The Impossible Dream (The Quest).
“The Impossible Dream (The Quest)” is a popular song composed by Mitch Leigh, with lyrics written by Joe Darion. The song is the most popular song from the 1965 Broadway musical Man of La Mancha and is also featured in the 1972 film of the same name starring Peter O'Toole.
The complete song is first sung 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.
It was awarded the Contemporary Classics Award from the Songwriter's Hall of Fame.
1965: Richard Kiley on the original Broadway cast album of Man of La Mancha
1966: Ed Ames on his album More I Cannot Wish You
1968: Sergio Franchi on his album Wine and Song
1966: Jack Jones (with altered lyrics) on his album The Impossible Dream
1966: Frank Sinatra on his album That's Life
1966: Jim Nabors on his album Love Me With All Your Heart, and performed on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., in the episode “The Show Must Go On”
1967: The Temptations on the album The Temptations in a Mellow Mood
1967: Shirley Bassey on her album And We Were Lovers
1967: Robert Goulet on his album More Great Songs From the Big Hit Shows: Robert Goulet On Broadway, Volume 2
1967: Matt Monro on his album Invitation to Broadway
1967: Brazilian singer Ronaldo Reys did a Portuguese translation titled Sonho Impossível, which was later covered by several Brazilian artists
1968: Roger Williams on his album More Than a Miracle
1968: The Hesitations on their album Where We're At!
1968: The Imperials on their album New Dimensions
1968: Andre Kostelanetz on his album For the Young at Heart
1968: Jacques Brel (in the French translation titled (“La Quête”) on his album L'Homme de la Mancha
1968: The Vogues on their album Turn Around, Look at Me
1968: Glen Campbell on his album Hey Little One
1968: Andy Williams on his album Honey
1968: Cher on her album Backstage
1968: The Smothers Brothers on their album Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
1969: Roger Whittaker on his album This is Roger Whittaker
1969: Scott Walker on his album Scott: Scott Walker Sings Songs from his TV Series
1969: Liberace on his album I Play Piano and Sing (Volume Two)
1969: Shani Wallis on her album As Long as He Needs Me
1970: Roberta Flack on her album Chapter Two
1971: Malcolm Roberts on his album Sounds Like Malcolm Roberts
1972: Elvis Presley on his album Elvis as Recorded at Madison Square Garden
1972: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Columbia Symphony Orchestra on the album Climb Every Mountain
1974: Ken Boothe on his album Everything I Own
1974: The Sensational Alex Harvey Band on their album The Impossible Dream
1984: Albertina Walker and the Christ Universal Temple Ensemble on the album The Impossible Dream
1989: Scott Bakula as Sam Beckett in Quantum Leap
1992: Carter USM on their album 1992 – The Love Album
1994: Luther Vandross on his album Songs
1995: Roger Whittaker on his album On Broadway
1996: Tevin Campbell on the compilation album Rhythm of the Games: 1996 Olympic Games Album
2000: Jose Carreras on the compilation album Tonight - Hits from the Musicals
2001: Florence Ballard on her album The Supreme Florence Ballard
2002: Brian Stokes Mitchell on the Broadway revival cast album of Man of La Mancha
2003: Linda Eder on her album Broadway My Way
2005: Aretha Franklin performed the song at the funeral of civil rights activist Rosa Parks
2006: Andy Abraham on his debut album The Impossible Dream
2006: Johnny Hallyday in the French translation titled La Quête on the live albums Flashback Tour : Palais des sports 2006 and La Cigale : 12-17 décembre 2006
2007: Christopher Lee on his album Revelation
2007: Sarah Connor on her album Soulicious
2008: Rhydian Roberts on his debut album Rhydian
2009: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones recorded for the 7“ Impossible Dream
2009: The Republic Tigers on the iTunes tribute album, His Way, Our Way
2010: Alfie Boe on his album Bring Him Home, duet with Matt Lucas
2011: Jackie Evancho on her album Dream With Me Deluxe edition
2014: Susan Boyle on her album Hope
2015: Gerphil Flores sang the operatic version of the song as a contest piece for the grand finals of the inaugural season of Asia's Got Talent which put her on third place
2016: Ramon Jacinto on his first ballad album Romancing RJ
2016: Cynthia Erivo performed the song at the 2016 Kennedy Center Honors
2017: Jason Manford on his debut album A Different Stage
2018: Sean Christopher for a French commercial to Disneyland Paris
2018: Martin Sheen performed the song on Netflix's show Grace and Frankie S05E12
2019: Jennifer Hudson performed the song on an episode of The Voice UK.
2019: The song was featured in a trailer for the movie John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum.
2020: Nazi character Travis, Greg Austin (actor) during shootout in Hunters (2020 TV series) produced by Jordan Peele
During Robert F. Kennedy's long shot campaign for the presidency in 1968, Senator George McGovern introduced him before a South Dakota stump speech by quoting from “The Impossible Dream”. Afterwards Kennedy questioned McGovern whether he really thought it was impossible. McGovern replied, “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.” It was actually Robert Kennedy's favorite song. One of Kennedy's close friends, Andy Williams, was one of many vocal artists of the Sixties that recorded the song. The song was also a favorite of younger brother Ted Kennedy and was performed by Brian Stokes Mitchell at his memorial service in 2009.
The song was a favorite of Philippine hero Evelio Javier, the assassinated governor of the province of Antique in the Philippines, and the song has become a symbol of his sacrifice for democracy. Javier was shot and killed in the plaza of San Jose, Antique during the counting following the 1986 Snap Elections, an act which contributed to the peaceful overthrow of Ferdinand Marcos by Cory Aquino in the People Power Revolution. Every year, Javier is remembered on Evelio Javier Day and the song is featured. The song's lyrics are written in brass on a monument in the plaza where he was shot.