Friday, April 30, 2010

The Lusty Month of May

I've been waiting all year to post this:

I wish I could find a clip from the actual production. You can see Vanessa Redgrave do a much more seductive version if you like.

The musical Camelot, and more largely, the Arthurian legend, is one of my very favorite romances in the same way that Gone With The Wind is. I do not care that there is no HEA, I do not care about the ways in which either does not follow genre protocol. I just love them.

I'm using May Day as an excuse to kick of a week or so's worth of Arthurian related posts, which I'll cap off with a Bookworm Carnival roundup the week of May 10.

Today though, I just wanted to post about this song. As a kid, I was thrilled-- in a relatively innocent way-- by how it celebrated misbehavior, amorous or not. Of course, the lyrics also foreshadow the tragic ending: It's time to do/A wretched thing or two/And try to make each precious day/One you'll always rue but it sounds so merry and joyful that you just don't think the consequences could be serious... until they are.

Tra la! It's May!
The lusty month of May!
That lovely month when ev'ryone goes
Blissfully astray.
Tra la! It's here!
That shocking time of year
When tons of wicked little thoughts
Merrily appear!
It's May! It's May!
That gorgeous holiday
When ev'ry maiden prays that her lad
Will be a cad!

It's mad! It's gay!
A libelous display!
Those dreary vows that ev'ryone takes,
Ev'ryone breaks.
Ev'ryone makes divine mistakes
The lusty month of May!

Whence this fragrance wafting through the air?
What sweet feelings does its scent transmute?
Whence this perfume floating ev'rywhere?
Don't you know it's that dear forbidden fruit!
Tra la la la la! That dear forbidden fruit!
Tra la la la la!

Tra la! It's May!
The lusty month of May!
That darling month when ev'ryone throws
Self-control away.
It's time to do
A wretched thing or two,
And try to make each precious day
One you'll always rue!
It's May! It's May!
The month of "yes you may,"
The time for ev'ry frivolous whim,
Proper or "im."

It's wild! It's gay!
A blot in ev'ry way.
The birds and bees with all of their vast
Amorous past
Gaze at the human race aghast,
The lusty month of May.


When all the world is brimming with fun,
Wholesome or "un."


(I snipped out some of the more repetitious lines)

So anyway, I encourage you to enjoy the springtime, if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, and to revel in a little romance - a genre that celebrates love and life and lust

Just watch it on the wretched acts, 'kay? Let's try not to bring down western civilization as we know it.


Got some thoughts on Arthurian fiction? Post 'em before 5/6 and email me the link, OR check with me about guest posting. nicola327 AT hotmail DOT com.


Cherry said...

A few years back I was into "arthurian anything" in my reading interests phases. I think it was when I was reading Angela Knight's Mageverse series. I think the books in that series will fit this blog post like a glove :)

Nicola O. said...

Nice! Will you do a write up for me? I read one of the short stories in that series but none of the full length books.

Joanna Chambers said...

Ooooh lovely. I'll enjoy a bit of 'Arfur. And May is possibly my favourite month. I got married in May because I just love cherry blossom.

Kerry said...

I loved that version of the song. There were some simply gorgeous pictures of Julie Andrews there that I'd never seen before.

I haven't read much Arthurian stuff in a while, but I've always loved it. I look forward to seeing what you write about.

Angiegirl said...

Oh, thank you for those pics. I hadn't seen many of them. And I am always up for a month of all things Arthurian! Will try to work up a post for the carnival. :)

Phyl said...

Wonderful wonderful! And belated Happy May Day!

I'm so glad you posted the Julie Andrews song! Someone on another forum posted the Vanessa Redgrave version yesterday, and while I like it, for me it's not the "real" version.

I grew up with the broadway soundtrack with Julie Andrews, Richard Burton, and Robert Goulet. And when I got my first CD player, that CD was almost the first thing I bought to play on it. I still get all weepy and get goosebumps from the story as it was portrayed on that soundtrack. Roddy McDowell as Mordred -- shudder!

I have a million thoughts about the Arthurian story -- and probably no time to write down any of them, darnit. But I'm really looking forward to the Carnival.

Nicola O. said...

I'm looking forward to seeing what others will be writing on the topic too!

I should be clear though-- I didn't compile the video, I just found it on Youtube.

Liz said...

You have kids, right? Have you introduced them to the wonders of Arthur yet? My son went through a knight phase around 7-9 and we found a lot of great books (classic movies, too). My favorites are Gerald Morris' novels (funny, romantic, adventure--good for moms too), and a series of picture books by Margaret Hodges with gorgeous Trina Schart Hyman illustrations. Kevin Crossley-Holland was probably my son's favorite, and the Grail Quest series by Laura Anne Gilman, which he read by himself.


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