22 November 2008

'You've got to be carefully taught'

I heard that the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical 'South Pacific' (based on James Michener's book) has been revived recently. The New York Times gave the revival a good review.
We had the LP of the Broadway show at home and were familiar with all the songs long before the movie came to India in '64/'65. I knew and loved all the songs. The subtle anti-war and not so subtle anti-racist attitudes in the movie resonated with me.
Then I got to watch the movie again when my mother got a DVD of the original movie. Somehow I never thought that it would be revived now, because the issues seemed to be from so long ago and so was really surprised to hear about the revival. I have heard some of the songs on online radio.
After my post on Bigotry and some of the comments, particularly Usha's comment, this song from 'South Pacific' came to mind---

You've got to be taught
To hate and fear
You've got to be taught
From year to Year
It's got to be drummed
in your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be taught
To be Afraid
Of people whose eyes
are oddly made
And people whose skin
Is a different shade
You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be taught
Before it's too late
Before you are 6 or 7 or 8
To hate all the people
your relatives hate
You've got to be carefully taught.

Well, still relevant I think.

1 comment:

Usha said...

Ya, and they seem to do it to children so effectively these days, don't they?