Mini-Rumination: Song Lyric Quandary

Moon River, wider than a mile,
I’m crossing you in style some day.
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker,
wherever you’re going I’m going your way.
Two drifters off to see the world.
There’s such a lot of world to see.
We’re after the same rainbow’s end–
waiting ’round the bend,
my huckleberry friend,
Moon Ri…

Wait a minute:  what in the world is a “huckleberry friend”?

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  • Peaches Shimmerdeep  On January 1, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Ask and you shall receive, grasshoppah–my hunch and ‘confirmed’ on (time to waste on my hands today…loving it):

    The voice in the song and his or her “huckleberry friend” are two “dreamers off to see the world” by floating along “Moon River”—either literally or figuratively. So, the first answerer’s reference to Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer is clearly correct. Could “Moon River” be the Mississippi?

    More colloquially, the term “huckleberry” has come to be used, in the Eastern US courtesy of the late Phil Rizzuto, to describe, in a non-pejorative way, a coworker or colleague who does or says something foolish.

    A “huckleberry friend”, then, is a sort of simple, naive co-adventurer of the type that looks for the pot of gold at the “rainbow’s end”.

  • foureyedcurmudgeon  On January 1, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    The Curmudgeon appreciates Ms. Shimmerdeep’s etymological spade work. He performed a similar Google search and found the same result. Further down the screen, though, was a reference to something called “The Urban Dictionary” where, at, it describes a “huckleberry friend” as someone who, well, it involves a word that The Curmudgeon does not use, in polite company or otherwise. Let us just say it refers to a “friend with benefits” or what the kids today call someone with whom they might engage in a “hook-up.” The Curmudgeon suspects that Johnny Mathis did not have this in mind when he sang this lovely tune.

  • Peaches Shimmerdeep  On January 1, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    I think those two descriptions are almost identical.

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