Mike Oldfield

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Mike Oldfield in 2009

Mike Oldfield (born 15 May 1953) is an English multi-instrumentalist musician and composer.


  • I want not to panic. I want to be comfortable in my body and my life. I don't want to keep thinking that I don't belong here, that I have ended up on the wrong planet, completely alienated. (from Changeling)
  • In this world, everything has a pulse or a vibration. This sound is unique to each living or non-living thing and in itself creates a music that no-one can hear. I believe that this has a very powerful resonance with, and a deep effect on, our lives. What would happen if we took this further and applied it to bigger things, more powerful things; like an entire solar system or galaxy say, what would that sound like?
    Musica Universalis is the ancient theory that every celestial body, the sun, the moon and the stars, has an inner music. This is a harmonic and mathematical concept derived from the movements of the planets in the solar system. The music created is inaudible to the human ear.
    Music of the Spheres is my interpretation of this theory. Every planet and every star; the whole universe has music within it that no-one can hear. This is what it would sound like if it was set free. This is Music of the Spheres. (from the introduction to Music of the Spheres)

The Telegraph Interview, 10 june 2009[edit]

Mike Oldfield interview for the re-release of Tubular Bells
  • The biggest problems were to do with... well, to get that successful when you're so young, it attracts hangers-on, parasites, people who want to feed off you. I thought people actually liked me, but they actually liked my money. I'd probably say to my younger self, get yourself a whole collection of lawyers. Which is what I have now. I don't have any friends; I just have lawyers. At the last count I had about 15 different sets of them for all kinds of problems. And you can trust them because you're paying them. I know that sounds very negative, but that's the world we live in.
  • When I was younger I had an incredible sensitivity; I suppose there were too many brain cells, or they were organised in the wrong way, and they've either reorganised themselves or I've lost lots of them through alcohol and substance abuse. I can get along without being terrified now. Maybe I've just got used to it.
  • Everything on Tubular Bells was done on the first take – it was lovely, so spontaneous. I had such a long time to prepare it, and I had just one little chance to do it, and now I listen to it and it has a lovely spontaneous energy. It's got mistakes, and I could easily have cut them out, but I left them on.
  • If it was a horrible thing I was known for, like some horrible pop song, it would annoy me, but it doesn't. I'm proud of it.
    • On Tubular Bells

Song lyrics[edit]

Children of the Sun (1969)[edit]


  • We're looking
    For the strangers
    With sunlight in their eyes
    Who lived on Earth
    When Man was new
    When Time was
    Just a coloured dew
    That grew inside their mind...

Lady Mary

  • Hey, cool princess
    With your eyes hanging
    The milk of the moon
    Hey, pretty princess
    Take me down to your cave in the dawn
    And you're gonna be a queen
    When the stars water
    Heaven with tears
    And you gonna love me
    When all our
    Golden lands are free.

Children of the Sun

  • I watch the boats go by
    As the evening colours of the sand
    The rain is bringing tears
    From my lover's land
    I watch the silver stars
    melt in love with the sea
    I cry to the wind:
    – Bring back my lover to me! -

A lover for all seasons

  • Come, take my hand
    And wander in the willow river
    Glistening the blue bells
    Come, take my flesh
    And wander in the sunny corn
    That shimmer stills at snowfalls
    'Cause I love you lover
    I love you, like I love
    The Four high Seasons.


  • My moon shines so softly
    On the hair of my killer
    Pours flowers on his head
    Help me, give him some shelter!
    Come, lie by the river
    Rest your head, don't you fear
    Sleep softly, my baby
    They won't find you here.

Banquet on the Water

  • Don't wanna know your name
    You're just my lover
    Just wanna spend the night
    Walking beside you on the water
    You look like my lover
    But you're words are cold
    You say words like him
    But thinking has made you grow old.


  • Little bluebird's
    Fluttering into my hand
    Sun falls in love over the land
    I will live forever
    Just you wait and see
    No matter want you do
    To my bluebird and me...

Midsummer Nights Happening

  • Sunlight falling bright
    Over village garden walls
    Moonlight shower's gold
    where leaving waterfalls
    People walk in splendour
    Under trees hung in starlight.

