Lunar matters

Yesterday’s Scenes From a Multiverse:

Two things here: the X in the moon figure; and the burlesque of “That’s Amore”.

In Western cultures, the figure in the moon is generally taken to be a man:

The Man in the Moon is an imaginary figure resembling a human face, head or body, that observers from some cultural backgrounds typically perceive in the bright disc of the full moon. The figure is composed of the dark areas (the lunar maria, or “seas”) and lighter highlands of the lunar surface.

The Man in the Moon is an example of pareidolia. Other cultures perceive the silhouette of a woman, a hare/rabbit, a frog, a moose, a buffalo, or a dragon (with its head and mouth to the right and body and wings to the left) in the full moon. Alternatively, the vague shape of the overall dark and light regions resemble a Yin Yang symbol. (Wikipedia link)

On pareidolia:

Pareidolia (/pærɨˈdoʊliə/ parr-i-doh-lee-ə) is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records played in reverse. (Wikipedia link)

I’m especially fond of the rabbit in the moon, which I know from its appearance in India and East Asia:

The Moon rabbit in folklore is a rabbit that lives on the moon, based on pareidolia that identifies the markings of the moon as a rabbit. The story exists in many cultures, particularly in Aztec mythology and East Asian folklore (Wikipedia link)

An Adler Planetarium depiction of the rabbit:

Lobsters and economy cars are out of my experience.

On to “That’s Amore”:

“That’s Amore” is a 1952 song by composer Harry Warren and lyricist Jack Brooks. It became a major hit, signature song for Dean Martin in 1953. Amore (pronounced ah-MOR-eh) means “love” in Italian. (Wikipedia link)

Recording available here.

The original lines parodied in the Multiverse strip are:

When the moon hits your eye like a bigga pizza pie
That’s amore

(In some recordings the Italian-accented bigga is produced as standard big.)

Another version:

Since around the year 2000, the song has been sung by football fans with the lyrics changed to “When the ball hits your head and you’re sat in row Z, that’s Zamora” in honour of the English footballer Bobby Zamora. It started while he was playing for Brighton & Hove Albion and has since followed him to West Ham United and now to his current club Fulham

No doubt there are many other versions. The song virtually invites parody.

10 Responses to “Lunar matters”

  1. Martyn Cornell Says:

    Bobby Zamora is now with Queens Park Rangers, having moved from Fulham, and another verse of that parody goes: “When the ball hits the goal, it’s not Rooney or Cole, it’s Zamora.”

  2. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Chuk Craig on Facebook:

    When I was little I saw it as a lobster or crab. You just have to imagine the part that is "rabbit ears" as being instead a lobster claw.

  3. Bob Richmond Says:

    When you see a large eel that wants you for a meal,
    that’s a moray!

  4. arnold zwicky Says:

    Thread tie: another Neapolitan bit of “That’s Amore”:

    When the stars make you drool
    Joost-a like pasta fazool
    That’s amore

    Compare the fagioli posting, here.

  5. Burlesques, parodies, playful allusions « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] Lunar matters (link): Multiverse: parody of “That’s […]

  6. Robert Lindsay Says:

    More football. Australian comedian Vince Sorrenti

  7. Sissy Says:

    In one of Spider Robinson’s sci-fi/comedy novels, which are rife with with puns and other sorts of wordplay, there is a contest to come up with punning verses for that song. Though I’ve forgotten which book it was, I can remember a couple of verses. To wit:

    When you swim in the sea/ and an eel bites your knee/ that’s a moray

    When you’re having some fun/ down in old New Zealand/ that’s a Maori

    Or something to that effect.

  8. Anne Winkler Says:

    And of course, I thought of the movie Moonstruck: Look! It’s Cosmo’s moon!

    PS: got here through Language Log. What a treasure!

  9. Is That Jesus in Your Toast? | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] was treated on this blog back in 2012, in a piece that took as its starting point the perception of a man (or a rabbit or whatever) on the face of […]

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