Table of Contents
- 1. ‘What a Little Moonlight Can Do’ by Billie Holiday
- 2. ‘The Killing Moon’ by Echo and the Bunnymen
- 3. ‘Bad Moon Rising’ by Creedence Clearwater Revival
- 4. ‘Moon Is Up’ by The Rolling Stones
- 5. ‘Moonshadow’ by Cat Stevens
- 6. ‘Mr. Moonlight’ by The Beatles
- 7. ‘The Whole of the Moon’ by The Waterboys
- 8. ‘Moon at the Window’ by Joni Mitchell
- 9. ‘Walking on the Moon’ by The Police
- 10. ‘Pink Moon’ by Nick Drake
- 11. ‘Song about the Moon’ by Paul Simon
- 12. ‘Blue Moon’ by Billie Holiday
- 13. ‘Sisters of the Moon’ by Fleetwood Mac
- 14. ‘Drunk On The Moon’ by Tom Waits
- 15. ‘How High The Moon’ by Les Paul And Mary Ford
- 16. ‘Moon River’ by Sarah Vaughan
- 17. ‘Man On The Moon’ by R.E.M
- 18. ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ by Frank Sinatra
- 19. ‘Moonage Daydream’ by David Bowie
- 20. ‘Blue Moon Of Kentucky’ by Elvis Presley
- 21. ‘Moondance’ by Van Morrison
- 22. ‘Harvest Moon’ by Neil Young
- 23. ‘Moonlight Shadow’ by Mike Oldfield
The moon has been a source of inspiration for musicians throughout the history of music. From romantic ballads to eerie rock anthems, there is no shortage of great songs that pay tribute to Earth’s natural satellite. The moon has long been associated with mystery, romance, and introspection, and its influence on music is undeniable. Some of the best songs about the moon capture its beauty, reflect on its symbolism, or simply use it as a metaphor for emotions or experiences.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the best songs that celebrate the moon. We’ll cover a range of genres, from classic rock to contemporary pop, and delve into the themes and emotions that these songs evoke. From Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” to Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon,” we’ll take a journey through some of the most iconic moon-inspired tracks in music history. We’ll also highlight some lesser-known gems that deserve more recognition for their lunar-themed lyrics and melodies. Whether you’re a fan of sentimental ballads or rocking anthems, there’s a moon-inspired song out there for everyone. So, sit back, relax, and let’s take a trip to the moon and back through music.
1. ‘What a Little Moonlight Can Do’ by Billie Holiday
“What a Little Moonlight Can Do” is a jazz standard written by Harry M. Woods, and famously performed by Billie Holiday. The song features a swinging, up-tempo melody that perfectly complements Holiday’s signature vocal style. The lyrics describe the transformative power of moonlight, which can turn a dull evening into a romantic adventure. Holiday’s performance is both sultry and playful, showcasing her impeccable phrasing and effortless timing. The song’s catchy chorus and infectious rhythm make it a joy to listen to, and a perfect example of Holiday’s mastery of the jazz genre. Overall, “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” is a classic song that captures the spirit of the swing era and remains a beloved favorite among jazz aficionados.
2. ‘The Killing Moon’ by Echo and the Bunnymen
“The Killing Moon” is a haunting post-punk track by Echo and the Bunnymen, released in 1984. The song is known for its distinctive, atmospheric sound, featuring ethereal guitars and moody lyrics. Lead singer Ian McCulloch’s deep, resonant voice adds to the song’s eerie tone, as he sings about the power of the moon and the inevitability of fate. The song’s hypnotic melody and dark, introspective lyrics have made it a fan favorite and a timeless classic in the post-punk and new wave genres. “The Killing Moon” is a masterful example of Echo and the Bunnymen’s unique sound and the band’s ability to create atmospheric, memorable music.
