When Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon 50 years ago and declared, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," he gave the world a quote that will be remembered forever.

But the moon also has inspired hundreds of popular songs that are ingrained in people’s memories. To celebrate the anniversary of the moon landing, members of the Greater Olean community shared their favorite “moon” songs with TAPinto Greater Olean.

Rocketman by Elton John

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It's an iconic song. It's something that inspires me. It says shooting for your dreams, shooting for your aspirations. And the moon was a huge aspiration for America at this time. It shows how lofty our goals are, and how we can reach them

Landon Allison

St. Bonaventure University student

Hey Diddle Diddle

As a grandfather, Olean Mayor William J.Aiello’s favorite song about the moon is the nursery rhyme “Hey, Diddle, Diddle,” which includes the line: “The cow jumped over the moon.”

Harvest Moon by Neil Young

It's a true American song. The song doesn't really remind me of just the moon landing, but it reminds me about the moon in general.

Adam Glowacki

St. Bonaventure University student

It's just a classic. An absolute classic.

Ian Joseph

St. Bonaventure University student

Brain Damage by Pink Floyd

I was a big Pink Floyd fan as a kid and went to see them in Toronto at the Dome in the late ‘80s. We were disappointed that this one didn’t make the set list, but there was a full moon that night (at least that’s how I remember it) and on the ride home we cranked it from the cassette player of my cousin’s white Ford Pinto.

“And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear / You shout and no one seems to hear / And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes / I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.”

Bob Van Wicklin

Vice President for Advancement

St. Bonaventure University

Fly Me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra


It’s Sinatra. Case closed.

Tom Missel

Chief Communications Officer

St. Bonaventure University

It’s Only a Paper Moon

One of my favorite songs is”It’s Only a Paper Moon.”  Written during the Depression for a Broadway musical, it has been covered over and over again. My current favorite cover is by Paul McCartney.

Michiko McElfresh

Secretary to the Mayor

City of Olean

Man on the Moon by R.E.M.

“Man on the Moon” instantly jumps to mind, but it's not really about the moon. It's not a song I ever loved, but it's something that got stuck in my head a little bit. I occasionally, like this time, listen to it.

Adam Ritchie


Francis E. Kelley Oxford Program

St. Bonaventure University

Moondance by Van Morrison

“It’s a marvelous night for a moon dance…a fantabulous night to make romance.” I love the word ‘”fantabulous” because it captures that amazing event 50 years ago.

Vicki Cocca


Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven

“Moonlight Sonata” has always been a favorite. As a kid who studied the piano, it was a piece I aspired to master and often enjoyed playing it when I did. Hearing it today brings back some great memories.

Dennis R. DePerro


St. Bonaventure University

Rope Ladder to the Moon by Jack Bruce

I vote for the obscure “Rope Ladder to the Moon” by Jack Bruce from “Songs for a Taylor” released in the fall of 1969. The image of Neil Armstrong’s foot on the rung of the ladder and Jack’s word image of a rope ladder go hand in hand for me.

Steve Cocca

WSBU-FM Radio Host

Three more

So many great songs to choose from. Here are a few:

The classic: Fly Me to the Moon by Sinatra. This is the first song that popped in my head when you asked the question. It’s a classic!

The country dance song: Neon Moon by Brooks and Dunn. I have been in many Texas dance halls with this 1990s timeless hit leading to a full dance floor.

The beach moon song: Beach House on the Moon by Jimmy Buffett. I love Jimmy Buffett. Enough said.

Aaron Chimbel

Dean, Jandoli School of Communication

St. Bonaventure University

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