Man has been staring at the moon and stars since the beginning of time. It’s been fertile ground for songs and stories over the years. Consequently, these songs about the moon will no doubt continue to play an important part in music and literature for years to come.
With so many songs about the subject, I’ve compiled a list of my Top 10 favorites. Maybe a few will find their way onto one of your playlists. Ready for those occasions when you’re thinking of chilling out and gazing up at the moon and stars.
Let’s get to it and take a look at the first song about the moon…
Top 105 Songs About The Moon
Bark at the Moon by Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy was and remains the Prince of Darkness, the founder of heavy metal, and the incredible band Black Sabbath. “Bark at the Moon” was released in 1983 and helped to cement this legacy.
It was a single taken from his third studio album as a solo artist. At the time, I was happy to take the journey with him and buy a copy of the single.
It’s got all the ingredients of a classic…
Amazing vocals, thumping drums and bass, heavy riffs, and great solos courtesy of Jake E. Lee. It’s one of Ozzy’s best songs and an excellent track from the same-titled album.
The lyrics are somewhat ambiguous and could be part of a recurring theme of dead spirits and ghosts. They might refer to some mythical, strange creature, once killed but now returned and lurking in the dark. Alternatively, they might just be about a crazy guy shouting at the inequities of life.
The single received a pretty much lukewarm response, though the album did better. That sold over three million copies and went triple-platinum in the US. However, despite the impressive record sales, it still failed to get into the Top 10 either in the US or the UK.
I like the single…
The album, not so much. I think it’s clear that something is missing. In my opinion, it’s due to the sad passing of their previous lead guitarist Randy Rhoads which left an obvious musical void.
Jake E. Lee is an excellent guitarist, but Randy Rhoads was simply one of the greatest metal guitarists of all time. Listen to Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, and you’ll see what I mean.
Walking on the Moon by The Police
This was released in 1979 at the height of their fame. It was just at the end of the Punk era in the UK as New Wave beckoned. Timed to perfection, The Police seemed to perfectly encapsulate this new trend in British music with “Walking on the Moon.”
It was the second single released from their second album, Reggatta de Blanc. The first single to be released, “Message in a Bottle,” had already made it to #1 in the UK. “Walking on the Moon” followed suit and, in the process, sold over a million copies in both the UK and the US.
Adrift in space…
The lyrics refer to the feelings of weightlessness that come about as a consequence of love. It was written by Sting after he walked home following a night out with a girlfriend. At that moment, he felt like he was walking on air, or the moon, as he penned it, due to the intoxicating feelings of love.
It’s a great story and a great song about the moon, even if he was a little drunk when he wrote it!
Moondance by Van Morrison
Van Morrison is one of the greatest musical talents to come out of Northern Ireland. His fusion of Folk, Jazz, and Blues gives him a unique sound. Moondance beautifully showcases his talents.
The single was released in 1977, which is unusual since it was a full seven years after the release of the album. It’s unclear why and it is all the stranger given that the song would come to define Van Morrison during his career.
For whatever reason…
The single only enjoyed tepid sales. By contrast, the album sold well in the US and elsewhere. In the US alone, it sold over three million records and went triple platinum.
“Moondance” is closer to a Jazz song than anything else. It has distinct Jazz beat and percussion, featuring Jazz-style piano chords that combine elegantly with sax solos, courtesy of Van Morrison. For these of you who don’t know, Van Morrison was a highly accomplished saxophonist.
Lyrically, it concerns nature and spirituality, as is often the case with songs about the moon. It is also simply a song about dancing under the moonlight with the one you love.
Fly Me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra
The song was written in 1954 by Bart Howard and first recorded by Kayne Bollard in the same year. It’s been sung and covered by numerous artists, but it will always be most closely associated with the Frank Sinatra version.
Sinatra put his special touch to the song in 1964 and timed the release to coincide with NASA’s Apollo Space Mission to the Moon. Despite the obvious association, the song had little to do with space and much more to do with earthly matters.
“Fly Me to the Moon,” like so many moon-based songs, is about love. It’s about the rush of overwhelming emotions experienced in the first stages of a romantic relationship.
Despite the clear reference to love in the lyrics…
It didn’t stop NASA from continuing to use it during their space explorations as a musical backdrop. On Neil Armstrong’s passing in 2012, a version was sung by Diana Krall at his memorial service.
It is an excellent song, so it is a little surprising that it failed to make it to #1 in the US or Europe. Still, it will no doubt be covered many more times in the future, so there’s always a chance.
Man on the Moon by R.E.M.
R.E.M. was An alternative Rock band formed in the 1980s in the US. They had their unique sound and style, which has largely remained uncopied. “Man on the Moon” fits comfortably into the type of song they are familiar with producing.
It was written and released in 1992 and was taken from the hugely popular album, Automatic for the People, which was released in the same year. The single reached #2 in the US and sold well. The album was phenomenally successful and ultimately sold over 14 million copies.
This made it the second best-selling album after Out of Time which was released the previous year and sold 16 million copies.
