The best song ever written!
Moon river, wider than a mile
I’m crossing you in style
You 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
We’re after the same rainbow’s end
waitin’ round the bend
My Huckleberry friend
Moon river and me.
This song was composed by Henry Mancini and penned by Johnny Mercer. It received an Acadamy Award for Best Original Song for its first performance by Audrey Hepburn in 1961 movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. They wrote the song especially for Hepburn’s voice.
Hepburn’s version was not released until after her death in 1993.
Patty Griffin sang the song for the Elizabethtown soundtrack.
Meaning of the song:
As a child, Mercer picked huckleberries (like wild blueberries) in the summer. To him the berries had a personal connection with a carefree boyhood, strenghtened by association with Mark Twain’s character Huckleberry Finn.
“My huckleberry friend” is often thought a reference to Huckleberry Finn. However in hi autobiography, Mercer said it was a reference to a childhood friend of his. He used to pick huckleberries with him down by a lazy river near his home in Georgia.
I found this interpretation on Suri Nahunte’s blog “Quills and Parchment”:
truly, jim and huck (huckleberry) are “two drifters off to see the world” and as one of them is an unschooled negro and the other – a child, there is truly “such a lot of world to see” for them. and as they drifted along that Mississippi river, the speaker in this poem (or song) who i suppose is jim, realized that a body of water could be a “dream maker” and “heart breaker” at the same time. but since they are left with no other avenue of escape, the speaker chose to surrender to the current – “wherever you’re going, i’m going your way.” He believes that they are “after the same rainbow’s end… my huckleberry friend, moon river and me.” he considers both huck and the river his companion, and that they are together in this journey to freedom. however, for those who wonder why the speaker called it a moon river, it may be because jim marvels at the river’s beauty only during the night when no authority can see him because he is, at that time, a wanted criminal for allegedly kidnapping huck.
Other interesting facts:
Moon River is a real river in Savannah, Georgia where Mercer grew up. His home overlooked the river and he had fond memories of the place. At the time, the river was known as The Black River, but was renamed Moon River in honor of the song and Johnny Mercer’s home along the river became known as the Moon River Home.
South African singer, Danny Williams, took this to #1 in the UK in late 1961. Williams originally refused to sing it, saying that Mercer’s lyrics were nonsensical. (!!!!!)
How I feel about the song:
I wish I could interpret my feelings fully, but I find it hard to find the right words. The song makes me want to cry, it feels like my heart is breaking, because I know we could never return back to those lazy innocent days. And I long for it so much!
I guess the song reminds me of all my warm memories and forgotten dreams and makes me nostalgic about the past.
But the song also makes me want to become a part of it. As if I also want to drift along the river like Huckleberry and Jim. I also want to be immortal like the song and the story.
I wish I had a Huckleberry friend…
Posted on May 25, 2013, in Songs and lyrics and tagged Breakfast at Tiffany's, Elizabethtown, Huckleberry Friend, immortality, Mark Twain, Moon River, nostalgia, Patty Griffin, The adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on The best song ever written!.