Late in the night a couple months ago, Frank Ocean dropped an unannounced single. Moon River, a song initially written for and sung by Audrey Hepburn, was written by famous Savannian Johnny Mercer. Mercer and Henri Mancini (an Ohian, but we’ll take it) worked together on the song’s musical compositions.
Compared to the original version of the song, Frank Ocean’s version is moodier while maintaining the same flowing ambience. Frank Ocean added a darker vibe to the song that you can chill to.
Frank Ocean is not the first to cover the iconic song; it has been recorded hundreds of times by numerous singers, including Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Elton John and Louis Armstrong.
The lead composer of the song, Johnny Mercer, a Savannah native, wrote the song inspired by the actual Savannah River, as it served as a reflection of his time growing up in the South. He incorporates this by adding a line about “my huckleberry friend.” Some believe this is a nod to Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn” because the character would eat huckleberries while he watched the river go by.
The song was simple, which suited Audrey Hepburn’s limited vocal range. The song is smooth and dreamy, but also charming and pensive, like the Savannah River. There are many layers to the song just like there are to Savannah and every time I listen to it the lyrics find a way to stir my heart and slow me down.
By Stephanie Avery.