|"Star Light, Star Bright"|
|Published||Late 19th century|
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.
The superstition of hoping for wishes granted when seeing a shooting or falling star may date back to the ancient world. Wishing on the first star seen may also predate this rhyme, which first began to be recorded in late nineteenth-century America. The song and tradition seem to have reached Britain by the early twentieth century and have since spread worldwide.
In popular culture
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.
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.
- R. Gerlings, Hey, Diddle, Diddle and Other Best-Loved Rhymes (Windmill Books, 2009), p. 32.
- I. Opie and M. Tatem, A Dictionary of Superstitions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), pp. 175-6.
- R. Webster, The Encyclopedia of Superstitions (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2008), p. 245.