The Return of Pan

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"The Return of Pan"
The Waterboys The Return of Pan 1993 Single Cover.jpg
Single by The Waterboys
ReleasedMay 1993[1]
Format7" single, 12" single, cassette single, CD single
Songwriter(s)Mike Scott
Producer(s)Mike Scott, Bill Price
The Waterboys singles chronology
"A Life of Sundays"
"The Return of Pan"
"Glastonbury Song"

"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 Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.[2][3] A music video, directed by Jeff Stein, was filmed to promote the single.[4]

"The Return of Pan" is the Waterboys' second ode to the Greek deity, following "The Pan Within" from 1985's This Is the Sea.[5] In 1996, Scott described the song as "mischievous".[6]

Critical reception[edit]

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."[7] 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."[8]

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."[9] Audio noted the song "point[s] to Scott's fondness for other kinds of supreme beings".[10]


7" and cassette single
1."The Return of Pan (LP Version)"4:19
12" and CD single
1."The Return of Pan (LP Version)" 4:19
2."Karma" 2:47
3."Mister Powers" 7:00
4."The Return of Pan (Demo Version)"Hidden track1:14


Chart (1993) Peak
Canadian RPM Top 100 Singles[11] 64
Irish Singles Chart[12] 28
UK Singles Chart[2] 24
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks[3] 10


  • Mike Scott - producer of "The Return of Pan", "Karma" and "Mister Powers"
  • Bill Price - producer, recording and mixing on "The Return of Pan" and "Karma"
  • Niko Bolas - recording and mixing on "Mister Powers"
  • Matt Mahurin - illustration
  • Frank Olinsky - art direction


  1. ^ "The Waterboys". Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  2. ^ a b "WATERBOYS | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  3. ^ a b Billboard. "The Waterboys The Return Of Pan Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  4. ^ "Billboard - Google Books". 1993-06-12. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  5. ^ "Ireland-Related Featured Articles - Google Books". Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  6. ^ "Interview: Mike Scott (Bring 'Em All In, 1995) | Peter T. Chattaway". Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  7. ^ "Billboard - Google Books". 1993-05-22. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  8. ^ Cash Box magazine - May 15, 1993 - Pop Singles: Reviews - page 13
  9. ^ "CD Review - Google Books". Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  10. ^ "Audio - Google Books". 2011-09-17. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  11. ^ "Item: 1404 - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  12. ^