because, as Tanya guessed and dared not say, HE IS ROD HULL. (Chronology is of no import to one who has heard the Big Music)

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