Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Farewell My Huckleberry Friend

The great song stylist Andy Williams has passed at the same time as my late Mother-in-law Aurolyn Kennedy, who lived on, and was part of, the great plains. Although not a sodbuster, she was a force of nature.

When Johnny Mercer (lyrics) and Henry Mancini (music) sat down around that piano they crafted what is possibly the world's most perfect pop song. In this blogpost I celebrate it...

The film Breakfast at Tiffany's gave us a great Audrey Hepburn film, but one with some severe cultural gaps, what with Holly Golightly being a prostitute and all. And Audrey Hepburn can't sing. (It's interesting to observe that only a couple of years later her singing as Eliza Doolittle would be dubbed out of My Fair Lady).

Nonetheless, now is no time to be dragged down. Moon River, how do I love, thee? Let me count the ways:

Moon River - Breakfast at Tiffany's

The eternally fragile Judy Garland

Sir Elton John is so moved to perform the tune he actually speaks in complet Anglais French

Saving the best for last, Diana Panton breaths wonderful life into this chesnut featuring her superb phrasing

Lastly, let us admire Johnny Mercer's near-haiku purity of lyric:

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.

© 1961 Paramount Music Corporation, ASCAP

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