Love in Ice Crystals

  • Oh, my love
    You're searching
    For your name
    Beside the sea
    Of dwells and dreams
    Where Shadows're dancing
    For your glance...
    The sky would chance
    The granting of a dream
    To the restless soul
    That dwells within your heart...

Ommadawn (1975)[edit]

On Horseback - Ommadawn part 2

  • Some find it strange to be here
    On this small planet and who knows where...
    But when it's strange and full of fear
    It's nice to be on horseback.

Boxed (1976)[edit]

The Rio Grande

  • The sails are unfurled
    And the anchor's away going home...
    She heels to the breeze as she gathers her way,
    And we're bound to the old country.
    Then away, love, away, going home!
    We're homeward bound this very day,
    And we're bound to the old country...

Speak (Tho' You Only Say Farewell)

  • Speak, vision of the night,
    Tell me why you haunt me so...
    Speak, heaven morning light,
    Whisper all my heart would know.
    Dawn never finds you,
    Gone back to where the Shadows dwell...
    Speak, my beloved, speak,
    tho' you only say farewell!

Incantations (1978)[edit]

Incantations part 2-Hiawatha's Departure

  • With a smile of joy and gladness, with a look of exultation, as of one who in a vision what is to be, but it is not, stood and waited Hiawatha. Toward the sun his hands were lifted both the palms spread out toward it and, between departed fingers, felt the sunshine on his features. Flecked with light his naked shoulders, as it falls and flecks an oak-tree through the rifted leaves and branches.

Incantations part 3-The Son of the Evening Star

  • Can it be the sun descending o'er the level plain of water or the Red Swan floating, flying wounded by the Magic Arrow? Staining all the waves with crimson, with the crimson of its life-blood, filling all the air with splendor, filling all the air with plumage? [...] O'er it the Star of Evening melts and trembles through the purple, hangs suspensed in twilight, walks in silence through the heavens...

Incantations part 4-Hymn to Diana

  • Queen and Huntress chaste and fair
    Now the Sun is laid to sleep
    Seated in the Silver Chair
    State in wonder
    Manner keep [...]
    Hesperus entreats Thy light
    Goddess excellently bright
    Bless us then with a wished sight
    Thou who mak'st the day of night...

Crises (1983)[edit]


  • The Watcher and the Tower
    Waiting hour by hour.

Moonlight Shadow

  • The trees that whisper in the evening
    Carried away by a moonlight shadow
    Sing a song of sorrow and grieving
    Carried away by a moonlight shadow
    All she saw was a silhouette of a gun
    Far away on the other side
    He was shot six times by a man on the run
    And she couldn't find how to push trough
    I stay, I pray, see you in heaven far away
    I stay, I pray, see you in heaven one day...

In High Places

  • Look down from in high places
    Lift up the ground
    Without a sound
    Check altitude
    Check your heart
    'n this cloudless blue
    'n this starlight night...

Foreign Affair

  • Drifting a dream
    On a mystical sea...
    A wishful emotion
    A drop in the ocean
    A hush in the air
    You can feel anywhere
    In the cool twilight
    Of a tropical night...

Shadow on the Wall

  • Treat me like I'm evil
    Freeze me till I'm cold
    Beat me till I'm feeble
    Grind me till I'm old
    Wire me till I'm tired
    Push me like I fall
    Treat me like a criminal,
    just a shadow on the wall!

Discovery (1984)[edit]

To France

  • Taking on water
    Sailing a restless sea
    From a memory
    A fantasy
    The wind carries into white water
    Far from the islands
    Don't you know...
    You're never going to get to France
    Mary, queen of chance, will they find you!
    Never going to get to France...
    Could a new romance ever bind you?
  • Walking on foreign ground
    Like a shadow
    Roaming in far off territory
    Over your shoulder
    Stories unfold
    You're searching
    For a sanctuary...
  • I see a picture by the lamp's flicker...
    Isn't it strange how dreams fade and shimmer?

