Pink Moon

Album: Pink Moon (1972)
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  • The cryptic 2-minute title track of Nick Drake's third album, he got the name of this song from the Dictionary Of Folklore. It represents the blood-red color of the moon during eclipses. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Diablo - Ipswich, England
  • Drake never had anything resembling a hit in America, but "Pink Moon" has become his most popular song in that country. This is due in no small part to its use in a 1999 commercial for the Volkswagen Cabriolet convertible, which shows four young people driving under the moonlight. When they reach their destination - a party - they tacitly agree to keep driving. The ad, which was created by the agency Arnold Worldwide, sparked a resurgence of interest in the song and in Nick Drake.

    The commercial was titled "Milky Way," and this song was not the first choice - "Under the Milky Way" by The Church was what they originally had in mind.
  • This song contains just Drake's voice, piano and acoustic guitar. These three elements are all that is heard on the entire album, as there were no outside musicians involved. In fact, the only man who seemed to know that Drake was even making an album was his producer/engineer John Wood, who recorded it.

    Even then, Drake was being called "the great silent enigma of our time." His record company, Island, claimed that they had lost track of him, and only knew about the album when Drake walked into the office and delivered it.

    Pink Moon would be Drake's last album; two years later he died after overdosing on antidepressant drugs in what was possibly a suicide. The singer was battling depression when he made this music, which is both melancholy and wondrous, providing an insight into his state of mind.
  • The lyric is very simple, with the same verse repeated twice:

    Saw it written and I saw it say
    Pink moon is on its way
    And none of you stand so tall
    Pink moon gonna get ye all

    What Drake meant by this is a mystery; he did some press to promote the album, but gave no insights on his thought process. Based on his mental state, the song can be seen as apocalyptic, or possibly Drake foretelling his own death.
  • The Volkswagen commercial became a cultural touchstone in America, where only the most adventurous music fans were familiar with Nick Drake before the spot aired, and those fans decried the "sell out" of his music. In the 2000 Gilmore Girls episode "Kiss and Tell," when Rory's love interest Dean discovers a Nick Drake CD in her bedroom (which she planted there because she knew he was a fan), he says, "How much does it suck that they use 'Pink Moon' in a Volkswagen commercial?"

Comments: 12

  • Hugh from Phoenix, AzPlace To Be is my favorite Nick Drake song; actually, it's one of my favorite songs of all time. Pink Moon is an iconic masterpiece, though. I love it too.
  • Supermanfriday from Wigan, United KingdomFor me Northern Sky was his best work.but I'm a northern boy not a southern softee...Nigel Planer of the Young Ones watched Nick Drake..not many can actually say they did or if they did, they cant remember..
  • Andy from Lake City, Flremember the line in the song parasite "making the moon for fun?" in london 1971, troubled young people would take pot, hash, LSD, & heroin for rebellion from parents, emotional/mental issues, or just sheer boredom. the moon symbolizes being out of one's head, pink maybe a perception of yourself that is artificial or colored (i'm just guessing there) anyhow, nick insists all these heavy drug usere will discover there is a price to pay.
  • John from London, United KingdomAfter hearing this song I checked out Nick's work. I thought I'd heard everything and I wasn't ready for the effect his music would have on me, and discovering it was a gift I will cherish for the rest of my life. Five Leaves left is the best album ever made; Way to Blue the best song. (Pink Moon isn't half bad either). His songs are oblivious to time and cannot be contained by it. If he was just starting out today, he would be huge, and there would be no time for the darkness that engulfed him and deprived the music world of its greatest ever exponent.
  • Hermione from Los Angeles, CaDude, this song was in Driving Lessons with Rupert Grint.
  • Musicmama from New York, NyWe lost Nick Drake WAY too soon. In some odd way, I think he and Bob Marley could've been two sides of the same coin: Nick could get more mileage out of a line that's shows so much consciousness of a self, as he does in this song, that the line straddles the boundary between being utterly epigrammatic and wildly solipsistic. That quality makes this song, and some of Nick's other songs (Check out "River Man" and "Saturday Sun" on his "Five Leaves Left" album) some of the most emotionally complex ever written. On the other hand, Bob Marley wrote verses that seemed to stretch the English language's capacity for spiritual expression to its breaking point, and straddled the boundary between egolessness and transcendence. Thus, while Nick Drake was one of the most emotionally complex songwriters and musicians we had, nobody was more spiritually sophisticated than Bob Marley. I don't see how it's possible not to love both of them!
  • Jujee from Marquette, MiNick Drake wrote some of the most gorgeous music..Very lovely song
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScGreat song! It's ashame he wasn't around longer!
  • Suzi from Charleston , Scnick drake is underrated. he was so amazing.
  • Lennonfan11 from Regawrhhrh, IcelandThis is a great, calming song. Too bad Nick Drake wasn't around longer.
  • Hac Barton from Las Vegas, NvThe piano heard on the album version was added in after the orginal recording. The whole album runs in a hair more than a half hour. The whole thing was done with minimalist editing and in about 3 hours.
  • Liriwen from St. Louis, MoMany people learned of this song only after hearing it on a Volkswagen commercial.
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