The moon is a major factor in many of the most popular songs ever written. Songs about the moon are often romantic, reflecting on how it illuminates our nights with its light.
Some songs are also simply about the moon itself and the effect this celestial body has had on us throughout history. For others, they may be metaphors for life’s phases or cycles – waxing and waning like the tides. Whatever they’re about, these 44 best-songs about the moon have stood out as some of the most memorable to date.
1. Shoot The Moon – Norah James
This song was released in 2002 and was part of the album Come Away with Me. The song has a strong acoustics feature making it popular for sober occasions. It is best for a slow dance. The song talks about how love changes like the seasons.
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2. The Moon’s A Harsh Mistress – Glen Campbell
Glen Campbell released the song in 1974 and is part of the album The Best of Glen Campbell. Its lyrics talk about life challenges and how it can be hard to overcome them. It has a strong melody that makes it suitable for various settings. It is best paired with an easy dance step and slow-moving choreography.
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3. Talking To The Moon – Bruno Mars
This song was released in 2010 and is part of the album Doo – Hoops & Hooligans. The lyrics are about how it feels to be away from someone you love. The song has a smooth melody that makes it suitable for most occasions.
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4. Moonlight Serenade – Glenn Miller
Moonlight Serenade was written in 1935 but released four years later. Miller wrote the lyrics to the song while he was a trombone player. The song performed well in the charts in both the U.K. and the U.S. It was number 12 and 3 respectively. The song is about two lovers spending time together.
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5. Once In A Very Blue Moon – Nanci Griffith
Griffith released this hit number in 1984 as the lead single from her album “Once In a Very Blue Moon.” The song was written by Nanci herself and helped her establish her career as a musician. The song talks about the struggles that come after parting with a loved one.
6. To The Moon And Back – Savage Garden
The Australian duo didn’t realize how big of a hit this song would become when they released it in 1997. They wrote the lyrics first and then paired them with a melody to complete the song. The song reached number twenty-four in the United States. It was Savage Garden’s only song to reach this achievement, but it also hit number two on the Australian ARIA charts.
7. Moonlight – Grace Nanderwaal
Grace was born on January 15, 2004, in Kansas and began her musical career by posting videos on Youtube. The song was part of the album Just the Beginning, released in 2017. The song is about fighting depression and the challenges it presents.
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8. Neon Moon – Brooks and Dunn
The duo released the song as a track number in their album, Brand New Man. The lyrics describe a man in love with a woman who has walked out on him and is brokenhearted. The song was top on the Country Chart for three consecutive weeks.
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9. Moon River – Andy Williams
Andy William’s version of Moon River was no. 89 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in 1962. The song is about a man longing to be in the arms of his lover. He is willing to do anything for her, even if it means he has to cross an ocean to get to her.
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10. The Moon And The Sky – Sade
Sade originally debuted this song on her 2011 album “Ultimate Collection” as a single, and it was no. 54 on the billboard. The song is about giving up on a relationship after trying your best.
11. Get You The Moon- Kina Ft Snow
Get You The Moon is a song about being ready to get the impossible for someone you love. The song was released in 2018 under Columbia Records. It’s a very catchy song to be used as workout motivation!
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12. Man On The Moon – R.E.M.
The song’s inspiration came from the late comedian Andy Kaufman. Michael Stipe, the lead singer, wrote this song and it is about Kaufman’s alter impersonation of Elvis. The song features a darkly-humorous lyric, sung by Stipe in his distinctive nasal voice. Its lyrical content is about the duality of human nature and how the world often sees the worst in us.
The song’s lyrics are famously known for their oblique nature, attributed to Stipe’s writing style. Its lyrics seem semi-autobiographical, as Stipe said that the song was a “huge exorcism for me” and that he had been holding onto the song for years. The lyrics are often attributed to Kaufman, as Stipe said it was a “eulogy.”
It’s known for being one of R.E.M.’s most successful songs to date, reaching #19 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was also successful in the U.K., reaching #19 on the British singles chart.
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13. Moonlight – XXXTENTACION
The term “Moonlight” in the song is used to depict XXXTentacion’s success as an artist and compliment a girl he is crushing on. This song was released on March 24, 2018, and was one of his big performances before he passed. However, the musician had it hard dealing with all the fame that his career brought him.
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14. Moon At The Window – Joni Mitchell
The song was part of the album Wild Things Run Very Fast, released in 1982. It tells the story of how people don’t know how to value what they have. They keep using things and tossing them away in the same way that people don’t want to value what is in front of them.
