Thursday, March 3, 2011
On a recent Friday night I was privileged to help lead a sing-along of Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer’s classic, “Moon River.” My favorite group of ladies had gathered at Cindy’s house on the water, the full moon was rising, and it just seemed appropriate. I got to help lead because I know the words:
Moon River, wider than a mile, I'm crossing you in style some day.
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker, wherever you're going I'm going your way.
Two drifters off to see the world, there's such a lot of world to see.
We're after the same rainbow's end…waiting 'round the bend, my huckleberry friend, Moon River and me.
Moon River is one of my favorite songs ever. I know it was written for the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and that Andy Williams used to sing it on his variety show (although I was a very small child at the time). And for you lady crooners, and thanks to Wikipedia, here are a few more fun facts about the song:
"Moon River" was played at John F. Kennedy's funeral, as it was a favorite song of his.
It’s been featured in dozens of TV shows and movies, including The Deer Hunter, Curse of the Pink Panther, Angels in America, Cheers, Sex in the City, and the Simpsons.
The Andy Williams version of the song was chosen as the wake-up call on Day 5 of Space Shuttle Discovery’s mission in 1998. Payload Specialist John Glenn, then 77, would have used it as his alarm clock.
The line, "My huckleberry friend" is often thought to be a reference to Mark Twain’s character Huckleberry Finn. However, Johnny Mercer said it referred to a childhood friend with whom he used to pick huckleberries near the real Moon River in Savannah, Georgia.
In 2010, in a series of joint concerts by Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton, the song was played as an encore number with Beck playing the melody on the guitar and Clapton singing the lyrics.
Someday I would like to hear Clapton and Beck do the song. But because it’s easy to sing, and because of our enthusiasm, we ladies sounded pretty darn good.
Of course, there was a little wine involved.