A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes

By Anita Garner

Cinderella was the first movie I ever saw. It was at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California.  My brother and I came out from the Deep South in 1950 to visit our Gramma and attend school while our parents completed a long revival tour.  Daddy was a preacher whose religion taught that movies were sinful and though there were plenty of picture shows where we lived, we drove right past them.   Gramma didn’t hold with his concept of sin so as soon as our parents dropped us off we got our first look inside a movie theatre.

Cinderella wasn’t the movie I’d have chosen that day.  It was Gene Autry I wanted to see up there on the big screen.  I already had my own dream relationship with him through his “Melody Ranch” radio show.  Our family listened every week, then Daddy and Mother strummed his songs on their guitars and we all sang them together. Music from the secular world was embraced in our house but the film versions were banned.

I planned to marry the Singing Cowboy, not so much because of all the ropin’ and the ridin’ and a chance to meet Champion the Wonder Horse, but because of his music. In the car on the way to California Daddy and I sang “Back In The Saddle Again” and he dropped in a little whistling break,  a sign that he really liked a particular song.

Then I saw Cinderella and all that Disney movie music started other thoughts going around in my head, promises we make to ourselves, things like…

“If you can dream it you can do it.”

“Never give up.”

“Just keep trying.”

Years went by and more Disney movies with songs about possibilities  came along.  My 8 year old self was an instant believer but my growing-up self reminded me not everyone has a fairy godmother.

Grownups become goal-oriented.  Most of us do more planning and less dreaming.  But sometimes I hear a certain Disney song and I return for a couple of minutes to a time when a girl in Arkansas believed she could marry the Singing Cowboy and go to the Alex Theatre on Saturday to watch movies that promised everything will be all right.

Click on the picture below if you want to sing along with Cinderella and the tweety birds. According to the counter on this You Tube clip, millions of people already have






Composers: Mack David, Al Hoffman, Jerry Livingston.
Sung by Ilene Woods, who also voiced Cinderella in the movie


6 thoughts on “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes”

  1. One day my Mom was doing dishes with her back to the front door, singing “Some Day My Prince Will Come” in a high falsetto when my little sister let in some missionaries who came to the door. They stood in the living room while she finished her song, then turned around. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her blush deeper. I’m so glad for the talented musicians who write and share their songs.

  2. I love this story, Allison. It’s a blessing to have music in our families, growing up sharing that language.

  3. I had/have had a serious case of Cinderella Syndrome as I call it. I think every little girl in her heart wants her prince to come, sweep her off her feet and treat her like a queen. Very sad that reality isn’t like this. How sweet if it was, but seriously. . . No wonder many of us find solace in romance novels and the Hallmark channel.

  4. Rob, yes! You’ve put your finger on it. We accept reality but it’s nice to visit the dream. Late afternoon coffee and an “everything will be all right movie” are not even guilty pleasures. They’re just pure pleasure.

  5. Roy Rogers was our hero. My brother and sister fought over who got to be Roy so they made up a brother for him named John. We didn’t like Dale Evans because she made Roy all mushy stuff like kissing and hugging. As an adult we moved to So Cal and went to Apple Valley to the Roy Rogers Museum. My children weren’t that impressed but I have to admit I was thrilled to see a life sized statue of Trigger!

  6. I love that your brothers made up a brother for Roy. Daddy liked Roy Rogers because he hung around with the Sons of the Pioneers. We must have been moving around in some of the same circles in Southern California.

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