Johnny Schaefer

Track 15: Mashup: Row, Row/Moon River

Mashup:  Row, Row/Moon River-Music by Henry Mancinci, lyrics by Johnny Mercer-I've always thought Row. Row, Row Your Boat was actually a profound song.  No song stays around as long as it has if there isn't something to it and I think the "Life is but a dream" line brings colors the rowing, if that makes sense.  I am not alone in my admiration for the song, as certain late night talk show hosts have also touted the ditty.  So when I entertained the notion of recording it, I felt like it needed something.  One day I was watching TV and the Moon River connection popped into my brain.  I played with it for about a month and finally set to writing it down.  I realized it was a bit different when I started Row, Row out in 3/4 time instead of 4/4, but then shifted toward the transition to Moon River.  Then I realized I was doing Moon River in 4/4 when it is usually done in 3/4.  That is definitely how I felt it, though, so I finished writing it all down.  I decided to make a very intimate recording of the song with just voice and harp. After referrals to some excellent classical harpists fell through because the players were unwilling to improvise, an internet search produced Carol Robbins, a splendid jazz harpist.   I think when she first saw my manuscript with the strange meters and such she thought she was dealing with a guy who couldn't notate music very well, but once we got into it she quickly got what I was trying to do.  We had such fun putting it together and I absolutely adore what she has done.  An added bonus is that Carol's husband Buddy Halligan is Sound Engineer at the USC School of the Cinematic Arts and so we were able to record on the soundstage there.  What a thrill!  Watch for a breathtaking video by filmmaker Burt Sun soon.

Mashup:  Row, Row/Moon River

Row, Row, Row your boat

gently down the stream

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily

Life is but...but a dream

On Moon River

Wider than a mile

I'm crossin' in style one day!

You dream maker

you heart breaker

Wherever you're goin'

I'm goin' your way...

Two drifters

Off to see the world

There's such a lot of world to see

We're after that same rainbow's end

it's just around the bend

My huckleberry friend

On Moon River

Life is but...but a dream

So we row...row...row...row...row...

©1961 Sony/ATV Music Publishing

(I was born in 1961)

Row, Row, Row Your Boat is an English folksong with an unknown composer