- The Impossible Dream (The Quest)
"The Impossible Dream (The Quest)" is a popular song composed by Mitch Leigh, with lyrics written by Joe Darion. It was written for the 1965 musical Man of La Mancha. It is the main song from the musical and became its most popular hit.
The song is sung all the way through once in the musical by Don Quixote as he stands vigil over his armor, in response to Aldonza (Dulcinea)'s question about what he means by "following the quest". It is reprised partially three more times—the last by prisoners in a dungeon as Miguel de Cervantes and his manservant mount the drawbridge-like prison staircase to face trial by the Spanish Inquisition.
In popular culture
In 2005, a two-minute-long television advertisement for Honda used the Andy Williams recording as a soundtrack. It was named "Television Advertisement of the Year" in the British Television Advertising Awards.
As a fitting tribute, the song was recently adopted as Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. official football anthem tune in their quest for the English Premier League which helped them reach promotion on 18 April 2009.
The song is also spoofed by British comedian John Cleese as part of his December 1977 appearance on The Muppet Show. For the show's closing number, as the opening chords of The Impossible Dream play in the background, Kermit the Frog introduces a rather bewildered Cleese - who immediately demands to speak with Kermit. Cleese then tells the frog that he refuses to sing old show tunes. Kermit apologizes and a few seconds later, the curtain reopens, this time with Cleese dressed as a Viking, as Sweetums attempts to duet with him in Wagnerian opera. Cleese isn't thrilled with this either,so they try putting him in a Mexican maraca solo costume. When Cleese tells Kermit that "there's no way I'll do a song", the pigs and monsters he didn't want to work with are brought out on stage.
JOHN: You were supposed to be my host. How could you do this to me? Kermit - I am your guest!
CAST: (singing to "Impossible Dream") This is your guest - To follow that star...
The Pinky and the Brain episode "Mouse of la Mancha" parodies the entire play affectionately, and Richard Stone's re-working of the song features heavily, re-titled "(To Scheme) The Improbable Scheme".
During Robert Kennedy's long shot campaign for the presidency in 1968 George McGovern introduced him before a South Dakota stump speech by quoting from The Impossible Dream. Afterwards Kennedy questioned whether McGovern thought it was impossible, McGovern said "No I don't think it's impossible. I just...wanted the audience to understand it's worth making the effort - whether you win or lose." Kennedy replied, "well, that's what I think."  Andy Williams who covered the song was a close friend of Robert Kennedy. The song was a favourite of younger brother Ted Kennedy and was performed by Brian Stokes Mitchell at his memorial service in 2009.
Recordings and live versions
- Ronan Tynan
- Richard Kiley (on the original Broadway cast album of Man of La Mancha)
- Roy Hamilton (1966)
- Simon Gilbert (provided the singing voice for Peter O'Toole in the 1972 film adaptation of the play, and on the soundtrack album)
- Diana Ross and the Supremes
- Keith Michell (on the 2-LP London cast album of the show)
- Robert Goulet (on the album collection Robert Goulet on Broadway)
- Cher (on the album Backstage)
- Ed Ames ((on 2 known LPs "More I Cannot Wish You" 1966 RCA LSP-3636 (stereo)/LPM-3636 (mono) & "The Best of Ed Ames" 1969 RCA LSP-4184 (stereo))
- Glenn Campbell (on a Capitol 45 RPM single, 20 Greatest Hits)
- Tom Jones
- Jack Jones (with altered lyrics); this version hit number thirty-five the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and went to number one on the U.S. adult contemporary chart in 1966 .
- The Imperials (on the album New Dimensions (1968))
- Andy Williams (which was lip-synched by actor Simon Paisley Day on the Honda advert Impossible Dream)
- Gordon MacRae
- Elvis Presley (on his album Elvis as Recorded at Madison Square Garden) (Recorded June 10. 1972)
- Scott Walker (on his TV series in 1969 and on his album Scott: Scott Walker Sings Songs from his TV Series)
- Johnny Mathis (1969)
- Matt Monro
- The Lettermen
- Roger Whittaker
- Eddie Murphy
- Sergio Franchi on his 1968 RCA Victor album Wine and Song. He also sang it on the September 24, 1966 broadcast of The Hollywood Palace.
- Frank Sinatra (on his 1966 album That's Life)
- Jacques Brel (on the French cast album L'Homme de la Mancha)
- Frida Boccara (on her album Place des Arts `71 Live)
- Maynard Ferguson (instrumental version on his album The Ballad Style of Maynard Ferguson (1972))
- Alex Harvey (title track of the 1974 SAHB album The Impossible Dream
- Carter USM (on their 1992 album 1992 - The Love Album)
- Lena Martell (on her album One Day at a Time - The Ultimate Collection)
- Ron Raines (on the cast recording of the 2000 Covent Garden revival of Man of la Mancha)
- Colm Wilkinson (on his album Stage Heroes)
- Plácido Domingo (on the 1996 studio cast recording of Man of la Mancha; also with Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón at the Berlin Concert: Live from the Waldbühne (2006), but not included on the DVD issued by Deutsche Grammophon)
- Jaime Morey
- The Temptations (on their 1967 album The Temptations in a Mellow Mood)
- Anthony Warlow (on his 1990 album Centre Stage)
- Sarah Connor (on her 2007 album Soulicious)
- Rolando Villazón
- The Vogues (on their album Turn Around, Look At Me)
- Jim Nabors (3 Times: 1) On an album entitled Love Me With All Your Heart; 2) On a 1972 studio cast album of Man of La Mancha; & 3) On the Gomer Pyle TV show.)
