Dancing in the moonlight by manal shinnawi - Illustrated by Manal Shinnawi - Ourboox.com
This free e-book was created with
Ourboox.com

Create your own amazing e-book!
It's simple and free.

Start now

Dancing in the moonlight

by

Artwork: Manal Shinnawi

  • Joined Nov 2020
  • Published Books 1

 

Dancing in the Moonlight‘ has had one of the most fascinating journeys and histories, from its first hit version by King Harvest, to its most famous cover by Toploader, to its modern day update by Jubel.

In this E-book I will be sharing with you its journey and a few of its covers.

In addition I will be sharing an analysis for this masterpiece.

Hope you will enjoy it!

 

1

This song envisions a place of joy and harmony, where everyone gets along dancing under the moonlit sky.

2

Who wrote ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ and what inspired it?

 

It was written by the keyboard player/songwriter Sherman Kelly in 1969 after a trip to the Caribbean island of Saint Croix, where he was attacked by natives and left for dead.

 

 

3

While he was recovering from his injuries, he wrote this song. “I envisioned an alternate reality,” Kelly wrote. “The dream of a peaceful and joyful celebration of life.”

                        Sherman 60s

Sherman 60s
4

Who first recorded this song?

The first band to record this song was Boffolongo, which was fronted by Larry Hoppen. The group recorded their debut album in 1969, and for their next album, released in 1970, Sherman Kelly joined the band on keyboards and brought them his song “Dancing In The Moonlight“. Kelly’s brother Wells also joined the band; this original version of the song featured Hoppen on guitar, Sherman on lead vocals, and Wells on drums.

5

But it sadly disappeared without troubling the record charts at the time.

 

Dancing in the Moonlight - Boffalongo 
6

Boffalongo’s original is a bit of a puzzle though.

For a song that was written by a keyboard player, and has since gone on to become famous for its keyboard hooks, Boffalongo’s version is much more guitar driven than you might imagine.

7

 

There are keyboards there, but they’re largely of the muted, background type, with guitars front and centre.

                    Sherman truckin w Boffolongo

Sherman truckin w Boffalongo 70s
8

When did King Harvest record it?

A couple of years later, Sherman Kelly had moved on from Boffalongo and joined King Harvest who had a decent hit with their cover that was released as a single in 1972.

By now the keyboards had firmly moved out from the depths of the mix and become the song’s main feature.

9

The song ended up being an enduring hit for the band, and their only song to make much of an impact.

 

Dancing In the Moonlight - King Harvest
10

Sherman Kelly joined the group on tour after the song hit the charts.

                 Sherman with King Harvest

Sherman with King Harvest
11
Sherman 70s

Sherman 70s


12

British band Toploader had a #7 hit in the UK with a cover of this after it was featured in a Sainsbury supermarket TV advert.

 

Jamie Oliver Sainsbury’s ‘Fry Up’
13

 

 

Toploader - Dancing in the Moonlight
14

Cover versions

 

  • Liza Minnelli on her 1973 album The Singer
  • Johnny Rivers on his 1975 album New Lovers and Old Friends
  • Joe “Bean” Esposito on his 1996 album Treated and Released
  • Baha Men on 1994’s Kalik
  • Masters of the Obvious
  • The Keane Brothers — created a disco version in 1979
  • Aswad on their 2002 album Cool Summer Reggae
  • Orleans
  • My Morning Jacket
  • Jack Wagner
15

Cover versions

 

  • Ted Raimi (in the Xena: Warrior Princess musical episode “Lyre, Lyre, Hearts on Fire”)
  • Alyson Stoner for the 2009 Disney movie Space Buddies.
  • Jumping Jacks (named “Jumping in the Moonlight”)
  • Japanese singer ohashiTrio on his 2010 album Fake Book
  • Yonder Mountain String Band on their 2017 album Love, Ain’t Love.
  • Jubël featuring Neimy, 2020
16

 

 

Johnny Rivers - Dancing in the moonlight
17

 

 

The Keane Brothers - Dancin' In The Moonlight (Special Disco Version)
18

 

 

Orleans New Version of Dancin' In The Moonlight
19

After you listened to the original and some of the covers – which one did you like the most?

20

The lyrics

[Verse 1]
We get it almost every night
When that moon get so big and bright
It’s a supernatural delight
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight
[Refrain]
Everybody here is out of sight
They don’t bark and they don’t bite
They keep things loose, they keep things light
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight
[Chorus]
Dancing in the moonlight
Everybody’s feeling warm and bright
It’s such a fine and natural sight
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight
[Verse 2]
We like our fun and we never fight
You can’t dance and stay uptight
It’s a supernatural delight
Everybody was dancing in the moonlight
[Chorus]
Dancing in the moonlight
Everybody’s feeling warm and bright
It’s such a fine and natural sight
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight
21

The lyrics

[Refrain]
Everybody here is out of sight
They don’t bark and they don’t bite
They keep things loose, they keep things light
Everybody was dancing in the moonlight
[Chorus/Outro]
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight
Everybody’s feeling warm and bright
It’s such a fine and natural sight
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight (everybody)
Dancing in the moonlight
Everybody’s feeling warm and bright
It’s such a fine and natural sight
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight
Everybody’s feeling warm and bright
It’s such a fine and natural sight
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight (everybody)
Dancing in the moonlight
Everybody’s feeling warm and bright
It’s such a fine and natural sight
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight
22

The meaning behind the lyrics

 

“We get it on most every night”…people would start unwinding and doing the things they would do in the evening
“It’s a supernatural delight”…the effects of the drugs (mainly pot)
“Everybody was dancing in the moonlight”…everybody was getting high
“Everybody here is out of sight”…everybody’s cool, no one’s causing any problems
“They don’t bark, they don’t bite”…there’s no fighting or arguing
“They keep things loose, they keep thing light”…no one’s uptight, clothes are comfortable
“Dancing in the moonlight, Everybody’s feeling warm and right”…everybody’s got a buzz on and feeling good
“It’s such a fine and natural sight”…it was natural to see everybody doing their own thing
“We like our fun and we never fight,You can’t dance and stay uptight”…self explanatory, getting high will make everything alright.
23

 

Now for those that weren’t “heads” from that time, there were different interpretations. Some thought is was actually about dancing in the moonlight and others thought it had another meanings.

No matter what some one may think the song is about, whatever feelings it brings out of them is OK. That’s part of what music is about.

24

We see that every line of the lyric ends with a word rhyming with “light”:

Everybody here is out of sight
They don’t bark and they don’t bite
They keep things loose they keep it tight
Everybody’s dancing in the moonlight

Around this same time, there was another hit with a similar rhyming scheme: “I Saw The Light” by Todd Rundgren.

25
 
Todd Rundgren - I Saw The Light

 

26

King Harvest - Dancing In The Moonlight

 The story behind the song
27

He mentions that:

It’s always just been joyful, relaxed, celebration of life, really easy going, peaceful and pleasant song.

 

Its lyrics depict a fantasy of everyone being able to get together in the spirit of dancing and having a great time under the moon, and it’s got a dreamy, intensely happy feel to it that always reminds us of those long nights that turn into early mornings with great friends.

28

 

 

 

48 years later, King Harvest’s Ultra Dreamy “Dancing In The Moonlight” Still Makes Us Smile

29
This free e-book was created with
Ourboox.com

Create your own amazing e-book!
It's simple and free.

Start now