"The Return of Pan" is a song from Scottish-Irish folk rock band The Waterboys, released as the lead single from their sixth studio album Dream Harder. It was written by Mike Scott, and produced by Scott and Bill Price. The song reached No. 24 in the UK and No. 10 on the US BillboardModern Rock Tracks chart. A music video, directed by Jeff Stein, was filmed to promote the single.
"The Return of Pan" is the Waterboys' second ode to the Greek deity, following "The Pan Within" from 1985's This Is the Sea. In 1996, Scott described the song as "mischievous".
Upon release, Larry Flick of Billboard described the song as a "tough, well-produced track that neatly balances raucous electric guitars with the Celtic folk the band has long made a specialty." Randy Clark of Cash Box commented: "This single from the upcoming Waterboys album could have just as easily appeared on an Al Stewart record. Just add a bigger beat and a lengthy, screaming guitar solo."
In a review of Dream Harder, CD Review commented: ""The Return of Pan" finds [Scott] singing about mythological gods and although romanticism is neat stuff, it's most effective when shaded with a touch of reality."Audio noted the song "point[s] to Scott's fondness for other kinds of supreme beings".