The Music Man was on Turner Classics a few days ago, late on an afternoon so hot that several of us around the country were inside and enjoying it together by posting comments on Facebook. Other musicals came up in the conversation, as well as our own life connections to them.
I was nine when, it seems, I memorized nearly all the lyrics and lines from The Music Man. I was twelve when, as a boarding student in a Catholic school, I was recruited by the indomitable Sister Miriam to play the role of Kurt, younger of the two Von Trapp boys in The Sound of Music, so I know all of those lyrics and lines as well -- a fact that completely dumbfounded my children a few years ago when they discovered that I can sing (well, ok, I can't actually sing anything at all) and act out pretty much the entire movie when it makes its annual Christmas appearance on television. They were most especially impressed by my rendition of the entire Lonely Goatherd.
I suppose that I could write a detailed feminist analysis of what occurred to me as we watched Shirley Jones and Robert Preston cavorting onscreen the other day, but I'll merely offer my conclusion:
I do believe that about 90% of my ideas about love and romance derive directly from the persons and adventures of Marian the Librarian and Sister Maria some-day-to-be Mrs. von Trapp. My thoughts have been somewhat modified by real life experience, but the kernel remains.
I might add that I do much prefer Marian's wardrobe to Maria's.
O ho lay dee odl lee o, lay dee odl lee o lay!