Musicians and Songwriters have invoked the Moon's charms for ages on end, from Gregorian chants to folk songs, medieval ballads and carols to the twentieth century compositions of Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Eric Clapton. Apart from romance, the Moon is one of the most sung about themes. The Moon's symbology blazes on in the Moon songs of the past centuries, from the chaste and heavenly romantic themes of the earlier part of the 20th century to the hauntings sung from the darker side of the Moon, in such later period songs as Pink Floyd's, "Eclipse," from their "Dark Side of the Moon" album. And the Moon continues its serande in the genres and songs of today. Enjoy.
The Harvest Moon Ball was held usually in August or September and was sponsored by the Daily News in New York and Los Angeles (News Welfare Association, Inc.)
The first unofficial contest was held at the Central Park Mall in 1927,
This contest was to become the most famous dance contest in the world and would last for many years. The official song of the contest was "Shine On, Harvest Moon."
Shine on Harvest Moon is one of the those great Tin Pan Alley Moon songs that were so popular in the first part of the 20th century, such as By the Light of the Silvery Moon, I want to spoon....
And the most popularized of all Moon songs
The song first made its claim to fame when Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth appeared in the elaborate Broadway theatrical production of the Follies, which opened in New York City on June 15, 1908. And, Oh, Shine On, Shine On, Harvest Moon was an instant overnight hit. It's interesting to note that the first version of this song's chorus actually was written: Since April, January, June or July, not January, February, June or July. Many have recorded this song since. Ruth Etting sang this in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1931 with her own twist, with the chorus changed to January, February, June or July and the first and last verse were removed.
Oliver Hardy put his own little twist into the song with reference to the earlier version of April, January, June or July. In Oliver Hardy style of course! April, January, June or July turns to January, April, June or July. You can hear an MP3 rendition of Oliver Hardy singing his version of "Shine on Harvest Moon", which he recorded in 1939 for the film Flying Deuces by clicking on the cover of the Ziegfeld Follies sheet music below. (The original sheet music of this song is owned by Paul McCartney today.)
Cover from Shine On Harvest Moon (Norworth, Bayes) (from Ziegfeld Follies) 1931
The night was mighty dark so you could hardly see,
For the moon refused to shine.
Couple sitting underneath a willow tree,
For love they did pine.
Little maid was kind-a 'fraid of darkness, so
She said, "I guess I'll go."
Boy began to sigh, looked up at the sky,
And told the moon his little tale of woe.
Oh, Shine on, shine on harvest moon, up in the sky;
I ain't had no lovin' since April, January, June or July.
Snow time ain't no time to stay outdoors and spoon,
So shine on, shine on harvest moon, for me and my gal.
Oh, can't see why a boy should sigh, where by his side
Is the girl he loves so true.
All he has to say is: "Won't you be my bride,
For I love you"
Why should I be telling you this secret,
When I know that you can guess?
Harvest moon will smile, shine on all the while,
If the little girl should answer "yes."
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