Monday, July 28, 2014

Music Monday: Summer Magic

Growing up, I was destined to be a Hayley Mills fan.

It began with The Parent Trap. When, my mother (who is, not coincidentally, an identical twin) had the  1961 classic playing in our VCR on a regular basis. Seriously, I was so in love with the original Parent Trap that I was utterly bewildered when the kids at school started raving about the Lindsay Lohan remake. The obsession gained momentum with Blockbuster rentals of Pollyanna and That Darn Cat!, but the pi├Ęce de resistance came to me by way of a box of old VHS tapes uncovered during spring cleaning at my grandmother's house.

Summer Magic, released in 1963, is a charming film about a Boston family seeking a new life in  rural Beulah, Maine. Over the course of the film, they encounter a colorful cast of characters and silly situations, culminating in what turns out to be a lesson in family, friendship, and hope that is a delight for audiences of all ages. As a little girl, I adored the pretty dresses, and the toe-tapping Sherman Brothers tunes. Now that I'm a bit older, I still love the turn-of-the-century fashion and the themes resonate even more than before, but the aspect that reigns supreme continues to be the fabulous and highly underrated songs written by Richard and Robert Sherman. Today, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites and give them the credit they deserve!

1) "Flitterin'"

If this ditty isn't just classic Sherman Brothers, I don't know what is! "Flitterin'" is one of those songs that you know you'll be humming for at least a week after hearing, but you really don't mind. This one definitely gets more than a few plays every August as I  head back to school, so I'll be hearing it quite a bit in the next few weeks!

2) "Pink of Perfection"

While I didn't appreciate this song so much as a young'un, the cleverness of the lyrics along with the irony of it all (the victim of the song's jabs could hardly be described as "a witch's confection") have made it one of my favorites!

3) "On the Front Porch"

Burl Ives, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

Aside from my adoration of Mr. Ives, this piece is just the best. Perfectly fitting the tone of the film, and inspiring the nostalgia of lazy summer evenings of years gone by, there couldn't be a better song for sitting around and spending time with the ones you love. And if that weren't enough to convince you, Robert Sherman considered "On the Front Porch" his favorite piece from the Sherman Brothers repertoire. 

Have you seen Summer Magic? If so, which piece is your favorite? Be sure to share your answer in the comments!

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