Harvest moon

Published 11:06 pm Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The harvest moon is nothing more than a full moon which appears nearest the start of fall. According to a modicum of research, the harvest moon coincides with the September full moon although it can fall in early October which is the case this year.

The harvest moon will rise on Oct. 5 at 2 p.m. You may ask, and I wasn’t sure until I took to the Internet, why is it called the harvest moon? The answer has such emotional capital for those of us who have special affection for the fall season.

Years ago when life was simpler, when technology, poor manners, common courtesy and selfishness had not compromised our lives, the harvest moon brought about bright moonlight early in the evening and assisted farmers in harvesting their crops. The days were getting shorter, and it was important to “get the hay in the barn.”

Among the many songs to hold dear is “Harvest Moon.”   The most golden of the golden oldies, which warms your heart even if you hear it in the dead of winter. Its resonating lyrics have stood the test of time, the song having a connection all the way back to the Ziegfeld Follies — real music if you know what I mean. Those were the days of melody and romanticism as opposed to noise and screaming which we so often hear today. “Harvest Moon,” has been recorded by many legends of entertainment including Kate Smith, Vaughn Monroe, the Four Aces, Mitch Miller and Rosemary Clooney. Kate Smith singing “Harvest Moon,” made you feel that you should stand at attention and bow in reverence at its conclusion.

While I haven’t committed it to memory, I often look up the lyrics in my computer this time of the year, just to bring them to life:

“Oh, Shine on, shine on harvest moon, up in the sky; I ain’t had no lovin’ since April, January, June or July. Snow time, ain’t no time to stay outdoors and spoon; So shine on, shine on, harvest moon, for me and my gal.”

When you hear “Harvest Moon” during the harvest season, you usually are visually swooning to displays of hay bales, corn stalks and pumpkins and know that when the harvest moon comes up, there soon will be a fire in a wood burning fire place.   

Fall in North Georgia is festival time — from apples, to sorghum, to moonshine. Oktoberfest in Helen practically lasts all fall, but the best the northern half of our state has to offer is the Chattahoochee and an opportunity to trout fish while the turning of the leaves  takes first prize with your emotions.

Loran Smith is president of the Administrative Specialist football game program of the Bulldog Club.