mudcat.org: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2] [3]


Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?

Related thread:
'The Desert Song' retelling (36)


MorwenEdhelwen1 17 May 12 - 10:36 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 17 May 12 - 10:58 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 May 12 - 11:35 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 17 May 12 - 11:42 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 17 May 12 - 11:47 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 17 May 12 - 11:51 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 12 - 12:06 AM
GUEST 18 May 12 - 12:14 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 12 - 12:24 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 12 - 12:27 AM
Stilly River Sage 18 May 12 - 12:31 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 12 - 12:39 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 12 - 01:08 AM
Stilly River Sage 18 May 12 - 01:29 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 12 - 02:05 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 12 - 02:33 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 12 - 02:35 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 12 - 06:30 AM
Mo the caller 18 May 12 - 07:04 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 12 - 07:21 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 12 - 07:27 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 12 - 09:21 AM
Joe Nicholson 18 May 12 - 10:48 AM
Mo the caller 18 May 12 - 04:30 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 12 - 08:02 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 12 - 08:26 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 12 - 09:13 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 12 - 10:15 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 18 May 12 - 11:08 PM
GUEST 18 May 12 - 11:12 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 May 12 - 12:14 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 May 12 - 03:14 AM
Big Al Whittle 19 May 12 - 04:05 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 May 12 - 04:28 AM
Will Fly 19 May 12 - 05:26 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 May 12 - 05:49 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 May 12 - 05:51 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 May 12 - 06:05 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 May 12 - 06:35 AM
fat B****rd 19 May 12 - 06:54 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 May 12 - 06:57 AM
fat B****rd 19 May 12 - 07:28 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 May 12 - 07:32 AM
JJ 19 May 12 - 07:55 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 May 12 - 07:58 AM
fat B****rd 19 May 12 - 09:23 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 May 12 - 09:39 AM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 May 12 - 08:00 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 19 May 12 - 11:09 PM
MorwenEdhelwen1 20 May 12 - 12:00 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 17 May 12 - 10:36 PM

I've recently been watching the earliest movie version of The Desert Song on YouTube, from 1929, partly for enjoyment, and partly because I'm doing a steampunk novel inspired by it (but the Red Shadow is an actual Arab chieftain, removing the secret identity/racial impersonation aspect. And he doesn't fall in love with the White girl, but the mixed-race one). Anyone share my mixed feelings about the story? Basically, that while the music and lyrics are great, the story is a little racist and Orientalist (Azuri is eeevil and petty! Ali Ben Ali is a stereotypical Arab sheikh, complete with harem! The men in the Shadow's band are oversexed!)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 17 May 12 - 10:58 PM

ETA: "story" should be "operetta". "If One Flower Grows Alone In Your Garden" in the "Eastern and Western Love" sequence. And even though harems in the stereotypical conception were only common in the Ottoman Empire.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 May 12 - 11:35 PM

I didn't see the early version, but I think it was Gordon McCrae and Ann Blythe in the later musical version I remember from childhood.

If you want to see one that is colossally politically incorrect, take a look at Kismet.

SRS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 17 May 12 - 11:42 PM

According to IMDB, it was MacRae and Kathryn Grayson. My English teacher last year told me she saw the early version as a child (I'm Australian). The early version isn't seen in the US, because it was made before the Hays Code. Here's a clip from the early version: Song of the Brass Key- Marie Wells as Clementina and Roberto E. Guzman as Sid El Kar from 1929 The Desert Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPoqQdSeAXc


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 17 May 12 - 11:47 PM

ETA: The 1929 movie version is the most faithful to the play.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 17 May 12 - 11:51 PM

Song of the Brass Key- Marie Wells as Clementina and Roberto E Guzman as Sid El Kar in The Desert Song (1929)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 12 - 12:06 AM

IMO, the racist element is the idea that "the locals need a White man" to lead them. In all the versions, the Red Shadow/El Khobar is always White. If you changed it, it wouldn't be The Desert Song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 May 12 - 12:14 AM

Read City of Gold

It is the truth behind your fantasy...and it shapes the Arab world today.

