It just so happened that I first heard the ballad “Moon river” performed by Andy Williams, whose voice President Ronald Reagan once called “US national treasure”. Until now, I consider it his performance as the best, although fans of the famous film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” most likely will not agree with me. For them, the song will invariably be associated with Audrey Hepburn, whose heroine – Holly Golightly – performed “Moon River” with a guitar, sitting on a fire escape.
And this is quite fair, because it was under Hepburn that this song was written. Composer Henry Mancini took into account that the actress’s voice, although pleasant, was far from strong, so he put the music in a range of no more than one octave.
Audrey really liked the song, which can not be said about the film management. First, they tried to replace “Moon river” with another song, “Rose Colour”, and then completely cut it out of the rental version of the film. “Only over my dead body!” Hepburn said, and the scene remained.
The history of creation and the meaning of “the song Moon River” by Andy Williams
Mercer and Mancini wrote this song specifically for Audrey Hepburn, based on her not very strong, but rather pleasant vocal abilities. Originally, the lyrics of the song began like this: “I’m Holly, like I want to be / like Holly on a tree back home…”, but the lyrics were later changed. Although the film begins with this theme song, the song’s verse is first heard in the scene where Paul “Fred” Warjak (a character played by George Peppard) discovers Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn’s character), guitar in hand, singing “Moon river” on fire escape.
The appearance of the line “Huckleberry friend” (which can be translated as “heartfelt” or, literally, “blueberry” friend) Johnny Mercer commented in an interview with Terry Gross on National Radio on the Fresh Air show: as a child, Mercer and friends went to pick blueberries by the river – the author explains that he immortalized this nostalgic moment in the text of the legendary song.
At one point in the filming of the film, it was assumed that the scene with the performance of the song would be cut from the rental version of the film, to which Audrey Hepburn immediately reacted: “Only over my dead body!”. Witnesses of this conversation claim that during the explanation with the producers of Paramount Pictures, the actress used stronger language.
Be that as it may, the song performed by the actress was not included in the original soundtrack of the film, although the theme song was released as a single and even entered the list of 40 major hits of the year. Already later in 1993, after the death of Hepburn, just a month later, an album was released with a recording called “Music from the Films of Audrey Hepburn”.
The meaning of the lyrics to “Moon River” by Andy Williams
The song, “Moon River” became a hit when Audrey Hepburn performed the song in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The song is simple, yet powerful. The song has a beautiful metaphor. River is referred to lover. The writer describes a heart breaker and dream maker in the song. He speaks about the delightful outcomes and the disastrous heart breaks in a relationship. Even when the writer knows that his relationship could bring him harm, he is determined to follow his heart. Apart from this, the writer also talks about his adventures and the beauty of the nature in the song. He beautifully compares nature to human relations, especially love and the pain.
I will explain the meaning of the song in this article in detail. Let us begin.
The song is small. However, the lines are beautiful and the meaning is deep. The lines speak about the heart of a true lover. Also, the lines speak about the true face of love. The highs and lows in a relation. According to the writer, the feel of love is beautiful. When you are in love, you feel like flying in clouds. At the same time, love is painful.
“Moon river…. Someday”
The writer begins the song by addressing to a moon river. The river is in the moon. That is why he calls it a moon river. He wants to place the river in the moon for its beauty. His lover is equally beautiful like the river in the moon. The river is petty. It is just a mile wide. The girl is small and cute just like the river. There is a hidden meaning here. Why should the writer bring in the width of the river when he has so many other factors to describe about it? By saying that the width of the river is small, he means that the heart of the girl is small!
When the writer says that he wishes to cross the river, he means that he would like to win her heart again someday. He secretly wishes for her to come back to him. He knows that this is not going to happen soon. This is why he says he would win her someday. He wishes that she will understand him one day.
The writer calls his girl a dream maker and a heart breaker. When they were madly in love with each other, the days were like a beautiful dream. They enjoyed the company of each other and it was just like a fairy tale. The writer wants all those days back.
The next second he calls her a heart breaker. When she is away from him, he is unable to take her absence and the pain is killing him. The writer says that he was woken up suddenly from a beautiful dream. He wants to go back to the dream.
The writer is well aware of the fact that he cannot get back to her. This is why he is referring their happy days to a dream. He still secretly wishes for her to come back to him.
“wherever you…your way”
The writer is not able to forget the girl. Though the girl hurts him and doesn’t care about his pain, he is ready go after her. He is ready to follow her steps just to be with her. He loves her so much that he is unable to take her absence. He wishes her to come back. If she is not coming, he is ready to go after her.
“Two drifters…to see”
The writer calls himself and her lover as drifters. Drifters are people who are constantly moving from one place to another. He means that his lover is in confusion. And her decisions and priorities are confusing him. They both wanted to see the world together. However, they are now parting in different ways. They both have a lot to see and a wonderful future to share. The writer wants to spend the rest of his life with her. When he has planned so much about their future, it is difficult for him to move ahead in life without her.
“We are after….and me”
The phrase huckleberry friend means “perfect friend”. The writer says that he would still like to wait for her. He still wishes to continue their relationship. He believes that both him and his girlfriend want the same from life. They seek out to live a colorful life and a beautiful life like a rainbow. He is well aware that she is not gonna come back. That is why he says he will wait near the bend. His lover is in the other bend. The ends of the rainbow do not meet though they are of the same color. This is a beautiful metaphor. The writer and his lover are the ends of the rainbow. Their life journey is compared to the rainbow itself.
The writer concludes the song by saying that he would still wait for her.