Fantastic Foursome – Shining In New England

Today’s Fantastic Foursome song has several unusual qualities. For example, it’s one of very few songs with lyrics that don’t rhyme — but each verse is a haiku. (Or so they say — I’m no expert on the Japanese poetic form.) The lyrics also mention sycamore trees and meadowlarks, neither of which are commonly found in the state that’s in the title. But that same state considers the song its unofficial anthem, and it’s often performed at wedding receptions. Welcome to “Moonlight In Vermont.”moonlight

Written by the team of Karl Suessdorf and John Blackburn (who was from Ohio, which has lots of sycamores and meadowlarks), the song was introduced by singer Margaret Whiting in a 1944 recording. Although there had been a Hollywood musical of the same name the year before, it’s soundtrack did not include a title song, so apparently there was no direct connection although it’s possible that the film inspired the songwriters.

In any case, it didn’t take long for “Moonlight In Vermont” to be picked up by other performers, and records by all the usual singers began to appear pretty regularly. The song also became a part of most bands’ songbooks and eventually became a recognized standard.

At the bottom is a nice video of the song as performed by the smooth Andy Williams, but for our Fantastic Foursome choices I’m offering some very different versions. If you’d like, you can vote for your favorite below.

Jo Stafford  —  Johnny Mathis  —  Margaret Whiting  —  Willie Nelson



2 thoughts on “Fantastic Foursome – Shining In New England

  1. I once thought of writing a column on songs that don’t rhyme but abandoned it when I couldn’t find enough (in truth, I probably just got bored searching). I did find that Paul Simon liked writing such songs: “America” is the prime example. Much of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” doesn’t rhyme either.


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