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Moonlight Bay Lyrics

Artist: Doris Day
Album: Moonlight Bay

Moonlight Bay
Doris Day
Words by Edward Madden
Music by Percy Weinrich

This version did not chart but
In 1912 it was charted by The American Quartet (#1) and Dolly Connolly (#3)
Later, Bing Crosby and his son Gary out it at # 14 in 1951

(Sailing through the moonlight, sailing on the bay)

We were sailing along on Moonlight Bay
We could hear the voices ringing
They seemed to say
"You have stolen her heart"
"Now don't go 'way"
As we sang love's old sweet song on Moonlight Bay

(We were sailing along on Moonlight Bay)
(We could hear the voices ringing)
(They seemed to say)
"You have stolen her heart"
"Now don't go 'way"
(As we sang love's old sweet song on Moonlight Bay)

We were sailing along on Moonlight Bay
We could hear the voices ringing
They seemed to say
"You have stolen her heart" (You have stolen her heart)
"Now don't go 'way"
As we sang love's old sweet song on Moonlight Bay
(Sailing through the moonlight on Moonlight Bay)


by Jim on 5/24/2008 9:31pm
When I was kid in the 1940s my grandparants used to sing this and other songs from the turn of the century. Lot of folks from the neighbor hood would gather and sing along. What a great time.
by Shamma Amatullah Azmi on 6/11/2008 3:28pm
I sometimes think I was born in the wrong era. I love these old songs....mainly because i can understand what they are saying. Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Vera Lynn, Elvis, Nat King Cole and Dean Martin are my favourite singers. I especially love this song and 'anything you can do I can do better'.
by olecountrygirl on 6/21/2008 2:18pm
thats not the correct lyrics to that song where it says "voices" its not "voices" its "darkies" .
No prejudice meant but that is the correct lyric.
by Liz on 7/6/2008 1:42pm
Thank you olecountrygirl! I was singing this song the other day for some reason, and I sang it "you can hear the darkies singing..." and my husband said that CAN'T be the right words, and I said, that is how I remember it, hearing it as a kid, in NYC! No prejudice meant either! Glad to know I still have some correct memory!
by Maggie on 7/16/2008 10:21pm
We just saw a movie with Red Skelton and Eleanor Powell and the Tommy Dorsey band with Frank Sinatra and the last number was "Moonlight Bay" with Eleanor Powell dancing and a chorus singing. Sure enough they definitely did say "darkies"! That's why I sought out this site to see if I'd heard right.In a previous Skelton-Powell movie there was a separate scene with all the black stars, Lena Horne and Hazel Scott .It had nothing to do with the plaot. In those days black actors could be seen with white ones only if they were depicting servants or some other subordinate people. I guess things are better these days, at least in some ways!
by Melrose Park on 7/17/2008 9:57pm
Turner Classic Movies hasn't scrubbed the lyrics (yet). I just heard the version of "On Moonlight Bay" that goes, "We could hear the darkies singing" in the movie "Ship Ahoy" (1942)starring Red Skelton and Eleanor Powell. It is sung in a musical/dance number near the end of the movie.
Interestingly, Frank Sinatra sings a part of the song, although it is the chorus that sings about the "darkies".
Also in the movie are Tommy Dorsey & his band and Bert Lahr (as in the Cowardly Lion of Oz), but I digress...
I just checked NetFlix. They don't have "Ship Ahoy". Scrubbed? To tell you the truth, this is getting a little scary!
by Melrose Park on 7/17/2008 10:04pm
Transcribed from the movie "Ship Ahoy" (1942)

We were sailing along,
On Moonlight Bay.
We could hear the darkies singing,
They seemed to say;
"You have stolen her heart,
Now don't go 'way."
As we sang love's old sweet song on Moonlight Bay.

Voices hum,
Crooning over Moonlight Bay.
Banjos strum,
Tuning while the moonbeams play.
All alone, alone they find me.
Memories like these remind me,
Of the girl I left behind me,
Down on Moonlight Bay.
by Bob Cotsobilionis on 8/30/2008 4:18pm
From curiosity, I downloaded an MP3 from Amazon containing a remastered 1912 Edison wax cylinder recording of this song by the American Quartet. The 1912 version definitely says "voices". Perhaps the lyrics were modified for the movie?
by John on 10/17/2008 7:25am
Same to me Shamma....

