Lyrics:E. Y. Harburg ,Billy Rose Music:Harold Arlen
The song was publishe 1933.
It was written originally for an unsuccessful Broadway play called The Great Magoo, set in Coney Island. It was subsequently used in the movie Take a Chance, in 1933, and Paul Whiteman recorded a successful version, sung by Peggy Healey. But its lasting fame stems from recordings by popular artists during the last years of World War II, when versions by Ella Fitzgerald and the Nat King Cole Trio became popular. It has endured as a vehicle for improvisation by many jazz musicians.
It is only a paper moon Sailin' 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 phony as it can be But it wouldn't be make-believe If you believed in me.