Star Light, Star Bright

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For the science fiction story collection by Alfred Bester, see Star Light, Star Bright (book) and Star Light, Star Bright (short story).
"Star Light, Star Bright"
Roud #16339
Written USA
Published Late 19thC
Form Nursery rhyme
Writer(s) Traditional
Language English

"Star Light, Star Bright" is an English language nursery rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 16339.


The lyrics usually conform to the following:

Star light, star bright,
The first star I see tonight;
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.[1]


The superstition of hoping for wishes granted when seeing a shooting or falling star may date back to the ancient world.[2] Wishing on the first star seen may also predate this rhyme, which first began to be recorded in late nineteenth-century America. "Star Light, Star Bright" is also found in Madonna's 1983 single Lucky Star.[3] The song and tradition seem to have reached Britain by the early twentieth century and have since spread worldwide.[2]


  1. ^ R. Gerlings, Hey, Diddle, Diddle and Other Best-Loved Rhymes (Windmill Books, 2009), p. 32.
  2. ^ a b I. Opie and M. Tatem, A Dictionary of Superstitions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), pp. 175-6.
  3. ^ R. Webster, The Encyclopedia of Superstitions (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2008), p. 245.