I also think I was born in the wrong era....

I also like the beatles when they sing this song at morecambe and wise show...

that was great

by Z Blair on 10/20/2008 9:22pm
I was thinking about my late mother and how much she loved this song. I was remembering her singing this which brought me here. Great memories.
by Ruth C. 12//18/2008 on 12/18/2008 10:04am
We STILL (at 82&85) sing this song in a 'band' at our Senior Center...YES! a GREATER time in history, and we feel blessed to have lived it!
by dr.rom on 1/16/2009 9:00pm
I love this song... just watched astro hallmark channel movie 'the king and queen of...'
by Margaret on 2/28/2009 4:56pm
I've heard that song from Another Froggy Evening. It was sung by Michigan J. Frog in that cartoon.
by Josh Phatz on 3/20/2009 11:40am
This song is tight yo.
by Cindy C on 4/11/2009 3:21pm
I miss these old songs. I can remember Moon Light Bay from one of my Grandma song books in 1961. Also other favorite was "off we go into the wild blue yonder"
by MEG on 9/15/2009 12:19am
I remember a handsome young man I met at work (with striking red curly hair.)I was swept off my feet. I remember his tender kiss and the gentlemanly way in which he sensitively respected my age, and my innocense. Truly, he was a gentleman.I look back today with fondness for that precious time and the few dates we shared following the moonlit night that strolled around LK Harriet. My school girl crush and the memory of that time as a naive 16 year old girl remains,to this day a very sweet and tender memory.
by Tom R. on 2/9/2010 8:30pm
Porky Pig sang this song on the Warner Bros. short cartoon "My Favorite Duck" that I am viewing by way of DVD. A Google search led me to this web site.

I was introduced to facets of popular culture from earlier eras via Saturday morning cartoons from my childhood in the early 1970s.

Ah, the memories.
by Borg on 3/23/2010 1:27am
This song is gay
by Deanna Day on 5/15/2010 1:22pm
On Doris Day's version she doesn't say 'darkies' she says 'voices' so the lyrics are right for her version. As a 25 year old black woman I wouldn't feel comfortable hearing the 'darkies' version. Doris' version is the best imo. I'm a big fan of her singing and movies.
by Mike Hyder on 6/19/2010 9:55am
Political correctness is depriving African Americans of much heritage. It is sad to me.
by kt on 6/22/2010 10:51am
this was on hey arnold!
by Vivian Climaco Ocampo on 7/26/2010 11:04am
I miss the old songs like this; it brings back fond memories. I think the old songs had more melody than the modern ones.
by Dotty Lyczak on 9/28/2010 2:50am
I started singing this song around the house a few weeks ago and can't get it out of my mind...LOL My hubby thought I had the words wrong so I looked it up and I was singing it correctly...I just wish I would sing something else once in a while... this one is stuck in my mind and won't move...LOL Good thing I like it, huh?
by RivaRascal on 1/2/2011 10:27am
I loved singing old songs like this one. The correct word were indeed "darkies singing". I have COPD now and it has stolen my voice but I still sign all my email: "With A Song In My Heart For You" because there is alwaya a song there!
by Ron Lechner on 5/20/2011 9:19pm
by Jacquie on 5/23/2011 9:49pm
My mother allows sang these songs. She was in my uncles band.She sang these up until her cancer of the brain robbed her of her memories.

We miss her so much.
by Judith A Droitcour on 6/2/2011 5:30pm
Thanks to all for sharing these thoughts and feelings and memories! If you've ever been out at night in a sailboat, sailing along in the moonlight,it's just such a wonderful song to just sing a bit, hum a bit, remember--caps the experience.
by norman j on 6/27/2011 7:59pm
i was looking for songs to sing with my ukulele
(a fabulous newly found new life giving device)
and this will be a perfect addition .I have sang this song in the shower on many occasions, so i've lived with it all my life ( I'm 70 ) and now i'll sing it to our ukulele group.
by paul mcneil on 10/6/2011 6:44pm
this song was also done by rose marie when she was known as baby rose it is a great tune.
by joseph duncan on 10/12/2011 1:35pm
when we sang this son, on moonlight bay, we sang, "you could hear the voices calling." but i guess there are many versions to remove the racial version, "I could hear the darkies singing"
by Bill Burgess on 12/4/2011 7:29pm
Moonlight Bay has been playing over in my head from time to time for probably more than 70 years. But I always thought it went, "We were strolling along on Moonlight Bay. We could hear the ????? ??? singing. They seemed to say. You have stolen my heart. Now dont go way. ..."