- Luther Vandross
- Glen Campbell
- Roberta Flack
- Linda Eder (from Broadway, My Way (2003))
- Brian Stokes Mitchell (on the cast album of the 2002 revival of Man of La Mancha)
- Shirley Bassey
- Gé Korsten (on his 2004 CD The Heart & Soul)
- The Smothers Brothers (on their 1968 album Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour)
- Shani Wallis (on her album As Long As He Needs Me Kapp KS-3573)
- Christopher Lee (on his album Revelation)
- The Mighty Mighty Bosstones (recorded for the 2009 7" Impossible Dream)
- Tevin Campbell (On Rhythm Of The Games 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games Album by LaFace Records)
- The Mormon Tabernacle Choir (with the line "To be willing to march into Hell for a Heavenly cause" replaced with "To be willing to march and beware for a Heavenly cause")
- Rhydian Roberts
- The Carpenters (on the album Carpenters)
- Corey Benjamin Moss (Junior Players - Great Neck North)
- Georg Ots (Estonia Theatre production in Estonian language) 
- Maria Bethânia (Brazilian version)
- Susan Boyle
- Scott Bakula (On Quantum Leap (season 2 episode "Catch A Falling Star") & in 1993 on the TV Series soundtrack).
- Donna Summer Sang this as the encore during her tours from 1987 to 1990. Several clips are on "YouTube".
- Alfio (on his album Classic Rewinds)
- Florence Ballard (On her Album The Supreme Florence Ballard)
- Roy Tugbang
- Il Divo Sang this as their encore number during their 2009 World Tour.
- The Republic Tigers on the iTunes tribute album, His Way, Our Way
- Jennifer Hudson at the NAACP Image Awards
- Brian Stokes Mitchell sang this at the memorial service of Senator Edward M. Kennedy
- Bryn Terfel
- The Republic Tigers
- Joe Longthorne
- Lesley Garrett (On her album Lesley Garrett 1998)
- Donald Braswell II in the 2008 season of America's Got Talent
- Darius Dane. sh and Rolando in the 2010 final of ITV's Popstar to Operastar
- Jane McDonald (On her album Inspiration 2000)
- Mario Frangoulis in 2009 at the Vancouver Peace Summit, Canada
- Mark Vincent (On his album My Dream, Mio Visione 2009)
- Alfie Boe and Matt Lucas as a duet on Boe's album Bring Him Home
- George Foreman Teaser on TV prior to him regaining the heavy-weight boxing title 20 years after he lost it to Muhammad Ali (NBC 1994)
- Jon Cypher on the TV show Major Dad, season 2 episode 19 (February 1991)
- The 465 CT Transit driver on the album, Rain.
- The Molineux Faithful - When Wolverhampton Wanderers were promoted to the Premier League in the 2008/2009 season.
- Jackie Evancho (11 years old)
- Merrill Osmond
- ^ ""Impossible Dream" remembered on Opening Day". 9 April 2007. http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20070409&content_id=1888385&vkey=pr_bos&fext=.jsp&c_id=bos. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
- ^ "John Cleese appearance on the Muppet Show, as cited on Muppet Central Web site". muppetcentral.com. http://www.muppetcentral.com/guides/episodes/tms/season2/47_cleese.shtml. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- ^ a b Schlesinger, Arthur M. (1978;1990). Robert Kennedy And His Times. Ballantyne Books
- ^ "Ted Kennedy's Wake: Farewell to 'Captain Ahab', Time Magazine". Time.com. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1919470,00.html. Retrieved 2011-05-30.
- ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 131.
- ^ http://www.discogs.com/sergio-franchi
- ^ http://www.tv.com
Studio albums Live albums Compilation albums
Rarities Box sets
Boîte à Bonbons
Songs Related articlesJacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris · Man of La Mancha · Covers and Tributes · François Rauber · Barclay Records Studio albums Compilation albums Holiday albums Video releasesA Night to Remember: Pop Meets Classic · Sarah and Marc in Love · Christmas in My Heart Related articles Green Eyed Soul Unbelievable Key to My Soul Naughty but Nice Christmas in My Heart Soulicious Sexy as Hell"Under My Skin" · "I'll Kiss It Away" Real Love"Cold as Ice" · "Real Love" Promotional singles Featured singles"Takin' Back My Love" (with Enrique Iglesias)
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