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Indiana Moon is "Heaven's Lantern"

Have you been looking skyward lately? Over the next "moonth" look for the crescent moon near the planets Venus, Saturn, and Mars in the evening twilight. You'll also want to hum the song Indiana Moon by the Hunter Smith Band, which embraces the moon as "heaven's lantern." The Indianapolis Star reports the tune penned by the ex-Colts punter has been endorsed as the Indiana Bicentennial anthem.

Indiana Moon Lyrics

2015 Hunter Smith Band Red barns poppin’ in the country light Front porch colors on the 4th of July The corn is gold as the sunshine Far as you can see When the sun goes down and the day is o’er We lie on our backs in the cool outdoors Heaven’s lantern is all aglow Over Hoosierland

Chorus: Let me hear you say hey It’s never too soon For a little romance And an Indiana Moon Hey, there’s nothing like June With my hometown girl And an Indiana Moon

It shines like a diamond on her tender hand Over the farms and the pasture land From ol’ Mount Vernon up to Nappanee Over you and me


Since 1816 we’ve been here

Passin’ down life through the smiles and tears

Under its light through the hard years

Shinin’ like a friend

It shimmers in the winter and the glistenin’ spring Smiles on the turnin’ of the autumn leaves Heartland summer’s when it really beams Over Hoosierland (Chorus)

1923 Indiana Moon

The splendor of the moon has inspired other artists in Indiana's history. For example, a 1923 song also entitled Indiana Moon has lyrics written by Benny Davis with music by Isham Jones. A video of this older version, sung by John Count McCormack, includes scenes of Indiana at night.

Another version of the 1923 song Indiana Moon...

The Upcoming Moonth

Singing the tune yet? Here are some lunar sights to go with the sound.

September 7

Let the Indiana Moon be your guide in finding Saturn and Mars, as the trio form an obvious line in the evening twilight.

Mars, Saturn, and moon in a row; 7 September 2016

October 3

A very thin crescent moon hovers just above Venus low in the west just after sunset. It's a tough find, but rewarding.

October 5

Just left of the crescent moon is the ringed planet Saturn.

Moon near Saturn, 5 October 2016

October 8 On the evening of October 8, down and to the right of the first quarter moon is the red planet Mars, which dominates atop the teapot shape of the constellation Sagittarius.

Moon near Mars, 8 October 2016

Earlier in the day October 8 is the Bicentennial Birthday Bash in St. Joseph County. After wending its way through the county, the Bicentennial Torch Relay arrives at Bendix Woods County Park, where the party continues. Join the fun with music, food, family activities, a morning bike ride, a Studebaker car show and more.

At the Bash, members of Michiana Astronomical Society Inc (MAS) will have telescopes set up to look at both the sun and the moon during the day. MAS members will guide visitors in finding the Indiana Bicentennial Star, the corner star Scheat in the Great Square of Pegasus. Look for the Anniversary Solargraph at Bendix Woods, too.

Bicentennial Birthday Bash at Bendix Woods, October 8, 2016

October 15

Tonight the full moon rises in the east as the sun sets in the west. The Hunter Smith Band will perform Indiana Moon at the Indiana Statehouse at 7:00 p.m. on October 15 during the Indiana Bicentennial Hoosier Homecoming and again at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum on December 11, the state's official 200th birthday. Ironically, the Hunter's Moon occurs October 16 at 12:23 a.m. EDT.

Hope to see you under the Indiana Moon, when heaven’s lantern is all aglow.

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