While the Sun gives Kenny Chesney plenty to sing about, its counterpart signals what goes down at night in party anthems and love ballads. For sadder songs, it’s a reminder of another night alone or another day wasted. It’s a constant storytelling device that’s been in country music ever since Hank Williams had ample reason to howl like a broken-hearted dog and Elvis Presley wanted to introduce rock ‘n’ rollers to Bill Monroe.
Here are our 25 favorite country songs about the moon.
“Does That Blue Moon Ever Shine On You,” Toby Keith
It’s always worth stressing that Toby Keith used to be one of the better mainstream traditionalists, as heard on this self-written top five hit from 1996.
“Blue Moon With Heartache,” Rosanne Cash
This slow-tempo cut from Rosanne Cash’s new wave years is worth revisiting, if only for that old footage of the Exit/In and its surrounding area. Now who’s down for a slice from Obie’s?
“I’ll Be The Moon,” Dierks Bentley
“Mr. Man In The Moon,” Patty Loveless
Unsung traditionalist and gifted song interpreter Patty Loveless gives a performance here that would’ve gotten a standing ovation at the Opry in just about any decade.
“Goodnight Moon,” Jack Ingram
Beloved Texans get in on the moon-gazing act frequently, leading to songs like this broken man’s lullaby by Jack Ingram.
“The Moon, The Stars, And Me,” Dolly Parton
The hope in Dolly Parton’s heart that took her from childhood poverty to international fame makes this gorgeous song all the more charming.
“Even the Man in the Moon Is Crying,” Mark Collie
One of Mark Collie’s better songs reminds fans that he had a tremendous voice and a sound that suited early ’90s country.
“Honky Tonk Moon,” Randy Travis
This 1988 single by one of country music’s most beloved singers serves as an example of how he brought tradition back to the charts.
“Texas Moon,” Stoney LaRue
Glide across the dance hall floor to this sweet as sugar love song by Stoney LaRue that’s part modern red dirt jewel, part AM gold nugget.
“American Flag on the Moon,” Brad Paisley
Brad Paisley thinks anything must be possible if American astronauts could plant the stars and stripes on another planet.
“Buicks To The Moon,” Alan Jackson
Instead of loving her until the sun blows up, Alan Jackson promises to stay with his lady until they’re sending luxury automobiles into outer space.
“Sugar Moon,” Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson celebrated the work of Cindy Walker in a grandiose way with this Texas-honoring two-stepper.
“Bad Moon Rising,” Creedence Clearwater Revival
John Fogerty and CCR get a little paranoid here about what goes down when there’s not a gorgeous full moon in the night sky.
“I Don’t Know a Thing About Love (The Moon Song),” Conway Twitty
It’s weird to associate the phrase “I Don’t Know a Thing About Love” with Conway Twitty, considering the content of his obvious songs. Although he’s not saying that about himself, or any other human, in this literal dispatch from the Moon.
“Howlin’ at the Moon,” Hank Williams
Acting like an ole hound dog and howling at the moon are among the side effects of love, per the father of modern country music.
“From Here to the Moon and Back,” Dolly Parton
You can’t round out 25 songs about anything morally decent without multiple Parton picks, even if you have to look to a relatively recent collaboration.
“Shame on the Moon,” Bob Seger
Blues-rock giant Bob Seger and his Silver Bullet Band nearly play a Western stroll that, without the familiar voice from “Night Moves” front-and-center, would sound like a long-lost a country song.
“Cajun Moon,” Ricky Skaggs
One of the signature songs of hall of famer Ricky Skaggs celebrated both his bluegrass roots and the rich cultural and musical traditions of Louisiana.
“Lying To The Moon,” Trisha Yearwood
“Rope the Moon,” John Michael Montgomery
The most versatile ’90s hit maker went from knee-slappers like “The Grundy County Auction Incident” to slow, weepy songs like this poignant ode to fatherhood.
“Missouri Moon,” Rhonda Vincent
The first lady of modern bluegrass sings a gentle ballad that’s ideal for front porch picking sessions on any night with a clear sky.
“Hypnotize the Moon,” Clay Walker
It’s video might be a little corny now, but “Hypnotize the Moon” remains one of the better vocal performances by Clay Walker.
“Blue Moon of Kentucky,” Bill Monroe
As bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe’s calling card and one of Elvis Presley’s opening statements, this Southern classic represents change in popular music.
“Neon Moon,” Brooks and Dunn
Ronnie Dunn earned his reputation as a great storyteller and vocalist with this and other tradition-grounded songs of love and loss.