Floating (The Moody Blues song)

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"Floating"
Song by The Moody Blues from the album To Our Children's Children's Children
Released 21 November 1969
Recorded May–September 1969
Length 3:01
Label Threshold Records
Writer Ray Thomas
Producer Tony Clarke
To Our Children's Children's Children track listing
Side one
  1. "Higher and Higher"
  2. "Eyes of a Child I"
  3. "Floating"
  4. "Eyes of a Child II"
  5. "I Never Thought I'd Live to be a Hundred"
  6. "Beyond"
  7. "Out and In"
Side two
  1. "Gypsy (Of a Strange and Distant Time)"
  2. "Eternity Road"
  3. "Candle of Life"
  4. "Sun is Still Shining"
  5. "I Never Thought I'd Live to be a Million"
  6. "Watching and Waiting"

"Floating" is a song on The Moody Blues' November 1969 album To Our Children's Children's Children, a concept album about space travel dedicated to NASA and the Apollo 11 astronauts.[1] Written by band flautist Ray Thomas, "Floating" is a jaunty, semi-children's song about a future in which advances in space travel have enabled the Moon to become a family vacation spot. The song's lyrics describe the experience of "Floating" from weightlessness due to the microgravity experienced in space flight.

The third verse sparked some concern in the United States shortly after the album's release. The lines in question are:

Bouncing about on the Moon;
Guess you'll all be up here soon!
The candy stores will be brand new,
And you'll buy rock with the Moon right through!

Ray Thomas's previous outspoken sympathy for LSD advocate Timothy Leary, along with coincidental drug-related slang terms current at the time involving words such as "candy" and "rock," led some Americans to see in "Floating" a coded encouragement to experiment with drugs.[2]

The lyrics, however, have nothing to do with drugs and everything to do with typical British holiday-making. Though he took care to Americanize "sweet shops" into "candy stores," Thomas failed to realize that British-style sweet shops and souvenir candy rock are not the seaside resort fixture in America that they are in Britain. British audiences, on the other hand, instantly understood his image of small shops offering children inexpensive mix-and-match bulk sweets and foot-long candy sticks with the words "The Moon" etched from one end "right through" to the other.

Like "Another Morning" from Days of Future Passed and "Nice To Be Here" from Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, "Floating" is one of Ray Thomas's signature "child's world" songs, with simple, catchy melodies and lyrics reflecting a child's perspective.

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Moody Blues Companion, Edward Wincentsen and Rhonda Conley (2001)
  2. ^ See for instance Bob Larson, "Rock and Roll: The Devil's Diversion" (3rd ed., 1970); David Noebel, "The Marxist Minstrels" (1970)