Just Listen: “Blue Moon”

I’m a sucker for the song “Blue Moon”. The first time I can remember hearing it was during the movie Grease. It plays during the televised dance, when the T-Birds who aren’t John Travolta or Jeff Conaway moon the camera. For some unidentifiable reason (please don’t try to identify it), this stuck in my head as one of the best moments in the movie. Seriously. Butts.

I encountered the song again as I struggled to learn to play the flute. Yes, the flute. “Blue Moon” was my favorite piece of music to practice because it was the only one I could play and make sound come out on all the notes. I did not excel at the flute.

Here are some of my favorite versions of “Blue Moon”, none of which include me playing the flute which has since been sold (because I know you were concerned about what happened to it):

Elvis Presley (1956)

Elvis’s version is haunting. He really conveys the sense of loneliness and sadness that the song’s narrator feels before finding love. I enjoy the slower pacing. I might even go so far as to say this is my favorite.

The Marcels (1961)

The Marcels’ version, on the other hand, is very upbeat. Dare I say, even a little bit cheesy? It becomes less about longing and more about hitting the dance floor.

Sha-Na-Na (1977)

The version by Sha-Na-Na is the “Blue Moon” of my childhood, as featured on the Grease soundtrack. It seems to strike a perfect balance. It has the slower pacing of Elvis’s version, but the vocals are a little less melancholy.

And because everyone likes butts:

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