I never knew exactly what it was talking about, or anything about the man who wrote the lyrics, Johnny Mercer. I never imagined I would ever see Moon River (an inlet of the actual river was named after the song, not vice versa), or visit the grave of Johnny Mercer in Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia.
I can't say that I dreamed of visiting Savannah because of the song, but I did have the dream of visiting for over 30 years before I finally visited last year. Things kept getting in the way, but I finally made it.
The phrasing of this song is so beautiful. It rang so true to the childhood me. It reminded me of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, floating down the Mississippi, smoking their corncob pipes and fishing for their next meal. It was a never ending childhood dream to this girl growing up in the Bronx, to join them on that raft. I was never made for the Bronx, although it shaped me and made me the woman I am today.
The story of the song isn't quite Huck Finn, but is quite interesting.
That song made me want to travel. So today I will be in Brooklyn, visiting my huckleberry friend. This September is the 50th anniversary of our friendship.
Yesterday, packing for the visit, I heard that the man who sung that song on the radio, to my childhood delight, had died. Another piece of my childhood gone.
In your honor, Andy Williams, I will think of Moon River, even as I return to visit my native New York City. I will think of my childhood memories and my childhood with my huckleberry friend.
Moon River and me.
Did the song Moon River have any meaning to you?