Friday, November 21, 2008


News from outer space. NASA has done it again. This is one of the first visible pictures of a planet circling a distant star, and in honor of the accomplishment we dedicate "Moon River" to Formalhaut B, our new distant cousin in outer space. (Actually, I have other distant cousins in outer space, but that's another story.) Formalhaut B is only twenty five light years away, and we hope it sustains life and we hope that that life is not giant, insectoid, and ravenous.

To planet Formalhaut B: here's a song based on a universal theme (we hope) of love:

Moon River first appeared in Breakfast at Tiffany's, a 1961 film loosely based on a story by Truman Capote. The song was written by Johnny Mercer (words) and Henry Mancini (music). In this clip, an elfin Audrey Hepburn tugs at guitar strings and heartstrings and shows one of myriad distractions a writer must face.

Andy Williams sang the popular version that still plays on easy listening stations. After a couple tumblers of Scotch, Uncle Ed sang it at the wedding. He nearly burst a cummerbund. Don't let that experience sway you. No less a songwriter than Bob Dylan once called this a perfect song.

In this clip from the British television show "The Old Grey Whistle Test," an early REM plays Moon River and then jumps into Pretty Persuasion. Since the new planet is twenty five light years away, 1980s television is finally just getting there. Sorry, Formalhautians. We apologize for that decade. Still, we think you'll enjoy this clip.


Anonymous said...

Great song. I've never seen the REM clip before.

Bob Rini said...

Isn't that nice?