Mike Oldfield


Moonlight Shadow – Mike Oldfield
Album: Crises –  Released: 1983 – UK Chart: 4

7-inch vinyl: 

1.”Moonlight Shadow” (7″ mix) – 3:37
2.”Rite of Man” – 2:21

The last that ever she saw him
Carried away by a moonlight shadow
He passed on worried and warning
Carried away by a moonlight shadow.
Lost in a river last saturday night
Far away on the other side.
He was caught in the middle of a desperate fight
And she couldn’t find how to push through
The trees that whisper in the evening
Carried away by a moonlight shadow
Sing a song of sorrow and grieving
Carried away by a moonlight shadow
All she saw was a silhouette of a gun
Far away on the other side.
He was shot six times by a man on the run
And she couldn’t find how to push through

I stay
I pray
I see you in heaven far away
I stay
I pray

I see you in heaven far away
Four am in the morning
Carried away by a moonlight shadow
I watched your vision forming
Carried away by a moonlight shadow
Star was light in a silvery night
Far away on the other side
Will you come to talk to me this night
But she couldn’t find how to push through

I stay
I pray
I see you in heaven far away
I stay
I pray

I see you in heaven far away
Far away on the other side.
Caught in the middle of a hundred and five
The night was heavy but the air was alive
But she couldn’t find how to push through
Carried away by a moonlight shadow
Carried away by a moonlight shadow
Far away on the other side.

Maggie Reilly sang “Moonlight Shadow” live when she toured with Oldfield in the 1980s. However since then, other singers have performed the song live with Oldfield including, Anita Hegerland (during the late 1980s), Pepsi Demacque (at the Tubular Bells III premiere and at the Live Then & Now ’99 tour), Miriam Stockley (at the Millennium concert) and Rosa Cedrón (at Nokia Night of the Proms).

It has been suggested that the lyrics of the song are a reference to the murder of John Lennon despite the fact that the events in the song do not correspond with those of Lennon’s murder.

Lennon was shot four times just before 11pm, whereas in the song the time is 4am and the number of shots is six.

When asked if Moonlight Shadow is a reference to John Lennon’s murder in a 1995 interview, Oldfield responded: Not really… well, perhaps, when I look back on it, maybe it was. I actually arrived in New York that awful evening when he was shot and I was staying at the Virgin Records house in Perry Street, which was just a few blocks down the road from the Dakota Building where it happened, so it probably sank into my subconscious. It was originally inspired by a film I loved – ‘Houdini’, starring Tony Curtis, which was about attempts to contact Houdini after he’d died, through spiritualism… it was originally a song influenced by that, but a lot of other things must have crept in there without me realizing it. —Mike Oldfield, “Gareth Randall Interviews Mike Oldfield”.

The original cover art is an enlargement of the lower right corner of the Crises album cover by UK artist Terry Ilott. This shows a man with his foot on a ledge with the sea and sky in the background. The moon, the tower and its shadow from the album cover cannot be seen on the single cover.

Terry Ilott’s Art

Mike Oldfield additional info

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