Category Archives: War Tunes

Movie Music Monday, Wartime Classic, WW2, Begin the Beguine, Happy New Year via @PatFurstenberg #HappyNewYear #ww2 #moviemusicmonday

A most beloved war-time classic song, Begin the Beguine was composed by Cole Porter in 1935, turned into a swing by Artie Shaw and band and made famous by Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell. Their legendary tap dance in the movie Broadway Melody surely caught on.

Begin the Beguine  by Cole Porter – lyrics

“When they begin the beguine
It brings back the sound of music so tender,
It brings back a night of tropical splendor,
It brings back a memory ever green.I’m with you once more under the stars,
And down by the shore an orchestra’s playing
And even the palms seem to be swaying
When they begin the beguine.To live it again is past all endeavor,
Except when that tune clutches my heart,
And there we are, swearing to love forever,
And promising never, never to part.What moments divine, what rapture serene,
Till clouds came along to disperse the joys we had tasted,
And now when I hear people curse the chance that was wasted,
I know but too well what they mean;So don’t let them begin the beguine
Let the love that was once a fire remain an ember;
Let it sleep like the dead desire I only remember
When they begin the beguine.Oh yes, let them begin the beguine, make them play
Till the stars that were there before return above you,
Till you whisper to me once more,
“Darling, I love you!”
And we suddenly know, what heaven we’re in,
When they begin the beguine”

Songwriters: Cole PorterBegin the Beguine lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Memory Lane Music Group (Domestic)

Song lyrics and movie clip are property and copyright of their owners and are provided for educational purposes and personal use only.

The #MusicMonday meme was created by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek. You can pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I thoroughly enjoyed this blog feature on Mischenko’s lovely blog, ReadRantRockandroll .

What are your thoughts on wartime beloved songs? Do you have a favorite? Let me know in comments below.

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Movie Music Monday, White Christmas, Holiday Inn, 1942, BingCrosby, Fred Astaire via @PatFurstenberg #Christmas #moviemusicmonday

Movie Music Monday, White Christmas, Holiday Inn, 1942, Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire via @PatFurstenberg #Christmas #moviemusicmonday

I can never resist the romantic glamour of 1940’s-1950’s Hollywood musicals and its Golden Era in general. The fabulous musicals produced then still offer a generous amount of escapism. Be it Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Humphey Bogart, Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, I’m sold!

Holiday Inn is a movie filled with romance, music, gentleman-like manners, dance, dance, dance and fabulous gowns!

Here are Bing Cosby and lovely Virginia Dale in one of the most memorable and enchanting rendition of White Christmas:

Do you know the story behind the White Christmas song?

White Christmas is the most popular Christmas song ever written.

The lyrics to the song were created by Irving Berlin (1880-1989), born Israel Baline in Tyumen, Siberia (definitely knew a thing or two about what a real white Christmas looks like!). Irving, together with seven siblings and parents, emigrated to the US in 1893. Everybody had to work to make ends meet. After the death of his father Israel, 21 years of age, took a job as a “song plugger” (performing new songs in saloons, vaudeville theaters or on street corners). This experience proved invaluable and Berlin learned first hand what the audience and the what audience enjoyed the most music-wise.

The first draft of White Christmas was probably drawn in California but it was finished in Berlin’s weekend house in New York at the very beginning of 1940 and it soon to be performed in the musical Holiday Inn and performed by Bing Crosby.

History, however, had other plans.

On December 7 1941 Japan bombed the American port Pearl Harbor. Americans counter-attacked. War was on and that December 1941 the lyrics of White Christmas suddenly had a whole different meaning to the soldiers that left for war overseas and the families left behind:

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know”

That year, 1941, White Christmas was performed on the radio as early as October, by popular demand.

To honor the spirit of those left to war and who took strength from listening to his son, Berlin removed a few humorous verse:

“The sun is shining, the grass is green
The orange and palm trees sway
There’s never been such a day
In Beverly Hills, L. A.
But it’s December the 24th
And I am longing to be up north….”

In 1975, the final evacuation of Saigon was signaled by the song “White Christmas”

After almost twenty years of Vietnam War, Americans set their evacuation plan, needing to pull out 1000 Americans and 6ooo Vietnamese whose lives were at risk if left behind. The evacuation code was, read on Armed Force Radio: “The temperature in Saigon is 105 degrees and rising,”  followed by the playing of “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”

Here are Bing Crosby’s White Christmas lyrics:

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.
I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten and children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.
I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white.
I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,
Just like the ones I used to know
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white.
I’m dreaming of a white Christmas,
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white.
And may all your Christmases be white (all your Christmases be white)
And may all your Christmases be white (all your Christmases be white)
And may all your Christmases be
(All your Christmases be white)
(All your Christmases be white)”

“White Christmas” lyrics and movie clip are property and copyright of their owners. “Holiday Inn” movie clip is provided for educational purposes and personal use only.

