Haven't listened to this closely any time recently, but Charley being of special interest to me I'll give it a listen and get back to you.
Oh, and BTW, the time that the moon rises and sets changes by close to an hour every day. Also well known by most country folk. Only a full moon sets when the sun is rising. A half moon sets and rises around noon and midnight and is usually quite visible in the daytime sky. Could be that Charley is singing about a full moon, but he also could be talking about how when the moon goes down the North Star become more visible to navigate by, but that might be a stretch.
: Whichever you prime yourself to hear, you are
: dealing with 2 syllables...."The Sun's
: about to...", versus "North Star's
: about to...". Thanks to cover versions
: by 60s disciples I always took it for
: granted that he was saying "THE sun's
: about to...", with the word
: "the" stretched an extra
: split-second so that it fits into the meter.
: I can't tell if he's saying "North
: Star", nor do I know much about
: astronomy, so I have to ask : Is the North
: Star visible at day break? I doubt that
: Patton had any interest in astronomy even if
: he knew the North Star existed. I'll place
: my trust in what would have been obvious to
: an itinerant turn-of-the-century country
: boy....when the moon goes down, the sun
: comes up.
: --Previous Message--
: Hi Ari, Received wisdom has the first line
: ending "...sun's about to shine".
: The dissident view has it as "...North
: Star's 'bout to shine". Can anyone
: shine some light on this question? Kind
: regards, the unenlightened JE.