From 1919’s Demi Tasse Revue, George Gershwin’s “Come to the Moon” is a song about convincing earthlings how much better life is on the moon and shouldn’t we all move there! That may be just be the reason why “Come to the Moon” has yet to catch on. In an effort to repopularize it, I changed it from Gershwin’s original 2/4 rhythm and gave it a 4/4 swing rhythm in my GarageBand arrangement that you can hear below.
The Demi Tasse Revue was to commemorate the opening of the lavish Capitol Theatre at 51st and Broadway in New York City, said to be the largest theatre in the world with a capacity of over 4,000. “Come to the Moon” was performed by Paul Frawley and Lucille Chalfant (pictured below). The lyrics were by Lou Paley and the show’s producer/director Ned Wayburn. Also featured in the show was a big production number for the George Gershwin and Irving Caesar song “Swanee,” a song that they had high hopes for.
This was still fairly early in Gershwin’s career. To illustrate his stature in the theatre, or lack of it, at the time, Gershwin was so worried about the lack of sheet music sales for “Come to the Moon” and “Swanee” that were made available in the theatre’s lobby, that he and Lou Paley would go and purchase copies in an effort to try to generate some enthusiasm in the crowd. It wasn’t until Al Jolson heard Gershwin play “Swanee” at a party that Jolson eagerly incorporated it into his show Sinbad and it then became Gershwin’s biggest hit of his entire career. After earning $10,000 in “Swanee” royalties in the first year, the failure of “Come to the Moon” must have certainly been easier to take.
Download the fake-book style sheet music PDF of “Come to the Moon” here: Come to the Moon
Lyrics of “Come to the Moon” by Lou Paley and Ned Wayburn
Hello ev’rybody, I have come to take you back with me
to a land of liberty.
Here on Earth you make believe you’re free,
and from here it’s not so far away to gates of paradise.
Climb with me to the skies.
Come to the moon, Come to the moon,
I’ll lead the way to Spoonland.
There earthly troubles
vanish like bubbles.
Each twinkling star
has her own solar motorcar.
Rents are so high.
Come to the sky.
I can’t get back too soon.
Life there is sweet.
so climb with me up to the moon.