Poison Arrows

  • Somebody's out to get you
    Hiding in the shadows
    Poison arrows!
    Somebody's out to break you
    Hiding in narrows
    Poison arrows!
  • What you gonna do?
    Time is running out on you!
    Anyway you choose
    Anyway you're gonna lose...

Crystal Gazing

  • Watching for a spark
    It's a moonlight show
    Reaching through the dark
    Do you have to go?
  • Voices in the dark
    And the lights burn low
    Teach yourself the art
    That you never know
    Try to put a message through
    To your sweetheart
    Won't you like to know
    The secrets of the heart?

Tricks of the Light

  • I'm half a crazy man
    Waiting for confirmation;
    Signs keep are changing
    And I need some more information
  • Something tells me how
    Her bright blue eyes
    Are smiling;
    She turns her head and now
    When she wants she denies him...
  • Some are tricks of the light
    You'll never know
    Make a flickering midnight
    Light into a glow...


  • When you want the score
    When you need a helping hand
    And you find closed doors
    And you're back where you began
    Keeping those secrets
    Telling those lies...
    Can anybody tell me
    What's the big surprise?
  • How can you sleep
    How can you turn away
    Thinking so cheap?
    Some day you're gonna pay!
    You're keeping secrets
    I can see in your eyes:
    Can anybody tell me
    Why the big disguise?

Talk About Your Life

  • Talk about your life
    I'd like to know
    It's not easy going
    Where no-one goes
    And no-one knows...
  • Do we have to be so distant
    How can you be so unreal?
    What's the reason for hiding and
    How this crying make you feel?

Saved by a Bell

  • Saved by a bell
    Suffer in hell
    But you were too blind to tell!
    Saved by a bell
    Suffer in hell
    And you made it through so well!

Elements - The Best of Mike Oldfield (1986)[edit]


  • Standing in a new space,
    Waving at the sun...
    So you probably back in darkness
    To where I belong.
    Just by being with you
    Pictures flow out of my mind...
    Have we danced before
    Long ago or in another time?

Islands (1987)[edit]


  • We are islands
    But never too far
  • We can never
    Be closer somehow
    For the moment that lasts
    Is this moment now
  • There's a new path
    That we found just today
    I was lost in the forest
    And you showed me the way

Flying Start

  • We took a place in the sun
    To see just what had become
    The warm wind blows constantly
    Does the answer still blow?
    Did you find your château
    In that Mediterranean fantasy?
  • On dusty roads and tracks
    Now it's the time to turn back
    The warm wind blows constantly
    Riding that storm
    Since the day you were born
    Is there somebody in? Now answer me

North Point

  • The writing on the wall at North Point
    Speaks to a silent room
    They shut the bars down, leave you to the gloom
  • Somewhere far above has a new day risen
    Way beyond the searchlight
    (Comes a light, comes a light)
    Then on a bright day at North Point
    The gate was open wide
    They chanced to look at what was inside

Magic Touch

  • Once in a lifetime, you find that power
    To break out and run from the Devil's deep clutch
    All that you need (it's the finest hour)
    Is to believe in the magic touch
  • Can't believe it, like no other
    Love is a gift, and you take it so much!
    You need the blue night to discover
    Only true lovers have the magic touch

The Time Has Come

  • Someone who knows no fear
    I feel him near
    The child was born to be a king
    And the time has come
  • And now the story's just begun
    A thousand years to stay
    We wake each morning with the sun
    To live our dreams away

When the Night’s On Fire

  • I was hoping
    Could you be my inspiration
    Whatever should become
    In the candlelight?
    I was dreaming
    Was it my imagination?
    Tomorrow never comes
    In the candlelight
  • I was listening
    To the wind that walks the hours
    I never would have heard
    In the candlelight
    I was hoping
    Would you shelter me from showers?
    I believe every word
    In the candlelight

Earth Moving (1989)[edit]


  • Harmony is always when I look around me
    And your smile I see
    I can feel it surrounds me
    A miracle I find in your company.
  • One glance is all that I need;
    What I was searching for I've found it...
  • Holy, to me just one glance is holy
    One touch of your heart to me that's holy...


