‘Morse Moose And The Grey Goose’ is the final song on Wings’s penultimate album London Town.
The song originated from a jam on board the Fair Carol, a motor yacht stationed at Watermelon Bay in St John’s in the Virgin Islands, where several of the London Town backing tracks were recorded.
This one started on the boat in the Virgin Islands. One of the electric pianos we were working with had a funny sound on it and I was just hitting it and it sounded like a crazy Morse code. When we started, we made six minutes of this funny sound and we had nothing else. We had no idea for a song at all, and we later overdubbed little bits and pieces on it, making it all up as we went along. This was one of those songs that we didn’t know how it was going to turn out. In the end, we got it back to London and we wrote a little bit called ‘The Grey Goose’ in the studio. It’s a sort of mad sea epic, all about those in peril on the sea. We put that in with the first song and the song became ‘Morse Moose And The Grey Goose’.
‘The Grey Goose’ section was recorded in November 1977 at Abbey Road.
This is like a crazy track, this. Most of the stuff we do, it’s a song and it’s worked out and to some degree it’s rehearsed before we come to do it. But this one, we were just on the boat and as you can imagine there are a few evenings there where we weren’t too serious, we were just having a loon. And the electric piano was set up through a couple of gadgets and stuff, and it had this weird sound on it. And I just started hitting it one evening, and I was doing a sort of Morse beat on it. And Denny was just leaping over to the piano and sort of hitting it occasionally with his head.
We had this five-minute thing that just went on; it sounded like Morse code for about five, six minutes. We quite liked it, it sounded like the germ of an idea, so we went the opposite way from how we normally do it, of having a song and then putting it down. This thing started just from an idea, the Morse code idea. And then we thought, ‘What shall we call it?’ We ended up with ‘Morse Moose’.
And then we wrote another little bit in the middle, where it all sort of changed in the middle. One night in the studio back in London we wrote another little bit, which is the ‘Grey Goose’ bit. So the title became ‘Morse Moose And The Grey Goose’. But it’s a departure for us because it’s much more experimental than the rest of the stuff on the album.
BBC Radio 1, 1978
The orchestral arrangement, by Wil Malone, was overdubbed at AIR Studios in December 1977. The leader of the orchestra was violinist Gavyn Wright.