If The Man In The Moon Were A Coon

Album: Music from the New York Stage (1905)


  • It is just possible there is a more cringingly embarrassing song title than "If The Man In The Moon Were A Coon", if so, it has yet to rear its head.
    It might be stating the obvious, but this is a coon song, and although lyrically it is surely one of the worst ever written, melodically it is surprisingly strong. Unfortunately, Fred Fisher decided to put words to it, or maybe not so unfortunately for him, because not only was it his first big hit but it sold three million copies.
    Frederick Fisher (1875-1942) was born in Germany, and emigrated to the Promised Land in 1900, at the height of the coon song's popularity, so it is hardly surprising that he wrote at least one.
  • The sheet music, which was published by Will Rossiter of Chicago, copyright 1905, credits it as a combination of classical music and comical words, and by the author of "Every Little Bit Helps". The first page of the actual music boasts 'Biggest "HIT" in 20 years!' The singer Emma Carus - who made the first recording - appears on the front cover. The song was also recorded in 1907, by Ada Jones.
    In April 2010, a different printing of the song turned up on Ebay, one with a slightly politically incorrect cover. With less than 2 days of the listing to run, the starting bid of $9.95 had not been met. A 1937 Victor recording by Tommy Dorsey & his Clambake Seven (Vocal refrain by Jack Leonard) suffered a similar fate. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Reverend Horton Heat

Reverend Horton HeatSongwriter Interviews

The Reverend rants on psychobilly and the egghead academics he bashes in one of his more popular songs.

The Punk Photography of Chris Stein

The Punk Photography of Chris SteinSong Writing

Chris Stein of Blondie shares photos and stories from his book about the New York City punk scene.

A Monster Ate My Red Two: Sesame Street's Greatest Song Spoofs

A Monster Ate My Red Two: Sesame Street's Greatest Song SpoofsSong Writing

When singers started spoofing their own songs on Sesame Street, the results were both educational and hilarious - here are the best of them.

Vince Clarke

Vince ClarkeSongwriter Interviews

An original member of Depeche Mode, Vince went on to form Erasure and Yaz.

Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)

Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)Songwriter Interviews

Before "Rap" was a form of music, it was something guys did to pick up girls in nightclubs. Donnie talks about "The Rapper" and reveals the identity of Leah.

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith

Steven Tyler of AerosmithSongwriter Interviews

Tyler talks about his true love: songwriting. How he identifies the beauty in a melody and turns sorrow into art.