Jazz Music

Ruth Etting - Shine on Harvest Moon (1931)

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Shine On, Harvest Moon
(from Ziegfeld Follies of 1931)
Words and music by Nora Bayes and Jack Norworth
Ruth Etting, vocal. Recorded July 28, 1931, in New York. Originally issued on Perfect 12737.

This song was first introduced by Nora Bayes and songwriter-husband, Jack Norworth in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1908. Ruth Etting's performance of the song in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1931 was a tribute to Nora Bayes. The 1931 production of the Follies was the last to be produced under the direction Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr.; he died shortly thereafter in 1932. It's interesting to note that Nora Bayes recorded this song for Victor in 1910 but it was never released.

"Oh, shine on, shine on,
harvest moon up in the sky,
I ain't had no lovin'
since April, January, June, or July.
Snow time ain't no time
to stay outdoors and spoon,
So shine on, shine on, harvest moon,
For me and my gal."

Traditionally, this designation goes to the full moon that occurs closest to the Autumnal (fall) Equinox. In the northern hemisphere the Harvest Moon usually comes in September, and this year (2014) it will fall on September 9 at 1:38 UTC. At the peak of the harvest, farmers can work into the night by the light of this moon. Usually the full Moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice— the chief Indian staples — are now ready for gathering.

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