I sat on the stairs last night (sick as I was) and gaped, trying to see as much as I could with my lasered vision (so glad I had that surgery). I think I have the answer to two burning questions inspired by the moon, too:
- The moon is made of cheese - aged New York sharp cheddar.
- I'm sure wishing on the moon works.
From 1935, written by Ralph Rainger and the great American wit Dorothy Parker, is a song made famous by Ruth Etting and later Bing. This recording comes from the Master, with a terrific chart by Nelson Riddle (as do the next two songs, too), "I Wished on the Moon".
In 1942, Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke wrote the songs for one of the Best Crosby-Hope Road pictures, "Road to Morocco". The movie is a riot and the songs are all great, with Crosby, as usual, wooing Dorothy Lamour with his throat. Love this tune, "Moonlight Becomes You".
A different kind of moon tune came from Van Heusen and Burke in this last example, about the moon creating a problem and heartache. I don't know if the moon will make you loony, but love certainly can ... "Oh, You Crazy Moon".
Two French composers, one of whom was truly great, also were inspired by the moon to write something beautiful. Gabriel Faure', in 1869, wrote "Clair de lune" as part of a song cycle and it is heard here from the superb soprano Barbara Hendricks.
In 1905, the great Claude Debussy published the "Suite Bergamasque", for piano and one of those pieces is his "Clair de lune". It has become the most loved of the suite's parts and is played here very well by Philippe Entremont.
Debussy's moon was so popular that it has been orchestrated by several arrangers. My favorite comes from William Smith, long the associate conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, who play it here under it's finest maestro, Eugene Ormandy.
So, gaze at the moon while you can and let your mind wander around it's surface, looking into that one crater that holds the answers to your questions and fulfillment of your dreams.