Music that Means Something Challenge – Day 1 – Younger than Springtime – South Pacific

Sue Vincent kindly nominated me for this challenge.  Music that Means Something to You which entails posting a song a day with the reasons behind your choice… this might include the lyrics or the style of music or perhaps an event that this piece reminds you of.

To read how it should be done here is Sue’s Day 1 – with the music and profound lyrics of Leonard Cohen.

The rules of the challenge are simple:
Post a song a day for five consecutive days.
Post what the lyrics mean to you. (Optional)
Post the name of the song and a video.
Nominate 1 or 2 bloggers each day of the challenge.

Today I nominate Tina Frisco who is a singer/songwriter who has a wonderful repertoire of music to choose from (I have listened to one of her tapes) and I hope that she will have the time to post if not five then one of two of her musical choices. Tina is hugely supportive of everyone in the community and here is one of her book reviews.

The twist in the challenge is that the lyrics should mean something….

As you can tell from the little wordcloud thingy I have knocked up my taste in music is all over the place. My key words would probably be dancing, dancing and dancing!  I have thousands of tracks now digitised onto my computer and my iPod is never far from my ears. I was probably firmly fixed in the 1970s and 1980s with my music preference but then I started working on radio from 2004 to 2011 and got renergised with current artists. Now I check the top 40 entries regularly and if there is something I like I buy and that seems to be a lot of country music at the moment.

Anyway… luckily for me I had actually posted a musical memory every week for a year which means that I have 52 of my favourite tracks and artists to choose from for this five day challenge.  And the first song that I have chosen is about falling in love for the first time at age 10 and being devastated 90 minutes later.  My first crush was on Lieutenant Cable and here is the background to our love affair.

Younger Than Springtime – 1949 Rogers and Hammerstein from the musical South Pacific

In 1963 shortly after my 10th birthday my father was posted to HMS Afrikander in Simon’s Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

We had an eventful flight from the UK in an RAF transport via Nairobi and Johannesburg before arriving in Cape Town. Because our family quarters were not ready yet we lived in a hotel for about four weeks whilst my brother and I were found schools. In the meantime my mother was introduced to the local culture by the seemingly endless number of divorced ladies who lived in the hotel permanently!

Scan4a Nov 1963 South Africa JM&S

We finally moved into our bungalow in Newlands and settled in for two years of sunshine and in my case learning Afrikaans which was necessary at the local school that I attended.

Apart from his other duties, my father was base film officer. After the weekly showing on base, he would come home with a projector and the current film, for a Sunday night curry party with naval couples who lived around us. We children were sent to bed as usual, but once I heard the sound of the projector being switched on, I would creep to the end of the corridor and sit cross legged watching through the crack in the door left open to ventilate the room. Necessary in those days when everyone smoked!

Although the narrow field of vision was not ideal, it did mean that I was able to watch the films, and during the interval when more drinks were served as my father changed a reel and people would pop in and out of the room, I would scurry back to my bedroom and pretend to be asleep should my mother check on us. As soon as everyone was resettled and the projector switched back on I would return to my position on the floor and resume my viewing.

This weekly film show created a lifelong love of cinema and of all the movies that I watched through the crack in the door one has remained one of my favourite musicals of all time.

South Pacific, music composed by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, had been written for Broadway in 1949 and brought to the screen in 1958. The story was based on Tales of the South Pacific written by James Michener who introduced the world to Bloody Mary, Liat and Bali_ha’i  providing the inspiration to Rodgers and Hammerstein for the musical.

An American nurse Nellie Forbush (Mitzi Gaynor) of the U.S. Navy falls for middle-aged French plantation owner Emile De Becque (Rossano Brazzi) when stationed on a South Pacific island during the Second World War. Apart from their problematic relationship there was also another romantic plot which captured my young imagination and heart. Lieutenant Joe Cable and a beautiful young Tonkinese girl called Liat.

Out of all the wonderful songs in the musical there is one in particular that has always stayed with me. Younger Than Springtime set the gold standard for romance as far as I was concerned as a ten year old and also inspired my first serious crush for the gorgeous Lieutenant Cable!

I still feel a stirring in my heart when I listen to this song over 50 years later and I still cry when I lose Lieutenant Cable an hour later…….

Here is that original version of Younger Than Springtime and I cannot tell you the flood of memories that watching this has brought back.

To give you a longer introduction to the wonderful film score here is a 15 minute video with some of the most iconic songs from the musical and I hope if you have never seen the original film that it will enchant you enough to get hold of a copy. There was a 2001 remake with Glenn Close but to my mind it was not as magical as the original.

Links to buy South Pacific

I am now off to delve into my memories for another four songs that bring me smiles and also tears to my eyes… thanks for joining me in the nostalgia and to Sue for the challenge. Sally



58 thoughts on “Music that Means Something Challenge – Day 1 – Younger than Springtime – South Pacific

  1. Pingback: Music that Means Something Challenge – Day 1 – Younger than Springtime – South Pacific | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  2. I’m off for the day but couldn’t wait to see this post. Isn’t it funny how certain things stick with us and grab our hearts from such a young age? Oh Sal, you and I were little devils when young. My favorite past time was sneaking out of my room to eavesdrop on adult conversation at night. I too was a master, never to be caught. And oh yes I did form romantic delusions watching love story scenes. And don’t get me started on men in uniform. What’s up with that? ❤ ❤ Soul sisters! xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My mom loved show tunes, Sally, and I remember as a little girl watching this musical and singing along at the piano (we had a Rodgers and Hammerstein music book). That song is right up there with one of my first memories of romance. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. You are living proof Sally… there ain’t nothin’ like a dame… nothin’ in this world! Thanks for the timely reminder of this great musical and its great songs. Also the extra memories about your youth… weren’t you in this musical yourself?

    Liked by 2 people

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  13. I love South Pacific and always have to go and see any version of it that crosses my path. I did write about it for a course on musicals I did at Mount Holyoke and managed to get hold of the novel too (fairly different but somewhat the musical was true to the spirit of it). I like all the songs, but There is Nothing like a Dame and I’m gonna wash that man… always make me sing (even the parts well outside my vocal range…)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love South Pacific. Such a lovely story with an incredible collection of songs. I did not even experience South Pacific until 2014. My family was leant the movie by a church friend who knew how much I loved musicals. It has grown on me since that day. “Some Enchanted Evening” is my favorite from the musical

    Liked by 1 person

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