ENJOY

xenophobia


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 12 - 12:24 AM

I'm not saying The Desert Songreflects reality at all, GUEST. It doesn't. That's like a White person saying that Disney's Mulanreflects reality. I'm Chinese, and I can say it doesn't and never has, except in some cultural aspects. What I'm trying to do with the steampunk story mentioned above is to do a different take on the same story as Harbach and Mandel in TDS.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 12 - 12:27 AM

that should be a space. And emphasis on "some".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 May 12 - 12:31 AM

The non-subtle touch of Gargoyle arrives in the thread. Are you suggesting that no-one here has heard of Orientalism? Let's add Seven Pillars of Wisdom to your reading list, and here is a story about T.E. Lawrence on NPR.

Morwen, you are right - it was Kathryn Grayson. I didn't look it up before jotting an answer. Grayson and Blythe crossed my path via film so often when I was kid watching the various musicals that they were sometimes interchangeable.

SRS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 12 - 12:39 AM

I think that Gargoyle issuggesting that no-one here has heard of Orientalism. Newsflash: I have. And The Desert Song in all its versions, is Orientalist. But that doesn't mean that the songs aren't good.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 12 - 01:08 AM

As I said before, the idea in all these versions is that Margot is attracted to El Khobar/ the Red Shadow because she sees him as "savage" and "exotic".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 18 May 12 - 01:29 AM

That was always quite obvious, I think. There wasn't a suggestion that I recall of her deep understanding of an ancient and sophisticated culture. She was a product of the European "Enlightenment" and the intellectual hierarchy it implied.

SRS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 12 - 02:05 AM

What I don't understand is why the Shadow had to be French. Was it just so she could see the guy (Pierre/Paul)'s other side? I've always thought of doing a story where he's not French, but an actual Arab and basically, Pierre/European guy and the Red Shadow are two different men.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 12 - 02:33 AM

In the play, Pierre (the Shadow) kidnaps Margot to give her "romance". The Riffs object to this, understandably, because it puts them in danger from the French. But he doesn't, so eventually he's set up to fight his own father, and when he refuses, they exile him for being a coward. It's kind of a bad message. Basically, "It's perfectly OK to throw away your ideals and your friends for your true love."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 12 - 02:35 AM

ETa: That's if you think about it too hard...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 12 - 06:30 AM

Just why did the Red Shadow have to be a White man?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 18 May 12 - 07:04 AM

Because that's what the movie goers of the time wanted to see???


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 12 - 07:21 AM

Yeah, but Mo, you could have practically the same story with him being an actual Arab. Like this:
A young French girl goes out to Morocco to marry a Legion officer. He is living at the fort, which is being attacked by a group of Arab insurgents. The new governor, a general, is trying to track down the mysterious leader of the rebellion. His son, who everyone thinks is a fool, is in love with the girl, who hates her fiance but also doesn't love the governor's son. The heroine's fiance tells her he is going to give her the rebel leader's head as a wedding present. One day the girl tells the governor's son that she is fascinated by the rebel leader and secretly wishes for him or another local chieftain to take her away. Her fiance's former lover, a local girl, tries to convince him to come back with her by promising to tell him the rebel leader's name.

A few days later, the rebel leader turns up at the fort secretly and tries to convince the girl to go away with him. she hits him with her riding crop, but soon he turns up again and kidnaps her and another girl from the fort and takes them into the desert. Eventually she discovers he's actually one of the Arab stable hands/cameleers at the fort after he loses the leadership of his rebel group.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 12 - 07:27 AM

ETA: And of course, they get married. (He was raised as a Catholic, because he's half-Spanish.) I don't see why they had to make him a white man. That summary above is the same story as the operetta, except the Shadow is Arab.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 12 - 09:21 AM

And don't forget the fact that Romberg and Hammerstein portrayed the Riffs as desert people when they're not.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: Joe Nicholson
Date: 18 May 12 - 10:48 AM

I seem to recall a film version of The Desert Song with Dennis Morgan as the Red Shadow or is my memory playing me tricks.