If you believe…
“Man on the Moon” was based on the concept of conspiracy theories and the premise that the lunar landing could have been faked. There were references to a well-known comedian at the time, Andy Kaufman, who had allegedly faked his death. Plus, questions as to whether Elvis was dead.
An interesting take on a song about the moon from a highly original and innovative band.
Moonshadow by Cat Stevens aka Yusuf Islam
The song was released in 1970 in the UK and 1971 in the US. It was taken from the album, Teaser and the Firecat, which was also released in 1971. When it comes to songs about the moon, this one always strikes a chord.
The single struggled to make it into the Top 20 in both the UK and the US. In contrast, the album went to #2 in both countries and sold over three million copies in the US.
Cat Stevens, a British-born multi-instrumentalist, is well-known for his beautifully crafted Folk music and songwriting. He’s also known by many for his conversion to the Islamic faith in 1977 and the change of name to Yusuf Islam.
Back to the song…
“Moonshadow” was inspired during a visit to Spain when he was able to enjoy seeing the moon without the usual interference from city lights. The moon was so bright and clear that he could see his own shadow in its light. This is how the song title and song came to be.
Its theme is bound with the notion that we should live life without envy. We should focus on what we already have and not what we don’t. What’s more, we should focus on our own lives and not on other people. A great message and a great song.
Moon River by Audrey Hepburn
The song was originally written by Henry Mancini and Jerry Butler. It was first recorded and released in 1961 and sung by Audrey Hepburn. She sang it as part of her appearance in the iconic movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
It was also included in the movie Soundtrack, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” which was released in the same year. The soundtrack sold well in the US, chalking up over 500,000 sales.
The song is about love…
But not in the traditional way, as it’s not focused on a specific individual. Love is described as an adventure to be discovered and as something unpredictable. The river is a metaphor for this exciting and unknown path.
I like the original song, but the cover released in the same year by Jerry Butler is a wonderful contrast. It feels different because it’s sung from a male perspective. There’s no doubt that his wonderful, rich tone creates for us a whole new musical experience.
Louis Armstrong’s cover is also a beautiful interpretation and worth a listen.
Dancing in The Moonlight by Thin Lizzy
Thin Lizzy was a superb Irish Rock Band. They are well known for their uncompromising Hard Rock, so this was somewhat of a departure. Although it lacks heavy drums, bass lines, and riffs, it still contains a fantastic guitar solo. Plus, it also includes the golden vocals of Phil Lynott.
“Dancing in the Moonlight” was released in 1977 and charted at #14 in the UK. Unusually, it was released a few months before the album Bad Reputation, where it was included as the fifth track. The album made it to #4 in the UK and #39 in the US. It only ever managed lackluster sales.
The song is about excitement and the exploration of youth. It’s about teenagers and young adults pushing the boundaries and seeing what they can get away with. “Dancing in the Moonlight” is a reference to the fun to be had when staying out late with friends. No sentimental love song here.
Dancing in the Moonlight by Toploader
Like the last song of the same name by Thin Lizzy, there’s no sentimental love song here, either. It carries a dark theme and came about due to an extremely traumatic event suffered by its writer, Sherman Kelly.
Whilst on holiday, he was attacked and severely injured by a vicious street gang that left him for dead. The gang went on to kill eight American tourists on the island of St. Croix. So, this was no ordinary mugging, and he was lucky to escape with his life.
During his time in hospital, he wrote the song as an escape to a much happier place. He visualized the fantasy destination, which helped him over his long recovery back to physical health.
Plenty of imitations…
The song was released in 1979 by the band, Boffalongo. It had no chart success until it was covered by King Harvest.
However, the most successful version is by the British Pop band Toploader. Their version was released in 2000 and sold close to two million copies in the UK alone, going triple-platinum in the process.
The Toploader cover is a popular wedding song in the UK, which given its history, is ironic. If the brides and grooms took the time to research it, no doubt it would be a lot less so. On the positive side, it’s good that such an awful event could bring some joy and enjoyment.
Harvest Moon by Neil Young
Neil Young is one of the greatest Rock/Folk singer-songwriters of all time. The fact that he’s sold over 75 million records shows that there are plenty of people out there that agree.
“Harvest Moon” was released in 1992 from the album of the same name. The single didn’t sell strongly or chart very highly either. However, the album enjoyed much more success making it to #16 in the US and #9 in the UK.
The beauty of nature…
Neil Young has had a long-time interest in farming and nature. Probably down to his rural upbringing in Canada and the subsequent purchase of a ranch at an early age when he moved to California.
His interest in farming, therefore, explains the enduring themes in his music relating to harvests and the moon.
His first album, Harvest, reflects this passion. It’s his best-selling album, having sold over eight million copies. It contains more music related to the land. This also includes “Old Man,” a song that recounts his meeting with an old worker on his California ranch. I believe this is his best song.
Back to “Harvest Moon,”…
It’s a touching and beautiful love song for his wife, Pegi. The structure is gentle, with a high level of restraint shown by all musicians. Soft stroked drums, turned down bass, gently caressed piano keys, and guitar strings are the order of the day.