I'm glad to learn the original lyrics. Even if it is not PC, it is beautiful. I'm afraid I'm now stuck with that old sweet song for the rest of my years.
by Laurie on 7/17/2012 10:34am
My five year old must be an old soul. She doesn't like many cartoons and none of the more modern music but loves Doris Day, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, etc. This is one of her favorite songs so I came to see if their were any more verses to it. The version she sings says "voices" not "darkies".
by Bob on 10/3/2012 5:21am
The first time i heard this sng waas a old Bugs Bunny cartoon I also remember it as voices
by charles george pownall on 6/26/2013 11:09pm
I sang this song at the top of my lungs, From the timei was a child in canada, Now in my eighties, stil sing the original words, we in canada do not have same prejudices has the Americans< Sang many times with diffrent race colors And Creeds, I still sing in a weakened voice old man river, That is who we were good bad and yes even ugly,- Never judged a person by their color, I may be white Or Dark Or Brown Light Tan I would Love To Be A copper Color But I am Not, Do Not Change The Words Of The Song Just Change your Attitude, It Is Much More Important Charles George Pownall Montreal Quebec Canada You Are All Equall In My Country,God Bless ,
by Angela on 8/4/2013 5:50pm
I just watched "Ship Ahoy!", it was on TCM, and started Googling to see if I'd heard that lyric right. The lyric is "darkies" in the version I saw. Minus that word, it's a lovely song, and I'm glad that later versions used "voices".
by gene mascho on 10/8/2013 6:14pm
saw movie as a kid song stuck in head nelson eddy was the star Im 70 so its been around awhile
by Ron Cyril Rosario on 3/10/2014 8:39am
I was born in 1924 in South India in Ernakulam and when I was a kid of 8 I remember this beautiful song being sung by my dad and mum at moonlight parties on the beach. I've never seen or heard such wonderful parties in the recent days. Gone are the days.
by Paul on 1/26/2015 11:07am
My great aunt use to sing this song. She replaced "darkies" with "duckies" and I always thought that was the lyric. I sing this song to my daughter today at bedtime each night. I stick with "duckies" as that is how I always remembered it.
by Mick O'Leary Dublin Ireland on 8/24/2015 11:31am

I loved this song all my life now 73yrs and now my Grand-daughters are singing it most days. It's quality from a clean quality Film.
by Janis on 2/2/2018 1:50am
I am 74 and when I was 5 I got very sick and spent 2 months in the hospital. When I came home I played records during the day while I laid in bed hoping to get better. This was my favorite song. It fills my heart with so many memories. My grandmother also used to play the song on our piano. It was so beautiful.
by T on 1/21/2019 5:36am
I also heard the Ship Ahoy version and thought that can't be right. The original 1912 lyrics do not include that line. It's "Voices", as I thought. According to Wikipedia it was sometimes changed for Minstrel Shows, though the number with Elenor Powell was not a blackface version, I suppose it could e considered in the style of a Minstrel Show.
by T on 1/21/2019 5:45am
There there are songs that use the term, mostly old timey songs of the south like Suwanee River & Old Man River, this is not one of them. And the original lyric of "voices" was changed later to fit the number.
by M on 4/8/2020 2:59pm
I used to love this song. Sang as a kid. Was stunned a few moments ago when I heard it in a movie - Ships Ahoy - and they said..." You could hear the Darkies Singing". Couldn't believe it. I rewinded the movie 3 times. OMG!!!
by Dean on 4/8/2020 11:13pm
" M " is right! Just casually flipped on " Ship Ahoy "
yesterday and " darkies " is sung by the background chorus at least twice. Of course, Groucho cracks a joke in " Duck Soup " (hard to figure out in the lexicon of the day) with a punch line of " and that's how darkies were born"! I guess a few of those comments still slip through.....glad we have matured some as a society.
by JohnV on 6/17/2020 11:08am
Groucho’s comment was a joke in reference to the song “That’s Why Darkies Were Born” which was a popular hit at the time.

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