Today’s song of the day is a peaceful, whimsical piece written by British Composer Eric Coates.  Originally a purely instrumental song, “Sleepy Lagoon” acquired lyrics in 1940 and was featured in movies, amusement parks and by other major artists.

Fun Facts

  • This 1940’s classic originates from an orchestral serenade.
  • “By The Sleepy Lagoon” was written in 1930 by British composer Eric Coates.
  • Adding lyrics to Coates’ original works ten years later was Jack Lawrence, an American songwriter.
  • “Sleepy Lagoon” was published in 1940 as part of a collaboration between Lawrence and Coates.
  • Columbia Records released a recording of the song after Lawrence showed the piece to bandleader Harry James.
  • The song first appeared on the Billboard Best Seller chart on 17 April 1942, remaining there for 18 weeks and reaching number one.
  • Others have recorded hit versions of the song, such as Dinah Shore, David Rose, Fred Waring and Glenn Miller.
  • This song reached the top ten on the Hot 100 in 1960, in a version by the Platters, which appeared on the flip side of “Harbor Lights.”
  • Local youths christened a reservoir near Los Angeles the Sleepy Lagoon in 1942.
  • In 1977, “Sleepy Lagoon” appeared prominently in Woody Allen’s Oscar-winning film Annie Hall.
  • This musical piece has been part of the Dutch theme park Efteling since 1952 as part of the Magic Clock fairytale.
  • “By The Sleepy Lagoon” became the central musical theme for the water fountain spectacle Aquanura at the park in 2012. The creators used By the Sleepy Lagoon as the intro to the show, as well as a link to the melody throughout.

Lyrics from The Platter’s Version:

A sleepy lagoon, a tropical moon and two on an island

A sleepy lagoon and two hearts in tune in some lullaby land

The fireflies’ gleam reflects in the stream

They sparkle and shimmer

A star from on high falls out of the sky

And slowly grows dimmer

The leaves from the trees all dance in the breeze

And float on the ripples

We’re deep in a spell as nightingales tell

Of roses and dew

The memory of this moment of love

Will haunt me forever

A tropical moon, a sleepy lagoon

And you