"Moon River": a delightful song sung by Audrey Hepburn

"Audrey's performance was the definitive version. It surpassed anything I had ever hoped for in that song."

"Audrey Hepburn's "Moon River": song history, meaning, covers

There is hardly a person who has never seen a cult film in his life. "Breakfast at Tiffany's." (or at least never heard of it). This is already Classics, and one of the best episodes in the career of the charming Audrey Hepburn as the actress she has always been known. But what exactly no one expected from this refined lady was a vocal performance. That's why the appearance of the song in the movie "Moon River." shocked a lot of people!

At the same time - when the director Blake Edwards stated that this composition did not belong in the film, the authors of this masterpiece were left at a complete loss... And only thanks to the fact that Audrey was strong and confident in herself as a woman not only on screen, but also in life, the track made it into the tape. And it became a classic! Subsequently, many, even cult artists performed it. But none of them managed to surpass the simple, but so attractive version of Hepburn.

History of the creation and struggle for the track

Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn

In film "Breakfast at Tiffany's." There comes a time when Holly Golightly (played by Audrey) gets sad, so she pulls out her guitar, sits on the fire escape, and sings quietly about some "Moon River." This episode instantly captivated many viewers! And few have any idea, even today, that it might not have happened at all. To begin with, the authors of the song are the composer Henry Mancini and songwriter Johnny Mercerwho were actively making a name for themselves in Hollywood at the time.

Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn

Despite the fact that Hepburn Wasn't a singer.The song was written especially for her: in the opinion of the authors, this composition needed the simplest but touching performance... And only Audrey could provide that. In general, they were right in the choice of the performer.

Audrey really liked the song, and the actress was happy to record it. But... it wasn't long before frictioncaused by the director Blake Edwards. Maybe he really didn't like "Moon River" that much, but referring to the too long plot, he said it should be thrown out! From Johnny Mercer's memoirs:

"The preview went very well. We were still thrilled with the song, and we were thrilled with the picture as a whole, even though we knew that it lasted a long time and something was bound to be cut.... And indeed: we were told that "the damn song has to go." I saw Henry go pale. We were all stunned, completely stunned. We were silent for a minute or two, and then there was a flurry of reasons why it should stay in the movie, and why cuts should be made elsewhere!"

Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn

There is an opinion that the studio was supposedly worried about Hepburn's musical abilities, because she was not a singer after all. But the filmmakers forgot who they were dealing with. Audrey is one of the most strong-willed women with a truly masculine character! So as soon as she found out that the track was going to be cut, she threateningly declared: "Over my dead body!". However, witnesses of that conversation claimed that the actress used a more "strong word" during a conversation with producers Paramount Pictures. And she won.

Good thing Hepburn stood up for herself and her song. "Moon River." brought its authors an Oscar, became a classic and one of the most recognizable episodes of world cinema, and was so liked by other artists that they began to perform their own interpretations! But more about that later.

The True Meaning of Moon River

Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer

Before we move on to the cover versions, we suggest we talk about the true meaning of "Moon River. And in general: why exactly "Moon River."? Actually, it is much simpler than it seems, and the author of the text (that is, Mercer) did not put any special, hidden meaning into the title. It's just that the original title "Blue River" was already taken. That's all!

Speaking of the meaning of the text Johnny Mercer grew up in Savannah, Georgia, and has fond memories of his childhood, picking blueberries and watching the river flow carefree. He wrote a song about those southern summer days and the smoothly flowing rivers, incorporating references to his "blueberry friend." as a tribute to a childhood comrade and the carefree berry picking days of his youth.

"Two vagabonds that set out to see the world.
There is so much to see in the world.
We follow the same end of the rainbow,
Waiting for us around the corner,
My sidekick (literally "blueberry") friend..."

Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer

Song "Moon River." - is a glimpse into the future and into the past at the same time. The river represents time and the journey from beginning to end. It is about the journey of life. Rather, this composition is not romantic - it about friendship. This is a nostalgic look at a child's vision of the future.

The best cover versions

Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra

And lastly, here are the most Successful and interesting cover versions such a simple, short, but very soul songs. At various times, many legends of the 20th century - from Frank Sinatra to Louis Armstrong - have presented their interpretations! There are also more contemporary artists, such as Barbra Streisand. And even domestic ones. Elena Kamburova and others!

Almost every version has been a success (to varying degrees, of course). But many listeners agree that there is no song more beautiful than "Moon River" performed by Audrey Hepburn. And the composer Henry Mancini I completely agree with that:

"Audrey's performance was the definitive version. It surpassed anything I had ever hoped for in that song."

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