Album: Moonlighting (1987)
Charted: 8 23
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This song, about night owls who unexpectedly find love in serendipitous fashion, turned out to be one of Jarreau's biggest hits. It is the theme song to the comedy/mystery series Moonlighting, which is the show that made Bruce Willis a household name and gave Cybill Shepherd a career resurgence. Inside the entertainment industry, the show is remembered for the bitter on-set feuding between Willis and Shepherd, both of whom vowed to never work with each other again after the show ended. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Santa Barbara, CA
  • Jarreau wrote the lyric, and the music was written by Lee Holdridge, a composer who scored a number of TV series and movies, including Mr. Mom and Splash. Holdridge had already written the music when he asked Jarreau to write the lyric and sing it.
  • The version used on the show runs :57 seconds, which was typical of hour-long shows at the time. It wasn't made into a full song until 1987, when Moonlighting had been on the air for two seasons and was a huge hit. Running three minutes, it was produced by Nile Rodgers with the "Some walk by night" section used as the chorus - the only mention of "Moonlighting" is in the last verse.

    An extended version, running 4:17, was also released.
  • When this was released as a single in 1987, it also appeared on a soundtrack album from the show, which included Cybill Shepherd's version of "Blue Moon" and Bruce Willis' rendition of "Good Lovin'." The album was reissued in 2009, with the sax solo in the song "Moonlighting" replaced with a harmonica.
  • When he recorded this, Jarreau was a well-known R&B singer whose biggest pop hit was "We're In This Love Together," which made #15 on the Hot 100 in 1981. With "Moonlighting," he reached a much wider audience thanks to exposure on the show; the song went to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

    Jarreau wasn't able to follow it up though. He place more songs on the R&B chart, but never had another Hot 100 entry.
  • Did you spot the baseball reference in the lyrics? Jarreau sings:

    I'm just a stranger
    Love the blues and the Braves

    He was a huge fan of the Milwaukee Braves and their slugger, Hank Aaron. The team later moved to Atlanta.
Please sign in or register to post comments.


Be the first to comment...

Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Greg talks about writing songs of "universal truth" for King Crimson and ELP, and tells us about his most memorable stage moment (it involves fireworks).

Michael SchenkerSongwriter Interviews

The Scorpions and UFO guitarist is also a very prolific songwriter - he explains how he writes with his various groups, and why he was so keen to get out of Germany and into England.

Gentle GiantSongwriter Interviews

If counterpoint and polyrhythms are your thing, you might love these guys. Even by Progressive Rock standards, they were one of the most intricate bands of the '70s. Then their lead singer gave us Bon Jovi.

Steely DanFact or Fiction

Did they really trade their guitarist to The Doobie Brothers? Are they named after something naughty? And what's up with the band name?

Jesus In Pop Hits: The Gospel Songs That Went MainstreamSong Writing

These overtly religious songs crossed over to the pop charts, despite resistance from fans, and in many cases, churches.

Mike Scott of The WaterboysSongwriter Interviews

The stories behind "Whole Of The Moon" and "Red Army Blues," and why rock music has "outlived its era of innovation."