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Blue Moon, July 31, 2015

Blue Moon

Okay. Having done a slight bit of research (don’t pass out yet; I do actually look up stuff once in a blue… well, you know.) for this post, I have found information I did not know. (still with me? Yes, I admit, when I have to, I don’t know everything.)

Now, first off, I did know that a Blue Moon is the second full moon of a calendar month. I thought, though, it happened far more often than the actuality.

As reported on NBC News, “The occurrence happens about every 30 months, according to an astronomer.” Further in the same article, it states, “A blue moon, like the one happening Friday night, comes along once every 2 ½ years, said Bob Berman, an astronomer and the author of ‘Zoom, How Everything Moves.'” So, far less often than I thought.

On the same subject, ABC News posted their findings. They ended it with a witty suggestion, “Step outside at sunset to check out the blue moon, then if you’re so inclined, go ahead and celebrate by doing something you only do “once in a blue moon.” You do have an excuse, after all.”

(Insert smiley face here?)

It’s also a popular term meaning a long time. (as I hinted earlier)

The history of the song of the same name is even more muddled than the original definition of the event. To sum it up, it took four versions for the now famous words to take shape. The first lyrics were completely different from what are heard today.

The final version has been re-cut by many artists, beginning in 1949 with Billy Eckstine and Mel Torme, respective vids here and here.

In 1956, Elvis Presley even did a version.

The first “doo-wop” version came out in 1961, recorded by The Marcels. This is the music I hear in my head when the phrase is said. Since I have a deep voice (usually), the intro is right down my alley.

Were I to be honest, though, it is more the Sha Na Na version televised in 1973 that I really jammed to, even at only 8 years old. I remember watching their syndicated TV show, which, incidentally, ran for 4 seasons!

As recent as 2000, Artist Steve Holy cut his debut album with a song titled “Blue Moon,” but I think he uses different lyrics.

 

The Complete Billie Holiday On Verve, 1945-1959.

Written by Hart, Lorenz / Rodgers, Richard.

Blue moon you saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own
Blue moon, you knew just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for
Someone I really could care for
And then there suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will ever hold
I heard somebody whisper “Please adore me”
And when I looked, the moon had turned to gold!
Blue moon!
Now I’m no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

Songwriters
Hart, Lorenz / Rodgers, Richard

Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

So, next time you hear or say, “Once in a Blue Moon”, you’ll know what it really means. Or, at least, the song will start bouncing around in your noggin as it does in mine…

Till next time:

#WriteOn!

— John

2 Comments

  1. Very interesting. Did not know about the songs. Always liked Bill Eckstine and Mel Torme. Billie Holliday, her songs in Mel Gibson’s movie ‘Forever Young’ were so pleasing. Towards end of movie they landed old WW II bomber on the peninsula at Point Arena, CA. We spent 4 1/2 years on the radar station there.

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