Did you catch a glimpse of yesterday’s “supermoon”? While I was checking out the amazing images popping up on the internet today, I started to think about the role the moon plays in our culture, especially its effect on our art. You can see it pretty clearly in these pieces of sheet music — depicting different subjects and emotions, but all somehow inspired by the moon.
Click on any of the thumbnails below to see the full image.
Pale Yellow Moon, tell me soon / What the south wind whispers to the rose / Pale Yellow Moon, there’s a croon / In the treetops that nobody knows
I’m sure you’ve heard tell of the man in the moon:
Roll Along Old Georgia Moon
How about the woman in the moon?
If I should ever go to heaven / I’ll sit right on the moon / and keep my eyes on you / I’ll see that you won’t flirt / I’ll see that you won’t hurt / Another heart so true
The southern states are well represented in our sheet music collections, and it’s no surprise that the moon makes for an especially picturesque backdrop.
Sweet and low I hear the breeze / a-singing Dixie melodies / Crooning it seems, songs of my dreams / As the shadows softly fall / My golden memories recall / Olden scenes of the land that I love
Old Kentucky Moonlight
When the moon begins to shine / Through the pines of Carolin’ / That’s when my heart starts to pine for you / In the night when all is still / As I stroll across a hill / I start in to dream of my little queen, that’s you
There are songs about nearby rivers…
…and songs about more exotic locales…
…but so many of our moon songs are about the South:
Somewhere there’s a Dixie moon a-shining / Shining down the trail we used to go / Somewhere there’s a lonely heart a-pining / Pining for the love we used to know / Dixie moon, the years have all been dreary / And the world to me seems out of tune / So tell her with you beams, she’s ever in my dreams / Dear old Dixie moon
For more on the recent “supermoon,” see this blog entry at Scientific American, which includes a video Q&A with NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller.