Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring is sprung...

Spring is sprung.
The grass is riz.
I wonder where the birdies is?
The bird is on the wing.
Now isn’t that absurd?
I always thought the wing was on the bird!

-- Anonymous

I remember fondly my Dad quoting this verse and telling me it was by Odgen Nash. Well, I have been unable to prove this assertion (at least by internet research)! But this one is one of his:

Spring has Sprung!

Spring has newly sprung
the hills are full of grass
and along comes a billy-goat
sliding on his overcoat
down the summer pass
~ by Ogden Nash ~

Here is a video bursting with the signs of Spring set to Vivaldi's Spring suite from "The Four Seasons".

This Beatles tune always puts me in the mood for Spring:

And once again here is a painting by Claude Monet, entitled Break-up of Ice, Grey Weather (1880)

Canadian artists were also influenced by French Impressionism. Tom Thomson was a forerunner of the Group of Seven but his style of painting had great influence on them.
Spring, Algonquin Park

Here is another painting by Tom Thomson entitled Spring Ice (1917)
This was finished shortly before he died, mysteriously drowned while on a painting expedition.

Springtime brings thoughts of romance and here are some favourite movie clips with this theme:

I had to find a new clip for The Lonely Goatherd  from The Sound of Music (1965), as 20th Century Fox had a copyright issue with the last clip. Here's hoping no one has an issue about this one! Julie Andrews sings the song on The Muppet Show (1977)

Besides lonely goatherds there have been some lonely shepherds as well:
Alan Bates played Gabriel Oak in Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd (1967) with Julie Christie, Terence Stamp and Peter Finch. His character, like his name was strong and natural as an Oak tree and as kind and heroic as the angel Gabriel himself. One wonders why it takes the love of his life, Bathsheba Everdene so long to figure out that he is the man for her!

Here is a clip from the movie where Bathsheba is singing
at the Shearing supper for her tenants.

This story was redone for television in 1998 starring Nathaniel Parker (from the Inspector Lynley series) as Gabriel Oak and Paloma Baeza as Bathsheba.
Here is a wonderful fanvid by Elva75 of the 1998 version of the story:

As an interesting side note, both of these actors have worked with my favourite actor (have you figured out yet whom that might be?) Richard Armitage appeared with Nathaniel Parker in an episode of The Inspector Lynley mysteries. As well, Paloma Baeza appeared in 3 episodes of Spooks / MI-5 Season 7 as Lucas North's ex-wife Elizaveta.
RA with Nathaniel Parker
RA with Paloma Baeza

Even better, Richard Armitage had quite a Gabriel Oak type role as John Standring in Sparkhouse, which is a modern retelling of the classic Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. Here's a link to my blogger buddy Mulubinba's terrific review of Sparkhouse.

Richard Armitage as John Standring helps tend the sheep on a farm owned by the father of the girl he yearns for, named Carol (played by Sarah Smart) who is madly in love with Andrew (Joe McFadden). Since Andrew's parents believe Carol is beneath him, they foil the couple's romantic dreams and Andrew abandons Carol at the altar. Years pass, and he marries someone else and even becomes a father. One day he moves back home and when he sees Carol again, his passion for her is reignited. Nevermind that she has finally got her life back together and has persuaded the ever loyal and loving John to sell his house, put all the money into her farm and then she will promise to be a good wife to him. Long story short, it's very sad, but not quite as tragic as the original story because really, which guy would you rather end up with?

On the left we have Andrew whose parents hate you and although he professes undying love, he has abandoned you at the altar, married another woman and had a baby with her, all without any explanation for his behaviour.

On the right we have John, who has always been there when you needed him, is willing to make himself over for you, heals your wounds, doesn't mind raising your child by another man, is always kind, gentle and caring, and oh yes, although he doesn't start fights, can do a fabulous job defending your honour.
It's not really a fair choice...for a sane person! Immature boy-man vs. man of any woman's dreams!

Here is one of my favourite fanvids by Neelma, telling the story from Carol's viewpoint. It's set to Fallen by Sarah McLachlan.


Starheart said...

Spring is a wonderful time in places where the winters are colder. I remember the first time I went overseas during winter and was shocked to see grass that was yellow and not green. The people were shocked to learn from me that grass is green in australia all year round!

As for Sparkhouse, there's not much of a choice is there, the big bear of a nurturing guy who is just dying for someone to love, and the neurotic childhood sweetheart. Um that didn't come out as I'd hoped. Well, to be fair to the other guy he does tortured emotionally short -fused very well!

tyme_4_t said...

Well spring has sprung in the maritimes as well...although we probably will get one or two more blasts of the white stuff.

I thought I knew where you were going when you mentioned Nash...thought you would end up in Dibley with the handsome stranger! But we ended up herding sheep with John! LOL

I love the journey you take us on with your favourites!

Avalon said...

Very beautiful.
I love spring but where I live spring doesn't last long. We have it about a week and then it turns humid and unbearably suffocating hot! Yesterday reached 90!

tyme_4_t said...

Hi Phylly3....Longer Strike Back Promo can be seen on All Things Armitage Blog
Just wanted to send this to you in case the youtube email I sent you didn't work!


Maria Grazia said...

Wow! Great, as usual.
"which guy would you rather end up with?" you asked
Easy, very easy answer: JOHN STANDRING forever!

Charleybrown said...

I didn't realize that it was Alan Bates who played Gabriel since I saw that version so long ago! I didn't know that Paloma played Lucas' wife on Spooks - that would be cool to see if ever I get around to watching it!
Love your song choices! Can't go wrong with Vivaldi, Beatles or Sound of Music!