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Joe Offer Origins: Was Blue Moon a hymn? (12) ADDPOP: Prayer (Rodgers & Hart) 12 May 19


I've heard so many "my grandfather wrote this" claims, that I don't tend to believe them without a court decision. Nonetheless, the claim and presentation by Liz Roman Gallese is quite impressive. But note that Roman-Gallese does not have the original lyrics of the song that she claims her father wrote. Still, it's an interesting claim.

Was "Blue Moon" originally a hymn? I don't think so, but The Complete Lyrics of Lorenz Hart (Dorothy Hart & Robert Kimball, Da Capo Press, 1995, page 199), says it was first a song titled "Prayer":

PRAYER
(Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart)

Oh, Lord,
If you ain't busy up there,
I ask for help with a prayer,
So please don't give me the air.
Oh, hear me, Lord.
I must see Garbo in person
With Gable when they're rehearsin'
While some director is cursin'.
Please let me open up my eyes at seven
And find I'm looking through the Golden Gate,
And walking right into my movie heaven,
While some executive tells me I'll be great.
Oh, Lord,
I know how friendly you are.
If I'm not going too far,
Be nice and make me a star.

Notes: MGM Song #225 is dated June 14, 1933, and was registered for copyright as an unpublished work by MetroGoldwyn.Mayer, July 10, 1933. The remarkable saga of "Prayer" epitomizes what Rodgers and Hart went through when they were under contract to Metro-Goidwyn-Mayer. In its first version the melody that became the tune to "Blue Moon" was intended for Jean Harlow to sing in Hollywood Party (1934). It was called "Prayer." Neither Miss Harlow nor "Prayer" appeared in Hollywood Party.


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