shine on harvest moon

Image by carbonated via Flickr

Tonight, the full moon will shine in the night sky. Named the Full Corn Moon by the Native Americans it was the marker of time to harvest corn.  Most people now call the full moon of September the Harvest Moon. A frequent song request by the older adults with whom I work is “Shine on Harvest Moon“. Made popular by the Ziegfield Follies, most people (including me) now only sing the refrain. Here is Ruth Etting sharing the full classic.






Whether it is a group of older adults meeting at a senior center or residing in an assisted living facility or a skilled nursing facility, this song is a great conversation starter . Here are a few fun questions assist in the fun.

  • Do you know the verses to this song? If not, what do you think they are about? (Full lyrics can be found on Wikipedia)
  • Which Laurel & Hardy movie included this selection? (answer – The Flying Deuces”)
  • What kind of memories does this song bring to mind?
  • Can you name the other fall moons? (October is the Hunters Moon while November’s is the Beaver Moon)
  • If you rewrote the chorus lyrics for the October or November full moon, what facts would you include?

Do you sing this classic tune with seniors? I’d love to hear how you use it.

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