15. Mwaka Moon – Kalash Ft Damso
This French song was released in October 2017, and it has a reggae tone to it. The song is a funky one and will have you on your feet dancing to it. It performed well in the charts in Belgium and France by clinching the top position.
16. Moon River – Frank Ocean
This was the signature song for the album Moon River released in 2018, and it talked about wandering one’s mind. John and Henry are the original writers of this song. Many artists have covered this song over the years, most famously by Frank Sinatra and Jerry Butler. The song was written for Audrey Hepburn in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s and was originally called Audrey. The song didn’t make the cut and went unreleased for 11 years before it finally saw the light of day in the movie Days of Wine and Roses.
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17. Howling at the Moon – Milow
Howling at the Moon was released in 2016 and talks about a man having a hard time with his girlfriend. He wants to run away from reality and its problems. The song itself has come under quite some criticism by the listeners due to its lyrics.
18. You House The Moon – Sam Hunt
This is another song by Sam Hunt released in 2015. The story of this song is about a man who meets an attractive woman. He tries to impress her by inviting her over for dinner. The girl loves the idea but never shows up. This song is a great one to listen to when you are in the mood for some little bit of country music.
19. Moonshadow – Yusuf/ Cat Stevens
The song was released in 1971 and is one of the most famous songs about the moon. It is also one of Cat Steven’s most popular songs, which you can find in several albums. The song is about finding hope even in hopeless situations. It talks about taking life as it is and being joyful in the present moment.
20. Moon Over Bourbon Street – Sting
This song was released in 1985 as part of the album The Dream of the Blue Turtles. It has strong beats and was recorded in one take. The song talks about struggling with inner feelings on the actions one is supposed to take.
21. Moondance – Van Morrison
The song charted at no. 92 in the U.S. charts and is featured on the third studio album by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison. The album is widely regarded as one of the greatest albums ever recorded and a definitive example of jazz-inspired rock music with pop overtones. In their November 2008 issue, Rolling Stone magazine placed the album at number 39 on their list of some of the greatest albums of all time.
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22. Dancing in the Moonlight – King Harvest
Dancing in the Moonlight charted no. 13 in the U.S. charts and was released as a single in 1973. It is a great song and was the first song that King Harvest recorded and released as a group.
23. Harvest Moon – Neil Young
This song is a clear illustration of the Neil Young sound and refers to his album Harvest Moon. The song is full of allusions referring both to the harvest moon and Neil Young’s own life. It has a distinct folk sound to it, with the organ used in place of the guitar – something that would not have been out of place during the psychedelic folk movement in the 1960s. The song is best known for its famous chorus, which many artists have covered over the years.
24. Fly Me To The Moon – Frank Sinatra Ft Count Basie
This was one of the first jazz songs to top number one on the pop chart and was written in 1954 by Bart Howard. The song is about a man asking the moon to fly him away, with the lyrics “Fly me on a magic carpet ride.” The song was recorded by many artists over the years and has appeared in many movies and T.V. shows. They even used the song to send astronauts home from the moon as a morse code signal for help.
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25. Moonage Daydream – David Bowie
This song was released on the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, released in 1972. It is perhaps one of Bowie’s most famous songs and was one of the last songs recorded for the album. The song is full of allusions to Bowie’s past, including his interest in Buddhism and bisexuality. Bowie has said that the song is about “alienation, my feelings of alienation at the time.”
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26. Shame On The Moon – Bob Seger
Bob gave this song a country-rock style, reminiscent of his earlier hits. The song is a clear composition referencing the breakup of Seger’s first marriage – something that Seger has never admitted to. The lyrics reflect how he felt after the breakup and have been often interpreted as about America’s loss of innocence.
27. Walking On The Moon – The Police
When it comes to this song, there are many rumors about its meaning. The song was written by Sting, who said that he “tried to capture some of the spirits of the great pioneers of space flight.” Sting has also said that he is fascinated by the moon and even called it a “supernatural world.”
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28. Moonlight – Ariana Grande
Ariana has made this song her own, and the lyrics are about a girl who feels as though she is never good enough for anyone. The lyrics reference Ariana’s past relationship with Mac Miller and how she feels her boyfriend doesn’t understand that what they have is real. The song is about the moment when she finally stands up for herself and says enough is enough.
29. It’s Only a Paper Moon – Ella Fitzgerald
This song was first published in 1933, yet it was recorded by Fitzgerald in 1967. The song is about spending time with someone you love and how even though it might feel like a dream, there is still a sense of reality. The song is perfect for those who love jazz and swing, as well as fans of Fitzgerald herself!
