Dear Sun Spots: I am wondering if you might know the title and words to a song. All I can remember is a few lines and I am not sure if it is actually a song or just something that I heard.

The few words that I remember are swinging on a star and bringing moonbeams home in a jar. It is one of those things I can’t get out of my head, and I hope you can help me find the answer. Thanks. – No Name, No Town.

Answer: Sun Spots has learned that this Oscar-winning song, “Swinging from a Star,” was from the movie “Going My Way” and a collaboration of Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke.

Both Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra appear to have been singing this song.

Crosby claimed he owed much of his success to a lyricist he dubbed “the Poet,” or “a 145-pound leprechaun named Johnny Burke.”

Burke was one of the most prolific and successful writers of popular song lyrics. He wrote or collaborated on more than 400 songs, including those for 42 motion pictures and four Broadway musicals. He has the distinction of being the only songwriter to have had five of the top 10 songs on the Hit Parade at the same time.

Burke was born in 1908 and grew up in Chicago. He studied the piano and also had some drama lessons. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, he went to work for the Irving Berlin Publishing Co. as a pianist and song salesman.

Burke wrote most of his songs for the movies. During the 1930s and 40s, Burke and longtime partner Jimmy Van Heusen scored the music for 20 Bing Crosby films and produced a number of pop songs that were widely covered in the ’30s and ’40s.

Burke and Van Heusen collaborated on the beloved “Road” pictures starring Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour, and the movie “Going My Way” which featured the Oscar-winning “Swinging on a Star.”

“Swinging on a Star”



Would you like to swing on a star

Carry moonbeams home in a jar

And be better off than you are

Or would you rather be a mule

A mule is an animal with long funny ears

He kicks up at anything he hears

His back is brawny – and his brain is weak

He’s just plain stupid with a – stubborn streak

And by the way, if you hate to go to school

You may grow up to be a mule

Would you like to swing on a star

Carry moonbeams home in a jar

And be better off than you are

Or would you rather be a pig

A pig is an animal with dirt on his face

His shoes are a terrible disgrace

He ain’t got no manners when he eats his food

He’s fat and lazy – and extremely rude

But if you don’t care a feather or a fig

You may grow up to be a pig

Would you like to swing on a star

Carry moonbeams home in a jar

And be better off than you are

Or would you rather be a fish

A fish won’t do anything but swim in a brook

He can’t write his name or read a book

And to fool the people is his only thought

Though he slippery – he still gets caught

But then if that sort of life is what you wish

You may grow up to be a fish

And all the monkeys aren’t in a zoo

Every day you meet quite a few

So you see it’s all up to you

You can be better than you are

You could be swinging on a star



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