3. ‘Bad Moon Rising’ by Creedence Clearwater Revival
“Bad Moon Rising” is a classic rock song by Creedence Clearwater Revival, released in 1969. The song features a driving beat and catchy guitar riffs that make it instantly recognizable. The lyrics, which warn of an impending storm and suggest that trouble is on the way, are delivered with lead singer John Fogerty’s distinctive vocal style. “Bad Moon Rising” has been used in numerous films, TV shows, and commercials, and has become a staple of classic rock radio. With its infectious melody and memorable lyrics, the song remains a fan favorite and a beloved classic of the rock genre.
4. ‘Moon Is Up’ by The Rolling Stones
“Moon Is Up” is a bluesy rock track by The Rolling Stones, released in 1994 on their album “Voodoo Lounge.” The song features a groovy, laid-back rhythm and lead singer Mick Jagger’s soulful vocals. The lyrics describe the allure of the moon and its effect on human emotions, as Jagger sings about how the moon can inspire love and passion. The song’s catchy chorus and infectious guitar riffs make it a standout track on the album, and a fan favorite among Stones enthusiasts. “Moon Is Up” is a testament to The Rolling Stones’ enduring appeal and their ability to create memorable, timeless music.
5. ‘Moonshadow’ by Cat Stevens
“Moonshadow” is a whimsical folk-pop song by Cat Stevens, released in 1971. The song features a lively, upbeat melody and Stevens’ signature gentle vocals. The lyrics describe the joy and wonder of life, as Stevens sings about the transformative power of the moon and the freedom that it brings. “Moonshadow” has become one of Stevens’ most beloved songs, and is known for its optimistic and uplifting message. The song’s infectious melody and positive lyrics have made it a timeless classic, and a favorite among fans of folk and pop music alike.
6. ‘Mr. Moonlight’ by The Beatles
“Mr. Moonlight” is a bluesy rock cover song performed by The Beatles, released on their album “Beatles for Sale” in 1964. The song features John Lennon’s raw, emotional vocals and George Harrison’s powerful guitar solo. The lyrics describe a man who is entranced by the moonlight and the woman he loves. “Mr. Moonlight” is known for its distinctive, catchy organ riff, which gives the song its unique character. Although it was not written by The Beatles, the band’s interpretation of the song has made it a fan favorite and a classic example of their early rock sound.
7. ‘The Whole of the Moon’ by The Waterboys
“The Whole of the Moon” is a soaring, anthemic rock song by The Waterboys, released in 1985. The song features a grand, sweeping melody and lead singer Mike Scott’s powerful, passionate vocals. The lyrics describe a man who has achieved great success and has seen the world from many different perspectives, but is still searching for something more. “The Whole of the Moon” is known for its uplifting, optimistic message and its lush, orchestral sound. The song has become a favorite among fans of alternative and indie rock, and remains a timeless classic of the genre.
8. ‘Moon at the Window’ by Joni Mitchell
“Moon at the Window” is a hauntingly beautiful track by Joni Mitchell, released on her album “Night Ride Home” in 1991. The song features Mitchell’s delicate, ethereal vocals and sparse, minimalist instrumentation. The lyrics describe a woman who is searching for meaning and purpose in her life, as she contemplates the moon at her window. “Moon at the Window” is known for its introspective, reflective tone and its poetic, evocative lyrics. The song is a standout track on the album, and a testament to Mitchell’s enduring talent as a songwriter and musician.
9. ‘Walking on the Moon’ by The Police
“Walking on the Moon” is a reggae-inspired rock song by The Police, released in 1979 on their album “Reggatta de Blanc.” The song features a pulsing bassline, catchy guitar riffs, and Sting’s distinctive vocals. The lyrics describe the sensation of weightlessness and freedom that comes with walking on the moon. “Walking on the Moon” is known for its infectious groove and its memorable chorus, which has made it a classic of the rock genre. The song’s unique blend of reggae and rock influences has also made it a favorite among fans of both genres.