  • You can't speak, you can't sleep,
    You daren't move, you're confused.
    You never talk, you can't walk
    You can't feel, you're not real...
  • If I open my eyes just far enough
    I can see what you're doing.
    Go on, fight to the end, it's though enough
    When you're on the road of ruin!
  • You're a hostage of the heart
    Twisted 'round the smallest finger
    Two burning eyes are tearing you apart
    Turn your soul into a cinder!

Far Country

  • She takes the rain, turns it to sun,
    And my soul she fills it.
    Where once was a desert
    Rivers now run, and my storms she stills it...
  • She gives me hope
    When there's nothing but pain;
    I can't explain it:
    Two different leaves
    But the branch is the same...
    Forever let it be!
    She takes the rain...


  • I know you'll never stay the same
    In time, most of us lose it,
    But I'm hoping, just the same,
    You'll shine and learn how to use it.
  • Smile to me, like the very first smile
    You are magnificent when you're innocent.
    Walk to me
    Like the very first walk
    You are from heaven sent when you're innocent

Runaway Son

  • Save me, holy mother, please save me,
    I got a heart of gold...
    And for your love I'd go hungry and thirsty.
    I need a saviour and you're the one...
    I throw myself into the arms of mercy,
    There's still hope for the runaway son!

See the Light

  • I've been waiting at this frontier
    And it seems like a hundred years,
    But I couldn't see past the gate
    I couldn't see past the hate
  • Will-power, give me back some to survive,
    One more hour and I'm coming alive...
    I can see the light!
    And there's blue sky breaking
    Through the edge of the night...
    I can see the light!
  • Now I climb the steps to freedom,
    The open gates, I can see them.
    Hands once I knew
    Beckoning me through,
    As the sunlight touch my face,
    I can feel the warm embrace;
    Arms surround me,
    My life has found me...

Earth Moving

  • I feel a rush in the air tonight,
    I can feel the Earth moving.
    Love is beacon, a guiding light,
    can't you feel the Earth moving?
  • Feel the Earth move!
    Now I'm wrapped
    In a sweet love's arms,
    Reaching out for you...
  • Reach out, it's a leap in the dark,
    But there's no danger of falling.
    Give out, give it straight from the heart,
    You feel the thunder rolling...

Blue Night

  • To whole room her eyes are numb,
    As she reads from a true love story.
    From the pages of a book her lover comes,
    Her heart bleeds, it's a true love story.
  • Misty path and the night is endless,
    She could be a queen
    Or a desert princess.
    Hero takes her hand and leads her through...
    Who knows what this night will do?
    Only in the blue night he comes to her
    That's when the whole night
    Belongs to her.

Nothing But/Bridge to Paradise

  • You know it's not too late to leave tomorrow,
    'cause I know where I'm going...
    I am building a bridge to Paradise!

Amarok (1990)[edit]

  • HEALTH WARNING: This record could be hazardous to the health of cloth-eared nincompoops. If you suffer from this condition, consult your Doctor immediately. (from the back-cover)


  • Hello everyone!
    I suppose that you think that nothing much is happening at the moment. Ah ah ah! Well, that's what I want to talk to you all about: endings. Now, endings normally happen at the end. But, as we all know, endings are just beginnings. You know, once these things really get started, it's jolly hard to stop them again.
    However, as we have all come this far, I think, under the circumstances, the best solution is that we all just keep going. Let's keep going inside, never an ending. Let's remember that this world wants fresh beginnings. I feel here, in this Country, and throughout the world, we are crying out for beginnings, beginnings!
    We never want to hear this word "endings". I know you don't want to sit down. Of course, you're looking for the good start. Of course you're looking for a fresh start.
    Isn't that charming? Do you know, I really feel I could dance...

Heaven's Open (1991)[edit]

Heaven’s Open

  • This is zero hour and there's no way back
    Can you feel that power in its arms you're wrapped
    All through the night-time
    Till the sun comes in?
    Now Heaven's Open
    Fly right in!


