The Lusty Month of May

After several days of mugginess, the weather was gorgeous today. Sunny, blue sky, mid-70s with low humidity and a gentle breeze. The kind of weather that makes you want to strip your clothes off so you can feel nature on your skin. The perfect May day.

There’s something about spring that gets the senses going, something that encourages the wildness of youth, something that causes us to yearn for mischief. Why did we evolve to be frisky in spring?

I’m too young (young, I say!) to have seen the original Camelot on Broadway, but I’ve always loved the Lerner and Loewe musical. When I was younger (even younger, I say!) I ordered a cassette tape (yes, cassette tape—I was much, much younger!) of the Broadway version, and it arrived with someone other than Julie Andrews in the role of Guenevere. I promptly demanded the shop return it and get me the right one.

Today I’ve been listening to “The Lusty Month of May.”

(Incidentally, the dress Andrews wears at about 0:10 looks remarkably similar to my wedding dress—but my husband did not look anything like Robert Goulet, I swear. He swears.)

Julie Andrews has such a sweet, light distinct voice. Poor Vanessa Redgrave, who was cast as Guenevere in the movie version, could not possibly live up to Andrews’ range and skill. Some viewers find Redgrave to be “sexier” than Andrews, and perhaps she was. But Andrews’ perky, cheery demeanor and pixie haircut lend her an innocence that contrasts with the naughty humor of the song’s lyrics.

Tra la! It’s May!
The lusty month of May!
That lovely month when ev’ryone goes
Blissfully astray.
Tra la! It’s here!
That shocking time of year
When tons of wicked little thoughts
Merrily appear!
It’s May! It’s May!
That gorgeous holiday
When ev’ry maiden prays that her lad
Will be a cad!
It’s mad! It’s gay!
A libelous display!
Those dreary vows that ev’ryone takes,
Ev’ryone breaks.
Ev’ryone makes divine mistakes
The lusty month of May!

Now, let’s get back to the weather. Really I have to say that low humidity is key to the perfect naked May frolic with a beau. My question is, why does that point never get made in song lyrics? How about…

A lovely day with low humidity
helped me lose all my timidity.

No?? 🙂

4 thoughts on “The Lusty Month of May

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