10. ‘Pink Moon’ by Nick Drake
“Pink Moon” is a melancholic folk song by Nick Drake, released on his album of the same name in 1972. The song features Drake’s soft, delicate vocals and intricate fingerpicking on the guitar. The lyrics describe the beauty and fragility of life, as Drake sings about the fleeting nature of existence and the inevitability of change. “Pink Moon” is known for its haunting, introspective tone and its poetic, evocative lyrics. The song has become a favorite among fans of folk and indie music, and remains a timeless classic of the genre.
11. ‘Song about the Moon’ by Paul Simon
“Song about the Moon” is a gentle, introspective track by Paul Simon, released on his album “Hearts and Bones” in 1983. The song features Simon’s warm, soothing vocals and his masterful guitar playing. The lyrics describe a man who is reflecting on his life and the choices he has made, as he looks up at the moon. “Song about the Moon” is known for its introspective, reflective tone and its poetic, evocative lyrics. The song is a testament to Simon’s enduring talent as a songwriter and musician, and a favorite among fans of folk and acoustic music.
12. ‘Blue Moon’ by Billie Holiday
“Blue Moon” is a classic jazz standard that has been performed by many artists, but Billie Holiday’s version is one of the most well-known and beloved. The song features Holiday’s sultry, emotive vocals and a slow, dreamy tempo that perfectly captures the melancholic tone of the lyrics. The lyrics describe a person who is longing for love and companionship, as they look up at the blue moon. “Blue Moon” is known for its timeless beauty and its enduring popularity, and remains a classic of the jazz genre. Holiday’s version in particular is regarded as one of her most memorable and powerful performances.
13. ‘Sisters of the Moon’ by Fleetwood Mac
“Sisters of the Moon” is a haunting and atmospheric track by Fleetwood Mac, released on their 1979 album “Tusk.” The song features Stevie Nicks’ ethereal vocals and a brooding, mystical sound that reflects the lyrics’ theme of feminine power and mystery. The lyrics describe a group of women who are connected to each other and to the moon, as they travel through the world together. “Sisters of the Moon” is known for its haunting, dreamlike quality and its powerful, evocative lyrics. The song remains a fan favorite and a classic of the rock genre.
14. ‘Drunk On The Moon’ by Tom Waits
“Drunk on the Moon” is a bluesy, jazz-influenced track by Tom Waits, released on his 1974 album “The Heart of Saturday Night.” The song features Waits’ gritty, gravelly vocals and a slow, sultry tempo that perfectly captures the nocturnal mood of the lyrics. The lyrics describe a man who is wandering the streets at night, intoxicated by the moon and the mysteries of the city. “Drunk on the Moon” is known for its gritty, atmospheric sound and its evocative, poetic lyrics. The song remains a fan favorite and a classic of Waits’ early work.
15. ‘How High The Moon’ by Les Paul And Mary Ford
“How High the Moon” is a jazz standard originally composed by Morgan Lewis and Nancy Hamilton, and made famous by the musical duo Les Paul and Mary Ford. The song features Les Paul’s innovative use of multi-track recording to create an intricate, layered sound, with Mary Ford’s vocals weaving in and out of the mix. The song’s upbeat tempo and joyful lyrics capture the feeling of being in love and high on life. “How High the Moon” is known for its catchy melody, complex harmonies, and technical innovations, and remains a classic of the jazz genre.
16. ‘Moon River’ by Sarah Vaughan
“Moon River” is a classic song composed by Henry Mancini, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Originally featured in the 1961 movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” the song has since become a standard in the American songbook, covered by numerous artists. In this version, Sarah Vaughan’s soulful, jazzy vocals breathe new life into the iconic tune. The song’s wistful, romantic lyrics and dreamy melody capture the feeling of longing and nostalgia. “Moon River” is known for its timeless appeal and enduring popularity, as it continues to be beloved by generations of music lovers.
