Brooklyn in Love and at War

History of World War Two Told Through Letters

A Musical Interlude from South Pacific

I wouldn’t say that I’m big into musicals but I recently went to see South Pacific with my mom. The story line was just too relavent to this blog to ignore. So today we are going to just look at some lyrics from this 1949 production. For those of you who are unfamiliar (out comes the generational divide) the story is about people stationed in the South Pacific during World War II. It addresses love, race, and being far from everything you know.  I thought it was in my head but it is a consensus that Enzio Pinza singing in the original production makes us all think of my grandpa Alex, who – with his large build, thick accent, and deep voice – could fool anyone into believing he was an opera singer. (Once he fell down the stairs at the Metropolitan Opera House while pretending to be an opera singer)!

My Girl Back Home:

“My Girl Back Home
I almost forgot
A blue eyed kid
I liked her a lot
We got engaged both families were glad
and I was told by my uncle and dad
that if I was clever and able
they’d make me a part of the partnership

How far away
Philadelphia P.A
Princeton N.J.
How far are they?

From Coconut palms
and banyan trees
and coral sands
and Tonkinese”

There’s Nothin’ Like a Dame:

Sailors, Seabees and Marines:
We got sunlight on the sand,
We got moonlight on the sea,
We got mangoes and bananas
You can pick right off the tree,
We got volleyball and ping-pong
And a lot of dandy games!
What ain’t we got?
We ain’t got dames!

We get packages from home,
We get movies, we get shows,
We get speeches from our skipper
And advice from Tokyo Rose,
We get letters doused with perfume
We get dizzy from the smell!
What don’t we get?
You know darn well!

We have nothin’ to put on a clean white suit for
What we need is what there ain’t no substitute for…

There is nothin’ like a dame,
Nothin’ in the world,
There is nothin’ you can name
That is anythin’ like a dame!

You’ve Got to be Taught:

You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear
You’ve got to be taught
From year to Year
It’s got to be drummed
in your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught

You’ve got to be taught
To be Afraid
Of people whose eyes
are oddly made
And people whose skin
Is a different shade
You’ve got to be carefully taught

You’ve got to be taught
Before it’s too late
Before you are 6 or 7 or 8
To hate all the people
your relatives hate
You’ve got to be carefully taught

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This entry was posted on September 17, 2010 by in Uncategorized.
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