30. Moonlight Shadow – Mike Oldfield
It performed unexpectedly since the song charted no. 4 in the U.S. and no. 12 in the U.K., making it Mike’s most successful song on both charts to date. The lyrics are widely regarded as a tribute to John Lennon. The song has a folk sound to it, with the influence of Mike’s love for John.
31. Bark At The Moon – Ozzy Osbourne
This song was part of Ozzy’s first album without his lead guitarist, who had died a year earlier in a plane crash. Its lyrics are about a werewolf who comes back from the dead to seek revenge. This song was written by Ozzy’s bassist Bob Daisley.
32. Runnin’ outa Moonlight – Randy Houser
With a unique uptempo tune that made it a big hit on the charts, the song caused quite a stir. Its lyrics are about spending as much time with someone you love before they walk out of your life forever and how it’s only natural to feel the way you do.
33. This is How We Walk on the Moon – Jose Gonzalez
This is among the best songs about the moon because it is one of the most diverse. It has a folk sound and an indie rock vibe to it, which makes for something new and exciting. The lyrics deal with a failed relationship and how the protagonist is determined to get back what he lost.
34. Half Moon – Blind Pilot
The song was released in 2011, and the lyrics are about life, love, loss, redemption – all of which can be found in music and everyday life. The song is about how we all try to hide our emotions and be tough. It emphasizes that it is okay if you let your guard down now and again.
35. Dancing in the Moonlight – Thin Lizzy
This song has a jazzy tune to it which makes it a perfect summer song. The lyrics are about a showgirl trying to make her way in the world and play different roles, including a maid. The protagonist is tired of the monotony and yearns to be herself again without letting her boss know what she’s up to.
36. Man on the Moon – Kid Cudi
The song’s lyrics are about how no matter what the protagonist does, nothing ever changes to make things better for himself and those around him. Cudi claims that this was his best song about the moon. It is a solid track for those who want to know what he is all about as an artist.
37. Dark Side of the Moon – Nicki Minaj ft Lil Wayne
Nicki and Wayne’s lyrics are about how they will always be there for each other even if the earth is destroyed. The song has an uptempo tune that makes it perfect for listening to at night.
38. Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival
This song talks about how when there’s trouble; it will follow you wherever you go. The protagonist is trying to warn people that they need to get out of town before it’s too late. The lyrics are a perfect example of what rock and roll is about.
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39. Drunk On The Moon – Tom Waits
Tom’s lyrics are about how life’s situations can blind you, and it’s like nothing else matters. The song has a country sound which makes it perfect for both country and folk fans.
40. Dancing In The Moonlight – Toploader
Initially released in August 1970, its cover was released in 2000 exactly thirty years later. Toploader’s lyrics are about how it feels amazing to be with someone that you love. The song is perfect for those who like pop and rock and those who like a good dance song.
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41. Can’t Fight The Moonlight – Leann Rimes
This piece is one of the best compositions about the moon because it is catchy and fun. The words are about how love is a magical feeling when enjoying each other’s company under the moonlight.
42. The Killing Moon – Echo & The Bunnymen
This song is ideal for those who like rock and even indie music. The lyrics are about how life can be difficult, but you have to keep fighting and doing what you love.
The song was released in 1984, and the lyrics are about how we all have to find our way no matter what life tries to throw at us. The song is perfect for those who like indie music and even folk songs.
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43. Harvest Moon – Poolside
Poolside did wonders with this song by adding a tropical vibe to it. The lyrics are about how the protagonist is trying to make his way through life, but he can’t help falling in love with the moon and stars.
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44. Blue Moon – Beck
The blue moon in the song depicts a friend; always there for the protagonist, even when times get tough. The lyrics are perfect for those who like indie music and folk songs.
45. To the Moon – Phora
This song is another great release from Phora. The lyrics are about how the protagonist is trying to find his way through life; he doesn’t think there is anything wrong with having a little fun along the way.
This song is all about following our dreams and doing whatever it takes to make those dreams come true. It is a perfect for those who like indie and folk music and pop songs that are both catchy and fun at the same time.
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As the Head Editor and Writer at Music Grotto, Liam helps write and edit content produced from professional music/media journalists and other contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.
Liam’s lifelong love for music makes his role at Music Grotto such a rewarding one. He loves researching, writing and editing music content for Music Grotto.