Dancing With the Moonlit Knight (8:02)

Cover of Archive 1967-1975 (disc 3)

From Archive 1967-1975 (disc 3) and 30 other releases

Dancing with the Moonlit Knight is the first track on the album Selling England by the Pound by British progressive rock band Genesis.

An a cappella vocal opens the track. Then, the song progressively gets louder and more upbeat, becoming a rock number. This song is one of several tracks where Tony Banks used his newly-acquired Mellotron M400; toward the middle of the song the 8 Voice choir is featured prominently, and in the closing section the strings are used. Guitarist Steve Hackett used very early examples of tapping and sweep-picking techniques on this song.

The lyrics are an ironic commentary on contemporary England that employs references to English staples like Green Shield Stamps. The reference “chewing through your Wimpey dreams” is an allusion to the Wimpy Burger Chain that was prevalent in many UK town high streets, in the early 1970s, and also Wimpey homes. The latter reference has some echoes with the theme of “Get ‘Em Out by Friday”. The album was named after a lyric in this song.

The song’s melody is repeated in a different form at the closing of “The Cinema Show” and into “Aisle of Plenty”. The motif gradually appears from the chord sequence, which consists of the same chords as “Cinema Show” but in an alternative order.

The line “Paperlate, cried a voice in the crowd” inspired the band’s 1982 song Paperlate.

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