By the Light of the Silvery Moon (song)

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"By The Light of the Silvery Moon"
Cover of sheet music, 1909.
Music by Gus Edwards
Lyrics by Edward Madden
Published 1909
Language English
Recorded by Many artists

"By The Light of the Silvery Moon" is a popular song. The music was written by Gus Edwards, and the lyrics by Edward Madden. The song was published in 1909 and first performed on stage by Lillian Lorraine. It was one of a series of moon-related Tin Pan Alley songs of the era.

The song has been used in a great many television shows and motion pictures. A film of the same title was released in 1953, starring Doris Day. It served as a sequel to On Moonlight Bay, which also starred Doris Day.


Place park, scene dark, silvery moon is shining through the trees;
Cast two, me, you, sound of kisses floating on the breeze.
Act one, begun. Dialogue, "Where would you like to spoon?"
My cue, with you, underneath the silvery moon.
By the light of the silvery moon,
I want to spoon, to my honey I'll croon love's tune,
Honeymoon keep a-shining in June,
Your silvery beams will bring love dreams, we'll be cuddling soon,
By the silvery moon.
Act two, scene new, roses blooming all around the place;
Cast three, you, me, Preacher with a solemn looking face.
Choir sings, bell rings, Preacher: "You are wed for evermore."
Act two, all through, every night the same encore.
By the light, (By the light, By the light),
Of the silvery moon, (The silvery moon).
I want to spoon, (Want to spoon, Want to spoon)
To my honey I'll croon love's tune.
Honeymoon, (Honeymoon, Honeymoon),
Keep a-shining in June. (Keep a-shining in June)
Your silvery beams will bring love dreams,
We'll be cuddling soon,
By the silvery moon.
Your silvery beams will bring love dreams,
We'll be cuddling soon,
By the silvery moon. (The silvery moon).


Billy Murray recorded the song Stand Up and Sing for Your Father an Old Time Tune in 1923. The lyrics of Murray's song parody By the Light of the Silvery Moon, portraying an old man who found this new song frivolous.

Oh, I'm sick of all these ditties about "moon" and "spoon" and "June"
So, will you stand up, and sing for your father, an old time tune!

Notable Recordings[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

See all of the above for the importance of the song in popular culture.

The song was featured in a 1931 Fleischer Studios "Follow the bouncing ball" cartoon, that featured Betty Boop and the voice of Eddie Cantor.

In the 1933 film Turn Back the Clock, The Three Stooges make an early cameo appearance and sing the song.

In the 1949 film The Jolson Story the young Al Jolson, played by Scotty Beckett and voiced by Rudy Wissler, is shown singing the song in a theatre while performing in a double act with the character Steve Martin (William Demarest). Some license has been taken in this instance as by 1909, the year the song was published, Jolson was aged 23 and is meant to be in his early teens in the scene.

In 1950 film Two Weeks–with Love, it was sung by Jane Powell and Ricardo Montalban.

In the 1952 episode of I Love Lucy, "Lucy's Show Biz Swan Song", the song was sung by Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz (played by Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance), while the characters were auditioning for Ricky's "Gay Nineties Revue."

The song was featured in the film By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953), and performed by Doris Day, Gordon MacRae, Leon Ames, Rosemary DeCamp and others throughout the film.
The song was also featured in the film The Producers (1968), Zero Mostel puts a coin in the jukebox of the bar where he is having a drink with Gene Wilder. The title he selects is By The Light of the Silvery Moon. They both, accompanied by a drunkard, start singing the tune.

The song's patter is parodied in a popular The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Audience Participation line for the song Eddie (Rocky Horror song). lines like "By the light (not the dark but the light)" become lines like "From the day he was born (not the night but the day)" and "She tried in vain (not the artery but the vein)".

The song is featured in the second episode of Boardwalk Empire.

The song is featured in the film 18 Again! (1988), and performed by George Burns, Red Buttons, and Charlie Schlatter.

The song is shortly featured in The Haunted Mansion[3] (2003), performed by Shelby Grimm, Harry J. Campbell, William T. Lewis, Tim Reeder, and Bob Hartley.

In the 1988 film The Good, the Bad, and Huckleberry Hound, Huckleberry sings this song to Desert Flower as opposed to his infamous "Oh My Darling Clementine."

See also[edit]


External multimedia[edit]

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