17. ‘Man On The Moon’ by R.E.M
“Man on the Moon” is a song by American rock band R.E.M. from their 1992 album “Automatic for the People.” The song features a catchy melody, with Michael Stipe’s distinctive vocals and a guitar riff that builds throughout the song. The lyrics are inspired by the life and legacy of comedian Andy Kaufman, and are full of references to his work and personal life. “Man on the Moon” has become a classic of the alternative rock genre and is known for its memorable chorus and infectious energy. The song’s title has since become a cultural reference, used to describe conspiracy theories and unexplained phenomena.
18. ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ by Frank Sinatra
“Fly Me to the Moon” is a popular song written in 1954 by Bart Howard. It was made famous by Frank Sinatra, who recorded the song for his 1964 album “It Might as Well Be Swing.” The song is a romantic ballad about a desire to travel to the moon with a loved one, with a beautiful melody and memorable lyrics that have made it a classic. Sinatra’s rendition is known for his smooth, sophisticated vocals, backed by a lush orchestra arrangement. “Fly Me to the Moon” has become one of Sinatra’s signature songs and is still beloved by fans of all ages.
19. ‘Moonage Daydream’ by David Bowie
“Moonage Daydream” is a song by David Bowie, released on his 1972 album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.” The song features a driving beat, distorted guitar riffs, and Bowie’s powerful vocals, with a chorus that has become a fan favorite. The lyrics describe a fantastical journey to the moon and back, with references to science fiction and psychedelic imagery. “Moonage Daydream” has become a classic of Bowie’s catalog, known for its high-energy performance and timeless rock and roll sound. The song has been covered by many artists and has influenced generations of musicians.
20. ‘Blue Moon Of Kentucky’ by Elvis Presley
“Blue Moon of Kentucky” is a classic song first recorded by Bill Monroe in 1946 and covered by many artists since then, including Elvis Presley in 1954. Presley’s version features a fast-paced, rockabilly rhythm and his distinctive voice, with Scotty Moore’s guitar providing a driving sound. The song is a mix of traditional country and bluegrass music, with a catchy melody and lyrics that describe the singer’s heartbreak. Presley’s recording of “Blue Moon of Kentucky” is considered a seminal moment in the development of rock and roll, combining different musical styles and pushing the boundaries of what was considered mainstream music at the time.
21. ‘Moondance’ by Van Morrison
“Moondance” is a timeless classic by Van Morrison, released in 1970. The song features a lively and infectious melody that is hard to resist, with Morrison’s soulful voice accompanied by a jazzy ensemble of instruments, including flute, saxophone, and piano. The lyrics evoke a feeling of joy and romance under the moonlit sky, inviting the listener to dance and celebrate life. “Moondance” has become a beloved and iconic song, frequently covered by other artists and featured in films and television shows. Its enduring popularity is a testament to Morrison’s talent as a songwriter and musician.
22. ‘Harvest Moon’ by Neil Young
Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” is a nostalgic and romantic ballad that has become one of his most beloved songs. With its gentle guitar strumming, tender lyrics, and Young’s distinctive voice, the song creates a warm and intimate atmosphere that captures the essence of autumn and love. The song describes a couple enjoying a moonlit night, dancing and enjoying each other’s company under the “harvest moon.” Young’s simple and direct lyrics convey a sense of joy and contentment, while the song’s melody and harmonies provide a dreamy and hypnotic quality that makes it a timeless classic.
23. ‘Moonlight Shadow’ by Mike Oldfield
“Moonlight Shadow” is a haunting pop song by Mike Oldfield, released in 1983. The song features Maggie Reilly on vocals and tells the story of a woman who is grieving over the death of her lover. The lyrics describe her desperation and fear as she is pursued by her lover’s killer, but she finds solace in the moonlight that shines on her. The song has a melancholic tone and features Oldfield’s signature use of multiple layered instruments and Reilly’s ethereal vocals. “Moonlight Shadow” became a massive commercial success, reaching the top 10 in multiple countries and solidifying Oldfield’s status as a prominent musician in the 80s.