Tuesday, 28 June 2016

'Moon River': History of a Song

by Hermione Barrick

'Moon River', the song that led me to Breakfast at Tiffany's, which led me to Audrey Hepburn, and my passion for life's work.

'Moon River' is a song composed by Henry Mancini and lyrics by Johnny Mercer, that was made famous by Audrey Hepburn in the film Breakfast at Tiffany's. Her performance led to the song  receiving an academy award for best original song.Mancini received, in 1962, a Grammy Award for Record of the Year, whilst Mancini and Mercer together won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year.

Hepburn was not a trained singer, so paramount thought that they might have to dub another singer's voice, but Mancini composed a song line that was just right for Audrey's voice. Mercer then wrote three sets of lyrics, his favourite version inspired by the full moon over a river near his childhood home in Savannah, Georgia.

Mancini and Mercer then recorded a demo, which Mancini described as a "slam dunk", but Moon River was almost cut from the final edit because the first screening of Breakfast at Tiffany's was too long. It is said that the head of the studio said, 'We'll just cut the song' at which point Audrey Hepburn herself intervened saying: "over my dead body!" In slightly more colourful language than that, and 'Moon River' remained.

To me, 'Moon River', represents the path of life in the simplest way possible:

"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 the expanse of possibilities that if we work hard enough for, we will discover. The world is full of "dream makers" to find and "heart breakers" to fish our way through, with both of those being ever present in our lives. But we move, act, achieve, all in the hopes of reaching our "rainbows end", our "perfect" life, we may not always find it, but we will always dream of it what ever it may be. And while we are waiting we can just sing about it........

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