Swinging on a Star by Bing Crosby

My father used to sing a song from the Bing Crosby movie Going My Way (1944). In the movie, Crosby played the unconventional priest Father Chuck O’Malley who convinced some rough boys to join a church choir. The film was released during World War II, about a month before my father went into the service at the age of 17.

I like how the song reminds us that it’s really up to us if we swing on a star, or end up like a mule or a monkey. The film is nearly seventy years old, but I am sure your kids or grandkids (and you) will still get a kick out of it. 

Here’s the clip from the movie. The lyrics follow.


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.

Or 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 has 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.

Or 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 don’t do anything, but swim in a brook.
He can’t write his name or read a book.
To fool the people is his only thought,
Yeah, and though he’s 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 the 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 swingin’ on a star.

3 thoughts on “Swinging on a Star by Bing Crosby

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