It's Only a Paper Moon
"It's Only a Paper Moon" is a popular song written by Harold Arlen and published in 1933, with lyrics by E. Y. Harburg and Billy Rose. It was written originally for an unsuccessful Broadway play called The Great Magoo, set in Coney Island. It was subsequently used in the movie Take a Chance, in 1933, and Paul Whiteman recorded a successful version, sung by Peggy Healey. But its lasting fame stems from recordings by popular artists during the last years of World War II, when versions by Ella Fitzgerald and the Nat King Cole Trio became popular. It has endured as a vehicle for improvisation by many jazz musicians.
There was a resurgence of interest in the song when the Paul Whiteman Orchestra's recording was used in the 1973 Oscar-winning film Paper Moon. The song also featured in and lent its name to the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "It's Only a Paper Moon", being performed in that episode by James Darren.
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