Star Light, Star Bright

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"Star Light, Star Bright"
Nursery rhyme
PublishedLate 19th century

"Star Light, Star Bright" is an English language nursery rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 16339.


The lyrics usually conform to the following:

Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight;
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight.[1]


The superstition of hoping for wishes granted when seeing a shooting or falling star may date back to the ancient world.[2] Wishing on the first star seen may also predate this rhyme, which first began to be recorded in late nineteenth-century America.[3] The song and tradition seem to have reached Britain by the early twentieth century and have since spread worldwide.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

It is used in the 1940 Disney film Pinocchio and related Disney media.

It is used in the 1953 Sci-Fi film It Came from Outer Space.

The first half is featured in the chorus of Madonna's 1983 song Lucky Star.

It is partially quoted in the song "Take Me Away" on Blue Öyster Cult's 1983 album The Revölution by Night.

The rhyme is quoted and referenced on Metallica’s 1996 single “King Nothing”, released for the album Load.

In Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, it is used as the plot's basis, the quest for the Wishing Star, in addition to providing deeper meaning to the film's central themes. It is read verbatim in the opening and repeated later on.

It is also quoted in Nicki Minaj's 2023 song Last Time I Saw You.


  1. ^ R. Gerlings, Hey, Diddle, Diddle and Other Best-Loved Rhymes (Windmill Books, 2009), p. 32.
  2. ^ a b I. Opie and M. Tatem, A Dictionary of Superstitions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), pp. 175-6.
  3. ^ R. Webster, The Encyclopedia of Superstitions (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2008), p. 245.