I’m here to share with you my top 3 heart-melting songs from musicals I grew to love. Come and revisit the 1900’s with me!
1. He’ll always need your love, and so he’ll get your love.
This is Lady Thiang, the Emperor’s first wife, singing Something Wonderful to Ms. Anna Leonowens in the 1956 movie adaptation The King And I. Ms. Anna, having been disgruntled by the quirks of the Emperor, wanted to leave and head back to America. Lady Thiang went to Ms. Anna, begged her to stay, and sang to her about loving an imperfect man who merits her love because of the good he possesses, however small or meager.
“This is a man you’ll forgive and forgive, and help protect, as long as you live. He will not always say what you would have him say, but now and then he’ll say something wonderful… A man who needs your love can be wonderful.”
I always thought Lady Thiang was crazy. But now looking back, I realize maybe I was crazy for thinking she was. For one cannot say she has genuinely loved until she has learned to embrace the imperfections as well as the perfections of the person she claims she loves.
Listen: 3:02 mins!
2. Her joys, her woes, her highs, her lows, are second nature to me now.
Meet bitter ol’ Professor Higgins from My Fair Lady of 1964! This particular song, I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face, gets me every time. It’s a scene of him walking alone to his house, after hearing the news from Eliza Doolittle that she was getting married to an English socialite named Freddie. In this song he swings back and forth hurt and angry to a man in slow but painful realization of Eliza’s importance to him.
“Damn! Damn! Damn! I’ve grown accustomed to her face… I was serenely independent and content before we met; surely I could always be that way again- and yet I’ve grown accustomed to her look; accustomed to her voice; accustomed to her face.”
It’s almost amusing — not in a mocking way — how some people (including me at times) realize the importance of a beloved once he or she has walked out the door; and how proud we are to admit to no one else but only to ourselves how much we need that beloved in our lives.
Watch: 7:25 mins!
3. I should have had the whirl to change into a girl, to learn the way the creatures think!
“What’s wrong Jenny, where are you these days?” King Arthur of Camelot (1965) whispers to himself as he baffles his thoughts about Guinevere, his wife and queen. Here he sings and reminisces about a conversation he had with his warlock teacher, Merlin, about matters on How To Handle A Woman.
“How to handle a woman? There’s a way,” said the wise old man, “A way known by ev’ry woman since the whole rigmarole began.”
“Do I flatter her?” I begged him answer. “Do I threaten or cajole or plead? Do I brood or play the gay romancer?”
Said he, smiling: “No indeed. How to handle a woman? Mark me well, I will tell you, sir: The way to handle a woman is to love her…simply love her… Merely love her…love her…love her.”
Their story did not end on a happy note. But when you look closely into the highs and most especially into the lulls of their time together, you know for a fact that King Arthur loved his wife through and through — even though he barely understood her.
Watch: 4:18 mins!
How about you, do you have a favorite musical song? :)