Pink Moon Redux

(This is an update of material originally posted in April of 2013).

Last night marked the appearance of April 2020’s full moon, the so-called ‘pink moon’; Native Americans gave it this name not because it was pink, but because its appearance  heralded the arrival of moss pink (Phlox subulata), a flowering ground cover that blooms in spring.

phlox-pink_full_width
Phlox subulata

This year’s pink moon is noteworthy for two reasons:

  • It’s a supermoon (a full moon that occurs when the moon is closest* to earth in its orbit)
  • It’s this year’s ‘Paschal Moon’, which establishes the date for Easter, which occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox.

With all of that as background, I turn again to British singer-songwriter Nick Drake, who released just three studio albums in his short career: Five Leaves Left (1969), Bryter Layter (1970), and Pink Moon (1972). He died of an overdose of amitriptyline, an antidepressant, in 1974; he was just 26 years old.

Nick Drake

The title track of Pink Moon is a longtime favorite of mine.  It’s just Nick and his guitar (and some overdubbed piano).  The lyric is a simple one; Drake may have been imparting a message….or not….it doesn’t matter.  For two minutes, it takes me to another place, which is what all beloved pieces of music do for any of us.  I love the huskiness of his voice when his sings ‘pink’ for the fourth time in those two lines of the refrain.

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
And it’s a pink moon

Yes, a pink moon
Pink, pink, pink, pink, pink moon
Pink, pink, pink, pink, pink moon

I 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
And it’s a pink moon

Yes, a pink moon


Trivia tidbit: If the song sounds familiar and you’re not sure why, you may be remembering this 1999 Volkswagen Cabrio commercial, which, 25 years after his death, introduced Drake to a whole new audience.

*One article I read noted that the moon must not have gotten the memo about social distancing…

4 comments

  • I feel like that music might have been the background on a This is Us episode…Nope. But it’s been used in other TV shows and movies, and a different Nick Drake song was used on This is Us. Your boy has a whole list on IMDb of movies and TV shows his music has been in. Good stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Ah, transported, indeed, from my desk looking through computer security logs, to an imaginary moonlit campsite with a low campfire, friends, and no sound but Nick Drake’s song. Thanks, Jeanne.

    Liked by 1 person

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