The #MusicMonday meme was created by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek. You can pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I thoroughly enjoyed this blog feature on Mischenko’s lovely blog, ReadRantRockandroll .

What are your thoughts on White Christmas? Have you watched it yet? If not, December is a good month to watch a romantic musical!

Let me know in comments below.


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Movie Music Monday, Hanover Street, John Barry, Harrison Ford, Lesley-Anne Down via @PatFurstenberg #HanoverStreet #JohnBarry #HarrisonFord #WW2 #moviemusicmonday

Movie Music Monday, “Hanover Street”, music by John Barry, with Harrison Ford and Lesley-Anne Down via @PatFurstenberg #HanoverStreet #WW2 #moviemusicmonday

Hanover Street tells the story of a British nurse (Lesley-Ann Down) during WW2, married to a spy (Christopher Plummer) and falling in love with an American pilot (Harrison Ford). Perhaps this is one of the most fitting movies for a score by John Barry; heartfelt, sensitive and with a dash of melancholy, but also hope, just right for a war movie.

Hanover Street poster-source imdb
Hanover Street poster-source imdb

I guess John Barry’s style, never rushed, preparing the listener for what is to come, goes well with the 40’s war and love movie theme of Hanover Street.

Hanover Street was made almost 40 years ago; Harrison Ford was between shooting Star Wars movies, Lesley-Ann Down before North and South and Christopher Plummer somewhere between Jesus of Nazareth and The Thorn Birds.

Listen below to the main theme and the lovely intro that sets out the characters so well! I wish it was based on a book! Writer and director was Peter Hyams.

Here are some of my favorite quotes. I love British humor.

On English tea:

David Halloran: You people actually drink this stuff?
Margaret Sellinger: No we just like to put it in our cups and stare at it.
David Halloran: Tastes too much like, boiled water.
Margaret Sellinger: It is boiled water.
David Halloran: I knew there was a reason.

On fighting the war against the Germans:

2nd Lt. Jerry Cimino: Hey they’re shooting at us. How come every time we fly over they shoot guns at us?
David Halloran: Because we drop bombs on them.
2nd Lt. Jerry Cimino: They have no sense of humor. Can’t you guys take a joke?

Hanover Street Harrison Ford Christopher Plummer-source imdb
Hanover Street Harrison Ford Christopher Plummer-source imdb

On trying to prove to a French country woman, in the middle of World War Two, that you are actually an American soldier dressed in a German uniform for camouflage:

Paul Sellinger: C’est vrai. Je suis Anglais. Vraiment! Do you think you could give me a hand here? She’s going to kill me, she thinks I’m German.
David Halloran: I wonder why she thinks you’re German? Eh, Betty Grable. Hershey bars. Yankee Stadium. Hello, Joe.

You can’t love a WW2 airplane! Here is The Browning M2 Aircraft heavy machine gun that appears in the film as the primary armament of the B-25 Mitchell bomber flown by Lieutenant David Halloran (Harrison Ford)-source imfdb.org

Hanover Street-The Browning M2 Aircraft heavy machine gun appears in the film as the primary armament of the B-25 Mitchell bomber flown by Lieutenant David Halloran (Harrison Ford)-source imfdb.org

Harrison Fordm in the pilot seat of the B-25 Mitchell bomber. You can see the pilot’s and air-crew’s names written on the plane:

Hanover Street - The Browning M2 is seen mounted in the nose.source imfdb.org
Hanover Street – The Browning M2 machine gun is seen mounted in the nose.source imfdb.org

 

The North American B-25, first flown in August 1940. It was named after  General William Mitchell (1879-1936), who commanded U.S. air forces in Europe during the First World War.

North American B-25 Mitchell in flight-source aircraft-in-focus
North American B-25 Mitchell in flight-source aircraft-in-focus

“Hanover Street” quotes are property and copyright of their owners. “Hanover Street” movie clip is provided for educational purposes and personal use only.

The #MusicMonday meme was created by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek. You can pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I thoroughly enjoyed this blog feature on Mischenko’s lovely blog, ReadRantRockandroll .

What are your thoughts on Hanover Street? Have you watched it yet? If not, December is a good month to watch a romantic war movie with breathtaking music.

Let me know in comments below.

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