  • Make-make...
    There's no way out no way in
    To the hallowed halls of the inner ring
    You're just a face in the crowd
    You got no place
    When you're down and out.
  • Monna Lisa, you can stop searching;
    don't you know we're not Virgin?

No Dream

  • A restless flame
    Someone calls your name
    Through the empty hall
    Casting shadows on the wall
    In the sound of emptiness
    Nowhere left to run
    Now the time has come...

Mr. Shame

  • Down to the River
    Was this all some
    Cry for love?
    It's a cry for love:
    Are you a victim of
    That Money Bug
    In your blood,
    Mr. Shame?

Gimme Back

  • I need my hands
    I need my feet
    Gimme my soul
    I'm incomplete
    I need my eyes
    I want my teeth
    Gimme my scope
    Gimme my beliefs
  • I'm a fire without a flame, desert with no rain...

Tubular Bells III (1998)[edit]

Man in the Rain

  • You're the one who's nearly
    Breaking my heart;
    Had your chance
    You just threw it all away.
    Living in a world that
    You could never be a part of,
    And now is a time to walk away.
  • How's it feel when
    There's time to remember?
    ...Branches bare,
    Like the trees in november.
    Had it all,
    Threw it all away;
    Now's a time to walk away.

Far Above the Clouds

  • And the Man in the rain
    Picked up his bag of secrets,
    And journeyed up the mountainside
    Far above the clouds;
    And nothing was ever heard from him again,
    Except for the sound of
    Tubular Bells...

The Millennium Bell (1999)[edit]

Peace on Earth

  • Heaven and Earth are turning
    Round the Earth fire is burning.
    Sheltered from the cruel storm
    Peace on Earth is new born

Santa Maria

  • Far the horizon
    Hove to the wind;
    We're sailing the sea
    To the Edge of the World

Sunlight Shines Through the Cloud

  • "Twas grace that taught
    My heart to fear,
    And grace my fears reliev'd;
    How precious did that grace appear,
    The hour I first believ'd!"
    And I want to feel sun on my face,
    And I feel a shadow in its place,
    With the sunlight shines through cloud,
    When we're standing free, proud
  • Thro' many dangers, toils and snares,
    I have already come;
    'tis grace has brought me
    Safe thus far,
    And grace will lead me home.
    The Lord has promis'd good to me,
    His Word my hope secures;
    He will my shield and portion be,
    As long as life endures


  • When the birds sing outside
    And you see the trees
    Changing into green
    The sun invites one
    To be out in the open air.
    When the sky is so blue, then,
    Oh! Then I wish for so much!

Amber Light

  • Amber light
    Of this new morning,
    Amber light,
    Clear, bright and warming.
    The Earth adorning...
    Amber light,
    A New Age is dawning...

Collection (2002)[edit]

Pictures in the Dark

  • Follow the light that glows
    Through your bedroom window,
    Tonight, the fading twilight.
    There's a hollow deep in the woods,
    Where you know you're crazy to go,
    Not even meant to know there are...
    Pictures in the dark, I see all around,
    Voices calling underground;
    And I'm watching the stars since the world was found...
    One, two, three...
  • And in the deepest dark
    You come to a maze, in the night,
    The fading twilight...
    And you shiver the glistening path
    Where you know you're crazy to go...

Tr3s Lunas (2002)[edit]

To Be Free

  • (Take a wish!)
    My wish is...
    ...To be free,
    To be wild,
    And to be just
    Like a child!
  • You're out in the cold,
    As far as you can see,
    You want to run
    Into the sun,
    The road is lost,
    Sand shifty.
    But suddendly, out of the blue,
    Some kind of magic
    Pushes you through!
    You don't know when,
    How or why,
    But someday can take off, fly!

Quotes about Oldfield[edit]

  • When we made [Tubular Bells], Michael was a mental wreck. He would walk 'round with his eyes wet with tears nearly all the time; he was in a terrible state. He found it an enormous disquiet, … the idea of being mortal flesh … [while] what was going on his head was eternal and beautiful and everlasting. … My heart went out to him.
    • Tom Newman, in an interview for the documentary film Tubular Bells: The Mike Oldfield Story (2013).

External links[edit]

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