Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein and June Is Bustin’ Out All Over!

Sorry, but couldn’t resist posting this clip today as it’s the 1st of June and it marks the start of my favourite month of the year – Yes, it has to be June Is Bustin’ Out All Over from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. It looks dated granted, and we are not used to seeing men in such high-waisted trousers (troubling somehow), but it does sum up how I feel about today.

There are so many great things about the month of June if, like me, you live in Scotland (as there would have been in Maine, where Carousel was set) – The light nights, warm weather and (if you’re lucky) sunshine. The garden is starting to look interesting and it’s safe at last to plant out those tender young plants without having to worry about frost.

As the month goes by we’ll have tennis to watch, starting off with the French Open (Andy Murray won today) and towards the end of the month, Wimbledon. Mid-month The Royal Family will be on parade at Ascot, and some very smart ladies will be modelling those quirky hats. If you’re a football fan, a big tournament is about to take place and outdoor events, impossible during the long winter months and risky even in spring and autumn, suddenly fill the calendar. There will be Highland Games, Fetes and Music Festivals taking place every weekend – It may rain granted, but at least the rain will be warm.

In Scotland the school year lasts until the end of June but for some reason the really serious, life-changing exams always took place in May. This also happened when you moved on to College or University, so even now I still recall the relief that was felt in June, once those exams were over and you could finally relax after all the hard work. It was like that final scene in the film Grease when the Principal makes a short speech before the “commencement of commencement” – Happy memories indeed. June of course is also the month before everything becomes “weird” when a normal routine is disrupted with people disappearing off on holiday. When you were at school it meant that you no longer saw your best friends every day, and it still is a bit like that as dates for get-togethers with friends become nigh impossible to arrange. Thirty days therefore to pack in as much as possible.

grease

I have mentioned the film Carousel before, when writing about the song You’ll Never Walk Alone. It is not my favourite Rodgers and Hammerstein musical and the juvenile in me finds the song title “June Is Bustin’ Out All Over” a trifle amusing, but, included alongside Oklahoma!, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music, it completes an impressive body of work and one which was much appreciated by my dad and I on a wet Sunday afternoon when I was young. Nothing brightened the spirit more than to watch these all-singing, all-dancing spectaculars on television. Apparently my dad and his friends, in their youth, had gone into the city from our village every fortnight to watch their football team play in home games. They always finished the day off with a nice meal and a trip to the “pictures” to watch the big movies of the day. These invariably were musicals, featuring the likes of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly which gave him a life-long love of the genre, and one which he passed on to me. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m not convinced that your average football fan of today would appreciate the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein – Different times obviously, and different forms of entertainment today to whet a young man’s appetite, but I’m just glad that my dad was able to experience all these films, unabashed.

So, will I be able to fit in many posts this month when there is just so much to enjoy out there? We’ll see, but in the meantime I’ll leave you with the (exceptionally long therefore abbreviated) lyrics to this very seasonal song – Enjoy.

June Is Bustin’ Out All Over Lyrics
(Song by Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein ll)

June is bustin’ out all over!
All over the meadow and the hill!
Buds’re bustin’ outa bushes
And the rompin’ river pushes
Ev’ry little wheel that wheels beside the mill!

June is bustin’ out all over!
The feelin’ is gettin’ so intense
That the young Virginia creepers
Hev been huggin’ the bejeepers
Outa all the mornin’-glories on the fence.
Because it’s June!
June, June, June
Jest because it’s June, June, June!

June is bustin’ out all over!
The ocean is full of Jacks and Jills,
With her little tail a-swishin’
Ev’ry lady fish is wishin’
That a male would come
And grab her by the gills!

Because it’s June! June, June, June
Just because it’s June, June, June!

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was recorded for the film of the same name and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might finally work out the answer to his question, "What's it all about?"

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