On “Beautiful Dreamer”

Sometimes, the depths of my ignorance surprise me.

In this instance, the song “Beautiful Dreamer” by Stephen Foster.

Like, doubtless, a good many people, I knew it from Danny Elfman’s Batman score; he used the melody as the Joker’s “love theme” for Vicki Vale.

And I’ve been known to whistle it or hum it in the nearly twenty years since Tim Burton’s Batman film hit theaters.

But until today, I had no idea that it was a song with lyrics. I thought it was entirely an instrumental. A melody that lovely, it didn’t need words.

So, when I found a Beatles recording of “Beautiful Dreamer” that they had recorded for the BBC. And I was expecting an instrumental. I certainly wasn’t expecting to hear Paul McCartney’s voice.

And I much prefer the song as an instrumental. The lyrics simply don’t work for me. Even if they were written back in the early 1860s.

The things I don’t know; sometimes they shock even me… 😆

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