What does Ann Margret say, "Oh, dream maker" or "Old dream maker" in the song "Moon River"?


The song "Moon River" has been sung by many singers.

I particularly like Ann Margret's version. There are several videos on YouTube with this version; one of them is at this link. You can easily find other videos of it by searching with the key words "Ann Margret" and "Moon River".

The question is: which does she sing in the song: "Oh, dream maker" or "Old dream maker"?

Please note that I am not asking about other singers' versions, but about hers. There are some lyrics of this song on the internet. Some says "Oh, dream maker" and some say "Old dream maker". So they don't help.

Best regards,

Makoto Kato

Posted 2015-12-10T04:58:48.260

Reputation: 1 976

FWIW, this non-native speaker hears "Oh", or more precisely "Oww". Another point worth mentioning is, afaict, her /l/ sound is never dark in the song. – Damkerng T. – 2015-12-10T05:58:59.330

It sounds like "Oh" to me too, BUT we should note that when she sings "world" later in the song, if you listen carefully, it's little more than "werl..." probably because "d" is hard to sing fluidly (because it's a "stop consonant", I think, but don't quote me on that). So it's possible she intends "old", but sings the "d" very softly and fading into "dream". I think this ultimately is just an opinion-based question. – stangdon – 2015-12-10T16:08:12.940

@stangdon Thanks. What about Andy Williams version(most famous)? Moon River - Andy Williams https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_jgIezosVA

– Makoto Kato – 2015-12-10T16:39:38.130

It's unclear to me in Andy Williams' version too. I suspect it's "Oh" there too, but short of asking Andy Williams (who is dead now) or Johnny Mercer (also dead now) I don't think there's any way to know for sure. – stangdon – 2015-12-10T17:45:42.913

@stangdon Frank Sinatra seems to say "Old dream maker". Frank Sinatra - Moon River https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJgGs9WpGt0

– Makoto Kato – 2015-12-10T20:41:12.140

What I hear Ann-Margret sing is "oh, dream..." I also hear that in the Andy Williams version. But in one version Williams sings "You dream..." Sinatra sounds like "Old dream maker." In the very first version, by Audrey Hepburn in the movie 'Breakfast at Tiffany's', I always thought it was "oh" but it is possible she is singing "ol- dream... (so, in effect, "Old..."). Elton John almost definitely is singing "oh" in his version. In the book The complete lyrics of Johnny Mercer published by The Johnny Mercer Foundation, the song lyrics are printed as "Old dream maker". – None – 2015-12-11T07:09:18.533

Judy Garland (her version) sounds like "ohhhh" and not "ollll" or "olllld".

– None – 2015-12-11T07:10:32.100



She sings "Oh, dream maker."

That's the way I hear it. I can see how the ghost of elision, especially since the words are sung, can scare some listeners into thinking it's "old" rather than "oh," but their fears are ungrounded in this case.

She looks pretty cool in those photographs, too.


Posted 2015-12-10T04:58:48.260

Reputation: 2 828

Please [edit] to include an explanation of why this is correct; answers without explanation do not teach the patterns of the language well. – Nathan Tuggy – 2015-12-10T23:29:43.897

@NathanTuggy: Okay. – Ricky – 2015-12-10T23:47:26.437