It's Only A Paper Moon

Kisses On The Bottom album artwork - Paul McCartneyWritten by: Harold Arlen (music); EY 'Yip' Harburg, Billy Rose (lyrics)
Recorded: 2011
Producer: Tommy LiPuma
Engineer: Al Schmitt

Released: 6 February 2012 (UK), 7 February 2012 (US)

Paul McCartney: vocals, whistling
Diana Krall: piano
John Pizzarelli: guitar
Bucky Pizzarelli: guitar
Robert Hurst: bass
Karriem Riggins: drums
Andy Stein: violin

Available on:
Kisses On The Bottom

It's Only A Paper Moon was written in 1933 for a Broadway play called The Great Magoo, which was set in New York's Coney Island.

It's Only a Paper Moon - Kisses On the Bottom


The play was not a box office success, but the same year the song was recorded for a film, Take A Chance. The new version was sung by Peggy Healey, with music by Paul Whiteman.

Its popularity grew, and during the last years of World War Two it was recorded separately by Ella Fitzgerald and the Nat King Cole Trio. These versions were hugely successful, and it became an American standard as well as a popular tune for jazz musicians to improvise to. It was also featured in the 1947 Tennessee Williams play A Streetcar Named Desire.

Harry Nilsson, a friend of The Beatles', recorded It's Only A Paper Moon for his 1973 album of standards A Little Touch Of Schmilsson In The Night. Although it was left off the record, it was included in the 1988 reissue A Touch More Schmilsson In The Night. One other song from the sessions, Always, was also covered by McCartney for Kisses On The Bottom.

In the studio

It's Only A Paper Moon was recorded at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles. The rhythm arrangement was by Diana Krall.

Lyrics

Say it's only a paper moon
Sailing over a cardboard sea
But it wouldn't be make believe
If you believed in me

Yes it's only a canvas sky
Hanging over a muslin tree
But it wouldn't be make believe
If you believed in me

Without your love
It's a honky tonk parade
Without your love
It's a melody played in a penny arcade

It's a Barnum and Bailey world
Just as phoney as it can be
But it wouldn't be make believe
If you believed in me

Without your love
It's a honky tonk parade
Without your love
It's a melody played in a penny arcade

It's a Barnum and Bailey world
Just as phoney as it can be
But it wouldn't be make believe
If you believed in me
If you believed in me
If you believed in me

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