Shine On, Harvest Moon

Words & Music by Jack Norworth & Nora Bayes-Norworth, 1938
Recorded by Leon Redbone, 1977 (See Below)

      Am               E7               Am
The night was mighty dark so you could hardly see,

         C      Am       E7
And the moon refused to shine;

Am             E7             Am               D   Am7     G7
Couple sittin' underneath the willow tree; for love   they pined.

     Dm7            G7               Dm7       G7
The little maid was kinda 'fraid of darkness,  so

     C    C/B              Am7  Am7/G
She said,    "I guess I'll go."

     D            Am7    D              Am7
The boy began to sigh, looked up in the sky,

     D                 Am7           G    G7
And told the moon his little tale of woe.


 Fdim  A7  Fdim      A7       D   Am7           D
"Shine on, shine on, harvest moon    up in the sky;

G Dm7    G     Dm7          C        F         C       G  C  C7
I ain't had no lovin' since January, February, June or Ju-ly.

Fdim  A7  Fdim      A7      D   Am7                D
Snow time ain't no time to stay      outdoors and spoon,

    G    Dm7   G        Dm7     C        F     Dm7  C
So shine on, shine on, harvest moon, for me and my gal."

   Am             E7                  Am
I can't see why a boy should cry when by his side

      C       Am       E7
Is a girl he loves so true;

Am            E7                 Am               D Am7      G7
All he has to say is, "Won't you be my bride, for I     love you."

    Dm7              G7              Dm7     G7
But why should I be telling you this secret when

   C   C/B              Am7     Am7/G
I know    that you can guess?

 D                 Am7    D                Am7
Harvest moon will smile, shine on all the while,

D              Am7                 G     G7
If the little girl should answer "Yes"!

Repeat Refrain:

This version is a synthesis of divergent lyric sources, including some material provided by Tony Casazza (whose assistance is much-appreciated, especially for the second verse which I've never seen anywhere else) and versions I've heard and sung along with in piano bars for more years than I'm willing to admit to. The chording is taken from shaky recollections of the version Redbone played on Saturday Night Live several years ago. Accurate? I don't know…but thoroughly playable.

The lyric and guitar chord transcriptions on this site are the work of The Guitarguy and are intended for private study, research, or educational purposes only. Individual transcriptions are inspired by and and based upon the recorded versions cited, but are not necessarily exact replications of those recorded versions.