the song
title : Battersea moon
written by : Eddi Reader and Teddy Borowiecki
song copyright : © 1994 Warner Music UK Ltd

the performance
Eddi Reader vocal, backing vocals
Teddy Borowiecki ? accordion, keyboards
Dean Parks ? electric and acoustic guitars
David Piltch ? bass guitar
Curt Bisquera ? drums
key : D major   (but see commentary below)
time-signature : 4/4
tempo : MM 104
form : V V C V m C V C N

provided for research and private study only (see above for copyright details):

Battersea moon

du-du-du-du-doo, hi-ya

the moon it makes me evil
inside and out it swells my skin
and traps my tongue
with words that got me hung, ah-ha {hi-ee-ah}

there’s something about the light
I know it thrills and oh
it killed me
with grey and white
we were bones upon this grass

oh-ah-ow, how many times I would dance, yeah

I found a crack in heaven
it happens once [a very one] time
but its all alone for now
like baby blue {ooh}

oh-ah, la-di-da, la-ah
la-di-da, di-ah
oh, how {how} many times I would dance, ah-hi-ya-ha

my sister says you’re nothing
I know it’s true, I know
it’s true
but I’m half alive
and I need you here tonight

oh-ah-oh, oh, how many times I would dance, I would dance
oh, you forget, I would dance

{here’s the moon, I’m a millionaire
here’s the moon, I’m a millionaire
I would dance
{here’s the moon, I’m a millionaire}
du-du-du-du-du-du [etc.]
{here’s the moon, I’m a millionaire}
I would dance, I would dance, ah-ha
{here’s the moon} I’m a millionaire
here’s the moon, I’m a millionaire

Battersea is an inner suburb of London, about three miles south-west of Charing Cross. Eddi lived near this area at the time and it also makes an appearance in the song ‘Rebel angel’ on the Candyfloss and medicine album.

the recording
produced by : Greg Penny
recorded by : Jon Ingoldsby at El Mirador, Ojai, California. ?
mixed by : Jon Ingoldsby assisted by Andy Strange at Air Studios, London ?
mastered by : ? at ?
track and song timing : 4:07
released on
single : Dear John   7" and MC only track 2

An intriguing song, with excellent use of the imagery of moon-light – grey, white, cold, blue, dark, night. One suspects that the first verse refers, more or less obliquely, to the female menstrual cycle. The final verse at least is clear in meaning “My sister says you’re nothing / I know it’s true… / but I’m half alive / and I need you here tonight”.

The effect of unfulfilled longing is underpinned by the music. The verse has a see-saw bass line which anchors it firmly round the dominant chord, with a regular progress through the series of chords V-I’-IV-II-I’-IV-I-V-I’-IV-I-V, and the chorus uses the fairly common IV-V-I-V cycle, which also emphasises V. Even the modulation in the middle eight only makes it as far as II# (the dominant of the dominant). This continual circling gives the song a wonderfully claustrophobic feel, rather as in the later ‘Shall I be mother’. Incidentally, Kate Bush achieves a similar effect in the chorus of her first hit ‘Wuthering Heights’, but she uses a continuous return to the more depressing IV chord, which doesn’t have the same desire to resolve to I.

This is actually one of my favourite Eddi songs and I’m only sorry that it isn’t available on CD, so I have to rely on the 7-inch single and a fragile cassette copy. At least I’m luckier than all you folks out there who’ve never heard it at all!
Adrian Dover