A Reason To Be Living

Bee Halton at The Bee Writes Love Is In Da Blog 2019 ~ A Music Festival has buzzed us to write about whatever we want for today, as it is the last day of this challenge.  I have had so much fun participating in this Love Is In Da Blog song challenge and this seems like a good time to thank Bee for hosting it.  What to choose, there are so many songs that I have not gotten to yet.  I messed up the favorite song from the country that I love the most, as I thought Bee was looking for a country song and it was supposed to be a patriotic song and I could have used Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born In The USA’, or the Grateful Dead song ‘US Blues’, but that is water under the bridge now.  I have already written about the song ‘At Last – My Love Has Come Along’, so I thought about going with the Beatles ‘All You Need Is Love’, or Stephen Stills ‘Love The One You’re With’ The Shirelles ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’, or Eric Clapton ‘Wonderful Tonight’, but I decided to go with Love Is a Many Splendored Thing’.

This song was composed by Sammy Fain and the lyrics were written by Paul Webster.  Paul was an American lyricist who won three Academy Awards for Best Original Song and was nominated sixteen times for the award.  Two of his three Academy Award wins were in collaboration with Sammy Fain.  He wrote lyrics for some Shirley Temple films, but then he went back to freelance writing.  His first hit was a collaboration in 1941 with Duke Ellington on the song ‘I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good)’.  In 1972, Paul Webster and Sammy Fain were both inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.  Sammy Fain was nominated 10 times for an Academy Award for best song and, with lyricist Paul Francis Webster, won twice, with the first coming in 1953 for ‘Secret Love’, from the film Calamity Jane, and the second in 1955 for ‘Love is a Many Splendored Thing’, from the film of the same name.  Sammy composed songs for more than 50 films and among his best-known tunes are, ‘Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella’, ‘Tender is the Night’ and ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’, all of which became standards.  Fain died on December 5, 1989 and Webster died on March 18, 1984.

The song was also used for the soap opera Love Is a Many Splendored Thing, which was based on the movie, and it ran from 1967 to 1973.  The Four Aces reached their peak with ‘Love Is a Many Splendored Thing’, the first song specifically written for a motion picture to hit No. 1 during the rock era.  The Four Aces consisted of Al Alberts, Dave Mahoney, Lou Silvestri, and Rosario “Sod” Vaccaro.  They had a number of songs that made the charts, including ‘Three Coins in the Fountain’, ‘Mr. Sandman’, ‘Heart of My Heart’ and ‘Love is a Many-Splendored Thing’.  Ultimately, the group had 30 Top 40 hits.

There is nothing more important than love in our lives and although this word is used to describe many feelings, over the centuries poets and authors have tried to define love, only to discover that it is like a soup made up of many ingredients.  Love can be an intense feeling of deep affection that drives people toward intimacy, or makes you want to care for someone, or become attracted to another, or something that allows you to make a commitment and stay attached to somebody.  The Greeks coined the phrase, “lovesick” and both Plato and Socrates described this emotion of love as being a serious mental disease.

In 1952, Han Suyin, the prolific Eurasian author became an international literary sensation when she published her book A Many-Splendored Thing.  The book was based on her romance with Ian Morrison, a married war correspondent who in 1950 became one of the first journalists killed in the Korean War.  The tale of forbidden love, which reviewers compared to Romeo and Juliet, was also politically topical, mixing revolution and romance with news making headlines in Hong Kong, China and Korea.  The 1955 film Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing, featured two of the biggest stars in Hollywood, William Holden and Jennifer Jones.

The 1955 Romance Drama from 20th Century Fox was directed by Henry King and was filmed in Hong Kong.  The Eurasian Han Suyin half Chinese and half English is an overworked doctor who throws herself into work after the death of her husband.  She meets war correspondent Mark Elliott and reluctantly falls in love with him.  There was a famous scene where she agrees to go swimming with him.  They change into their suits on a small beach.  She lets her hair down as he reclines on a towel bearing his shaved chest gazing at her.  Suddenly they decide to swim across an inlet to an inviting home owned by friends of Dr. Han’s.  The swim is enchanting and gives a promise of things to come.  They climb stairs partially submerged in the sea and surprise their hosts.  They have a lovely dance while the others watch them (and speculate) while the title tune plays.  Later in their hotel room Mark quotes a passage by Francis Thompson the nineteenth century English poet and mystic from his poem called Kingdom of God.  “The angels keep their ancient places;– Turn but a stone, and start a wing! ‘Tis ye, ‘tis your estranged faces, That miss the many-splendored thing.”  This was this line that gave Han Suyin the title of her novel.

Love is a many splendored thing
It’s the April rose that only grows in the early Spring
Love is nature’s way of giving a reason to be living
The golden crown that makes a man a king
Once on a high and windy hill, In the morning mist
Two lovers kissed and the world stood still
Then your fingers touched my silent heart and taught it how to sing
Yes, true love’s a many splendored thing
Love is a many splendored thing
It’s the April rose that only grows in the early Spring
Love is nature’s way of giving a reason to be living
The golden crown that makes a man a king
Once on a high and windy hill, In the morning mist
Two lovers kissed and the world stood still
Then your fingers touched my silent heart and taught it how to sing
Yes, true love’s a many splendored thing

Written for Love Is In Da Blog “My Choice”.

15 thoughts on “A Reason To Be Living

  1. This is a wonderfully romantic song! I think I’ve seen the movie, but can’t be sure, though it looks familiar. I’ve enjoyed listening to the songs you chose for the challenge, along with reading what you wrote about them. Thanks! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for taking part and teaching me so much about musicians and songs I ‘ve never heard of. It was an amazing journey and we’ll meet again next year for another musical journey and no, you did not muddle anything up. The prompts are prompts and you are free to do with them what you want. And you certainly made the most of it. Thanks again for taking part. 🙋🐝

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Jim, again thank you so much for taking part in this year’s “Love Is In Da Blog”. I am starting to plan next years and am wondering if participants want to suggest prompts for it? Would you like to connect Song Lyric Sunday with “Love is In Da Blog” in February? That would be great but its absolutely ok if not. Check out this post and then we can figure out how to get about it if you like the idea: https://thebeewrites.com/2019/12/15/calling-for-love-is-in-da-blog-music-prompts/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am looking forward to participating in your February Love is In Da Blog again and if I can think of any prompts, I will pass them on to you. I can mention your challenge on Song Lyric Sunday, but I don’t think it is a good idea to connect them together.

      Liked by 1 person

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