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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,

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  • 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. Dec 10 '15 at 5:58
  • 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 Dec 10 '15 at 16:08
  • @stangdon Thanks. What about Andy Williams version(most famous)? Moon River - Andy Williams youtube.com/watch?v=L_jgIezosVA – Makoto Kato Dec 10 '15 at 16:39
  • 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 Dec 10 '15 at 17:45
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    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". – user20792 Dec 11 '15 at 7:09
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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.

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  • 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 Dec 10 '15 at 23:29
  • @NathanTuggy: Okay. – Ricky Dec 10 '15 at 23:47

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