This is all accompanied by Neil Young’s distinctive voice that’s deliberately turned down to reflect the mood. As if all this wasn’t enough, the song includes soft backing vocals from Linda Ronstadt. That’s some backing vocalist to agree to sing on your song.
Moonlight Shadow by Mike Oldfield
Walking on the Moon by Jónsi
Moonage Daydream by David Bowie
Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Pink Moon by Nick Drake
Full Moon by The Black Ghosts
Mr. Moonlight by The Beatles
New Moon on Monday by Duran Duran
The Killing Moon by Echo & The Bunnymen
How High the Moon by Les Paul & Mary Ford
Song About the Moon by Phil Phillips
Moonchild by Iron Maiden
To the Moon and Back by Savage Garden
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Jimmy Webb
Dancing in the Moonshine by Wildwood Kin
Sailor Moon Theme Song by Nicole & Bryson
I See the Moon by The Stargazers
Moon River Moon by The Innocence Mission
Bad Moon by The Waterboys
Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd
The Moon Is a Magnet by Tim O’Brien
The Moon’s a Balloon by Paul Simon
Under the Moon of Love by Showaddywaddy
Shine On Harvest Moon by Leon Redbone
By the Light of the Silvery Moon by Doris Day
Sisters of the Moon by Fleetwood Mac
Moonlight by Ariana Grande
The Moon by Glen Hansard
The Moon and St. Christopher by Mary Chapin Carpenter
There’s a Moon in the Sky (Called the Moon) by The B-52’s
A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square by The Manhattan Transfer
The Moon Was Yellow by Frank Sinatra
Wolf Moon by Type O Negative
Blue Moon by Billie Holiday
No Moon at All by Julie London
The Man in the Moon by Barbra Streisand
Moon Glow by Benny Goodman
Space Oddity by David Bowie
Moonstruck by Donovan
Let the Moon Say by Shayna Steele
More 55 Songs About The Moon
- Howl at the Moon by The Script
- Destination Moon by Dinah Washington
- Moonlight Mile by The Rolling Stones
- Moon Over Bourbon Street by Sting
- Talking to the Moon by Bruno Mars
- Moonlight Feels Right by Starbuck
- Walking After Midnight by Patsy Cline
- Moon in the Water by Dawes
- East of the Sun (And West of the Moon) by Diana Krall
- Man in the Moon by Sufjan Stevens
- Moonshadow Dance by Men at Work
- Full Moon Fever by Tom Petty
- There’s a Moon in the Sky (Called the Moon) by The B-52s
- Moonlight Desires by Gowan
- Moonlight Drive by The Doors
- New Moon by Mudhoney
- The Moon is Down by Explosions in the Sky
- Sailor on the Moon by Lovelyz
- Moon River Rising by Andy Williams
- C Moon by Wings
- Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon
- Moons and Cattails by Linda Ronstadt
- Moon at Dawn by Patty Griffin
- Moonlight on the River by Mac Demarco
- Under the Moon by Madison Beer
- Once in a Very Blue Moon by Nancy Griffith
- From the Blue Moon by The Mavericks
- Cat People (Putting Out Fire) by David Bowie
- Moonlight on Vermont by Captain Beefheart
- Yellow Moon by The Neville Brothers
- Man on the Moon by Kid Cudi
- Neon Moon by Brooks & Dunn
- Blood Moon by Ozzy Osbourne
- Howling at the Moon by Phantogram
- Moon River Waltz by Jerry Butler
- I Don’t Care if the Sun Don’t Shine (I Get My Lovin’ on the Moon) by Dean Martin
- Yellow Moon Rising by The Black Crowes
- Blue Moon Nights by John Fogerty
- Moon in Your Mouth by Goldfrapp
- Moonage Dream by T. Rex
- Black Moon by Wilco
- Paper Moon (It’s Only a Paper Moon) by Nat King Cole
- Three Little Words (I Love You) by The Moon Glows
- Silver Moon by Michael Nesmith & The First National Band
- Midnight Moon by Oh Land
- Crying on the Moon by Howlin’ Wolf
- There’s No Moon Out Tonight by The Marcels
- Little Moon by Mary Chapin Carpenter
- Old Devil Moon by Frank Sinatra
- Half Moon Bay by Train
- Desert Moon by Dennis DeYoung
- Silver Moon Lullaby by Tommy Dorsey
- Dancing in the Pale Moonlight by The Mavericks
- Moonwalk Away by Goldfish
- Shine on, Harvest Moon by Ruth Etting
Looking for More Nature-Themed Songs?
Well, take a look at our detailed articles on the Top Songs About Snow, the Best Songs About Space, Stars and the Universe, the Best Songs About Winter, the Best Songs about Flowers, and Songs About Wolves for more incredible song selections.
Also, you’ll want to hear those songs. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Most Comfortable Headphones, the Best Headphones for Music, the Best iPhone Earbuds, the Best True Wireless Earbuds, and the Best Sound Quality Earbuds you can buy in 2023.
Final Thoughts on Songs About The Moon
So, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed the selection of my Ten 10 picks for songs talking about the moon. Apologies if your favorites weren’t among them. But, I’m sure you’ll appreciate there was a big selection to choose from.
Until next time, happy listening.