Smorgasbord Music Column – Songs from the Movies – South Pacific – Younger than Springtime and Bali Hai

This week I have chosen a song from ‘South Pacific’ which is a musical that I watched for the first time through the a slightly ajar lounge door when I was ten years old. Yes there is a story behind this!

When we lived in Cape Town, my father was stationed at the Royal Naval base at Simon’s Town . In addition to his duties in communications and weaponry..he was also the station film officer, making sure that there was a steady supply of entertainment for both those living on the station and the families who lived off base. This included the Saturday kids club which my brother and I would be taken too each week and also enabled my father to bring home certain films to show friends and neighbours after Saturday night dinner parties.

We where sent to bed with promises of left overs for breakfast… a treat not to be missed, especially when it was some of my mother’s strawberry shortcake dessert. However, I loved movies and as soon as the guests were settled, and I heard the projector whirring in the background, I would creep up the darkened corridor and sit with my back to the front door watching the screen that had been erected at the far end of the room through the slightly opened lounge door. In those days most people smoked and some ventilation was required.

My parents love musicals as well as Hitchcock thrillers, so I did see some films that were not always PG… but South Pacific was one I immediately fell in love with.  Luckily for me, the guest W.C was through the dining room and next to the kitchen, which meant I was largely undisturbed in my lookout.

I have seen the film many times since and when my mother became more forgetful, we would enjoy a good sing along and reminisce about those fun days. There is one song that is guaranteed to get the tears flowing, and that is Younger than Springtime, and I had a crush on Lieutenant Cable (John Kerr) for many years…I did not know, nor care that his voice was actually dubbed by Bill Lee of the The Mellomen

South Pacific is a 1958 American romantic musical film based on the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific, which in turn is based on James A. Michener’s short-story collection Tales of the South Pacific. The film, directed by Joshua Logan, stars Rossano Brazzi, Mitzi Gaynor, John Kerr and Ray Walston in the leading roles with Juanita Hall as Bloody Mary, the part that she had played in the original stage production. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards, winning the Academy Award for Best Sound for Fred Hynes. Wikipedia

Here is Younger than Springtime…sung by one of my favourite actors and tenors – Julian Ovenden with the John Wilson Orchestra

And here is one of the fun clips and songs from the movie… with Mitzi Gaynor.. I’m Gonna Wash that Man right out of my hair…thanks to Rodgers & Hammerstein

You can buy or rent South Pacific: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

I hope you have enjoyed this musical interlude and more in a couple of weeks….thanks Sally.