Moonlight And Vodka

Fix me a drink, make it a strong one,
Hey comrade, a drink, make it a long one,
My hands are shaking and my feet are numb,
My head is aching and the bar's going round,
And I'm so down, in this foreign town;

Tonight there's a band, it ain't such a bad one,
Play me a song, don't make it a sad one,
I can't even talk to these Russian girls,
The beer is lousy and the food is worse,
And it's so damn cold, yes it's so damn cold,
I know it's hard to believe,
But I haven't been warm for a week;

Moonlight and vodka, takes me away,
Midnight in Moscow is lunchtime in L.A.,
Ooh play boys, play...

Espionage is a serious business,
Well I've had enough of this serious business,
That dancing girl is making eyes at me,
I'm sure she's working for the K.G.B.
In this paradise, ah cold as ice;

Moonlight and vodka, takes me away,
Midnight in Moscow is sunshine in L.A.,
Yes, in the good old U.S.A.
"A very emotive title! I was at my parents' home just after Christmas playing a honky-tonk piano. I just love it because it sounds so bad that it gives off this tremendous feeling of mood. Anyway, I was tinkling away and I had no words at all. I was listening to the music and thinking 'Hmmm, sounds kind of European, almost Russian - what's going on here?' The moment that happens, I get a whole sort of print out of ideas; I'm in a Russian bar, I'm an American spy and I'm really fed up. I want to go and get really drunk. It's cold, there's dancing girls working with the KGB and they're giving me the eye. Suddenly, a whole film unrolled before me for that tune. The moment that happened, the trigger for the entire song came - you know, Moonlight and Vodka! That was then accelerated by things I'd seen in the movies and I used the music, different chords and Rupert's production skills to create that picture. It's like painting and it's the ability to communicate your vision of the picture that becomes the gift."
The Getaway Gazette, April 1984

"The song 'Moonlight And Vodka' probably came from the result of a visit to Russia. I really can't remember, isn't that terrible? But what I was imagining was a spy who has been ordered to stay in a certain place and he is just dreaming of being back in the heat of Los Angeles, probably where he came from. He is a California boy and he is making remarks about where he is at that moment, which is Moscow. But there is an ironic twist in this, which is he is getting very much sucked into the lifestyle there, and he obviously likes it as you can tell from the lyrics, particularly the dancing girl, that sort of thing. And he is clearly a regular in that bar that he is describing. So things can't all be bad, he is just kind of generally having a bit of a moan. But it's a fun tune and I know that this was very popular right across Russia some years ago, and probably still is."
Man On The Line, February 2008


"Moonlight And Vodka" appears on the following albums:

Man On The LineLive In Dortmund