Harrison wrote the song during a February 1978 holiday on the Hawaiian island of Maui. His handwritten lyrics were dated 25 February, his 35th birthday.
Sunsets in Hawaii were marvellous with the whales jumping up and down in the ocean: fantastic. Everything was so wonderful and then one evening I turned round and the full moon was coming up as the sun was going down – all this and here comes the moon! Too much.
I Me Mine
The lyrics were co-written with Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks, who was uncredited on the release.
We were writing a sort of parody of ‘Here Comes The Sun’. [Maui restaurateur Bob] Longhi was saying, ‘You guys are writing about the moon instead of the sun,’ and I said, ‘That’s because by then we were all such night birds.’ We just hung out and wrote and sang and talked. I had been famous for not even quite three years and we were talking with George about being famous and what it meant and what you had to give up.
Behind The Locked Door, Graeme Thomson
The song was a conscious echo of The Beatles’ 1969 song ‘Here Comes The Sun’, including the harmony vocals, arpeggiated guitar, and the triplet rhythm behind the title phrase.
I was in a particularly great place when I saw the moon coming up and I though, ‘Wow, you know, all this, and here comes the moon!’ and then I thought, ‘No, I couldn’t write a song called that, they’ll kill me.’ But, as it happened, I wrote the song and it turned out really nice, so it stands up in its own right. And any other songwriters around, they have had ten years to write ‘Here Comes The Moon’ after ‘Here Comes The Sun’, but nobody else write it. I might as well do it meself.
It’s a very peaceful song. And the problem with mixing it was I kept falling asleep. By the time it gets to the end it’s put me into a dream world.
Roundtable, BBC Radio 1
George loved the tropics and was always happiest there. He was inspired and wrote several songs during those days – ‘Dark Sweet Lady’, ‘Soft-Hearted Hana’ and ‘Here Comes The Moon’, the lyrics of which are dated 25/2, his birthday. The local general store stocked guava jam, bamboo fishing poles and machetes, but was short of gifts for the man who has everything, so I bought George lots of pens and paper to encourage the writing and, as I read the lyrics from that period, I’m glad I did. We swam in black lave rock ponds with names like Venus Pool and a tiny cottage on a bay became our luxury home for those days – the greatest luxury being the absence of a telephone and freedom from the usual demands on George’s time. The locals bestowed upon us not only privacy and Aloha spirit, but also tropical flowers we had never seen before; shell, torch and kahili gingers mixed with fragrant plumeria leis. We couldn’t wait to return and plant our own tropical garden. Over the years, Derek [Taylor] and Brian [Roylance] became guest gardeners, leaving a lush legacy of their visits with us.
The many photos from that first holiday to Hawaii had disappeared for over twenty years. While I was writing this introduction, they were returned to me. Among them was one of the rising full moon, known in Hawaii as Mahina, that inspired George to write ‘Here Comes The Moon’. The last time George and I were there together was in February of 2001. The simultaneous sunset and moonrise in a gloaming sky, the waves crashing over the rocks, the whales breeching the sea, the reprise of rainbows and Haleakala Crater rising 10,000 feet in our backyard once again humbled us and turned our faces towards God. We picked gardenias and played Hawaiian music over morning coffee while sitting in the sun…
I Me Mine, 2002 edition
‘Here Comes The Moon’ was included on Harrison’s 1989 compilation Best Of Dark Horse 1976-1989.
George Harrison was remastered and reissued in 2004, as a standalone release and as part of the box set The Dark Horse Years 1976–1992. The reissue added a bonus track, a demo of ‘Here Comes The Moon’, which was also included on the iTunes Store edition.