Song Of The Quarter | Moon River by Frank Ocean | Q1


It is truly a sign of the terrible times that many American youths have never wept uncontrollably to “Moon River,” the heartbreaking ballad “a very lovely, very frightened girl” strums on her fire escape in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Lucky for them, Frank Ocean, the elusive romantic we truly do not deserve, dropped a cover of the Henry Mancini/Johnny Mercer classic just hours after Valentine’s Day. As originally performed by Audrey Hepburn, “Moon River” is a wispy ode to wanderlust and the immense opportunities “two drifters” find in the glorious unknown. But it becomes something far different in Ocean’s hands; as he showed on his 2016 cover of the Isley Brothers’ (and Aaliyah’s) “(At Your Best) You Are Love,” he is never content with simply imitating another artist.

Ocean’s version of “Moon River” trades Hepburn’s gentle sigh for bold and confident yearnings. As he warbles about the wild surrounding world, Ocean envisions his own self-realization through double-tracked new lines like “What I see, What I become.” Ocean’s only sin here is cutting the original’s detail about “my huckleberry friend,” a sweet allusion to the carefree innocence of childhood that feels right up his alley. (As he once sang, wisely, “We’ll never be those kids again.”) Ocean’s “Moon River” retains the enchanting comfort of the Hepburn original without sacrificing any of his genius. It’s the balm we never knew we needed.



One, two

Moon river, wider than a mile
I’m crossing you in style someday (someday, day)
A dream maker (maker, maker)
My heartbreaker (you heartbreaker)
Wherever you’re goin’, I’m goin’ that way (the same, the same…)

Two drifters off to see the world
There’s such a crazy world to see
We’re all chasin’ after all the same
Chasin’ after our rainbow’s end

Moon river, wider than a mile
Crossin’ in style someday
My dream maker, heartbreaker
Wherever you’re goin’, I’m goin’ the same

Two drifters off to see the world
It’s such a crazy world you’ll see
What I see, who I become
What I see, who I become
We’re all chasin’ after our end
Chasin’ after our ends


Life’s just around the bend, my friend
Moon river and me


You can look at the songs that I’ve selected as my songs of the year/quarter right here.

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