"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Happy Talk

A recent blog post got me thinking about Rodgers & Hammerstein's classic World-War-II musical "South Pacific" which premiered on Broadway in April of 1949, and remains a popular favorite to this day. (It is currently being staged at Houston's Masquerade Theatre.) Set in the Solomon Islands in 1943, it is the story of a small-town US Navy nurse named Nellie who falls in love with Emile de Becque, a French planter and island resident, and the drama that unfolds as the war's action gets closer. I can remember my parents taking me to see this show at the North Shore Music Theatre near our home in Beverly, Mass. in 1960 when I was about twelve years old. Although I can't recall that it made much of an impression on me at the time, the music has stuck with me through the years. This song was always my favorite:

Some enchanted evening
You may see a stranger,
you may see a stranger
Across a crowded room
And somehow you know,
You know even then
That somewhere you'll see her
Again and again.

Some enchanted evening
Someone may be laughin',
You may hear her laughin'
Across a crowded room
And night after night,
As strange as it seems
The sound of her laughter
Will sing in your dreams.

Who can explain it?
Who can tell you why?
Fools give you reasons,
Wise men never try.

Some enchanted evening
When you find your true love,
When you feel her call you
Across a crowded room,
Then fly to her side,
And make her your own
For all through your life you
May dream all alone.

Once you have found her,
Never let her go.
Once you have found her,
Never let her go!

For some strange reason, I am fond of singing this particular tune in the shower. I assume my deepest baritone voice and belt out "Some enchanted evening, you will see a stranger, across a...." (at this point I take a big slug of water from the shower head into my mouth, and gargle the word...) "crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrow" (spit) "...ded room" ... what can I say? I amuse easily.

Still, I think this song epitomizes the nature of romance. What could be more thrilling than sensing a kindred spirit for the first time in a crowded public place, and knowing that your life will never be the same again? Who can explain how love begins? "Fools give you reasons, wise men never try".

Here's to your romantic nature!

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