Floating (The Moody Blues song)
|Song by The Moody Blues from the album To Our Children's Children's Children|
|Released||21 November 1969|
"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. 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 use drugs.
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.
- Justin Hayward: acoustic guitar, backing vocals
- John Lodge: bass guitar, backing vocals
- Mike Pinder: mellotron, backing vocals
- Ray Thomas: vocals, flute
- Graeme Edge: drums, percussion
- The Moody Blues Companion, Edward Wincentsen and Rhonda Conley (2001)
- See for instance Bob Larson, "Rock and Roll: The Devil's Diversion" (3rd ed., 1970); David Noebel, "The Marxist Minstrels" (1970)