The Impossible Dream (The Quest)

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

The song is strongly associated with the 1967 Boston Red Sox, as their pennant-winning season was popularly dubbed "The Impossible Dream." [1]

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." [3] Andy Williams who covered the song was a close friend of Robert Kennedy.[3] The song was a favourite of younger brother Ted Kennedy and was performed by Brian Stokes Mitchell at his memorial service in 2009.[4]

Recordings and live versions


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