April 2014: Right season for a show tune

Spring is in the air, flowers are in bloom and thoughts take you back to young love, or at least that is what happened the other day when visiting with a friend of mine. I asked if he remembered any particular songs when he thought of spring. His thoughts took him to setting sail for the South Pacific in World War II and leaving behind a young bride. It seemed natural he identified a song he enjoyed from the musical “South Pacific,” written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II in 1949.

Click here to hear “Younger Than Springtime”

“Younger than springtime, are you
Softer than starlight, are you,
Warmer than winds of June,
Are the gentle lips you gave me.
Gayer than laughter, are you,
Sweeter than music, are you,
Angel and lover, heaven and earth,
Are you to me.”

Nothing was harder than going off to war and leaving a young bride behind. He was happy to serve his country, yet nothing quite compares to young love. Just hearing this show tune melted away the years and losses and took him back to an earlier, more innocent time.
I asked how long they were married, and he replied, “Sixty years, and we were just starting to get to know each other.”
What a lovely sentiment. It gives me hope that I can someday hear an old familiar song and be taken back to a younger time of love and innocence, as if it were today. My friend doesn’t look in the mirror and see an 88-year-old man. He still sees a young sailor, recently wed to the love of his life, eager for life’s adventures.
Perhaps that is the gift of music and age. We can transport ourselves to other times with a melody and a great memory.

“And when your youth
And joy invade my arms,
And fill my heart as now they do,
Then younger than springtime, am I,
Gayer than laughter, am I,
Angel and lover, heaven and earth,
Am I with you!”

Share your musical memories with Pollard by emailing jenniferp@aoscaremanagement.com.