Moonchild (King Crimson song)

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Song by King Crimson from the album In the Court of the Crimson King
Released October 12, 1969
Recorded July 31, 1969
Genre Progressive rock, avant-garde,[1] art rock,[2] free improvisation[3]
Length 12:13
Label Atlantic Records
Writer(s) Peter Sinfield
Composer(s) Robert Fripp, Ian McDonald, Greg Lake, Michael Giles
Producer(s) King Crimson
In the Court of the Crimson King track listing
Side one
  1. "21st Century Schizoid Man"
  2. "I Talk to the Wind"
  3. "Epitaph"
Side two
  1. "Moonchild"
  2. "The Court of the Crimson King"

"Moonchild" is the fourth track from the British progressive rock band King Crimson's debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King.

The first section, "The Dream",[2] is a mellotron-driven ballad, but after two and a half minutes it changes to a completely free-form instrumental improvisation by the band (called "The Illusion"[2]), which lasts until the end of the song. Robert Fripp plays a snippet of "The Surrey With the Fringe on Top" (from Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!") in this section. In the 2009 remastered version of the album, the track was edited by Fripp and colleague Steven Wilson, with around 2.30 minutes of the original improvisation (the reference by Fripp to "The Surrey With the Fringe on Top") being removed. This issue of the album does, however, offer the original version as a bonus track.

The song also contains a unique alternation between the ride cymbals,[4] which was praised by music critics and writers.[5] The song was also described as a "space jam."[5]

Along with songs by Yes, this song was used in the 1998 movie Buffalo ’66, in the scene in which Christina Ricci tap dances at the bowling alley.



  • British rock band Doves used the melody from this song for their track "M62 Song".
  • Rapper MIMS samples the song in his track "Doctor Doctor".
  • Moonchild has also been interpreted by the Italian psychedelic progressive rock band Twenty Four Hours in the album The Smell of The Rainy Air, in 1991


  1. ^ Macan (2009), p.24
  2. ^ a b c Smith (2009), p.72
  3. ^ Barker (2006), p.180
  4. ^ Everett (2008), p.16
  5. ^ a b Martin (1998), p.159
  • Barker, David (2006). 33 1/3 Greatest Hits, Volume 1. Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 0826419038. 
  • Everett, Walter (2008). The Foundations of Rock : From "Blue Suede Shoes" to "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes": From "Blue Suede Shoes" to "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes". Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199718709. 
  • Macan, Edward (1997). Rocking the Classics: English Progressive Rock and the Counterculture. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195098870. 
  • Martin, Bill (1998). Listening to the Future: The Time of Progressive Rock, 1968-1978. Open Court Publishing. ISBN 081269368X. 
  • Smith, Chris (2009). One Hundred One Albums that Changed Popular Music. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195373715. 

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