Joe Nicholson


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: Mo the caller
Date: 18 May 12 - 04:30 PM

But the movie-goers of the time, although they might like the romantic idea of attraction between different races were VERY MUCH against 'mixed marriage'.
I can remember popular thought of the 50s "but think of the children".

A film must have a happy ending.
If she marries an Arab it would cause mixed feelings to say the least
So....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 12 - 08:02 PM

Joe: yep, with Irene Manning as Margot. 1943 according to IMDB. It's "lost".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 12 - 08:26 PM

ETA: Both the 1943 and 1953 movie versions call the Shadow "El Khobar" and introduce a second enemy in the form of a local leader.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 12 - 09:13 PM

ETA: And another thing, why, in all the movie versions of The Desert Song, are the Arabs played by White actors? There were Arab actors in Hollywood at the time.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 12 - 10:15 PM

At least at the time of the 1950s version.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 18 May 12 - 11:08 PM

Jack Pratt and Roberto E.Guzman "If One Flower Grows Alone In Your Garden


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 May 12 - 11:12 PM

You display Absolute BRILLANCE.

Please continue posting your insights to THIS THREAD.

it would be a travesty to loose such diamonds of thought among the less literate tbreads of some Kat comments.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 May 12 - 12:14 AM

ETA: Interesting note (ha!) I can pull off the following songs from The Desert Song:
If One Flower Grows Alone In Your Garden (lowest note is B-flat below middle C, according to the sheet music, and highest note is an E an octave above middle C)
The Riff Song (lowest note is A below middle C)
Soft as a Pigeon Lights (haven't seen the sheet music, could someone with the score and who can read music tell me what the lowest note of that song is? I may be singing it an octave higher).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 May 12 - 03:14 AM

Another thing: Why does no-one notice Pierre/Paul leaving the fort at night? Is his act just that convincing?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 May 12 - 04:05 AM

There's a beautiful play by John Godber(he of the Hull Truck theatre Company) called September in the Rain. Its about a miner and his wife , who go to Blackpool to see John Hansom as The Red Shadow in The desert Song. They have seen JH many times, but they are are Mario Lanza fans.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 May 12 - 04:28 AM

Al, have you actually seen a stage version of The Desert Song?Or any of the movie versions? As I said a few posts above, my English teacher saw the 1929 John Boles movie version as a child in the 1960s.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: Will Fly
Date: 19 May 12 - 05:26 AM

"The Desert Song" is pure Hollywood schlock and, as such, is hardly worth dissecting. It's a misch-masch of improbable plotlines and scenes using ideas borrowed from "The Scarlet Pimpernel" and capitalising on the interest of the public in the persona of people like Lawrence of Arabia.

The thing is a reflection of the money-making mores of the period - the mid-1920s - and the social and racial attitudes of the day. Is there any value in analysing it?

And, yes, I've seen it, with a rather drunk Joseph Locke (a popular Irish tenor of the 1940s and 1950s) warbling "Goodbye, goodbye..." and wobbling scenery, in a theatre in the Lancashire seaside town of Blackpool. Perfection!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 May 12 - 05:49 AM

Well, Will, I think it's kind of interesting and fun analysing it myself, but then I'm the kind of person who goes to sites like TV Tropes, where they analyse everything for fun.TV Tropes


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 May 12 - 05:51 AM

ETA: No, there's no value in analysing it, but I like to do it because it's fun to me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 May 12 - 06:05 AM

Anyone else want to continue discussing TDS? Tropes, music, anything?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 May 12 - 06:35 AM

ETA (Correction to second-last post): IMO there is a value in analysing TDS and what it says about Orientalism and exoticism- I've often heard people I know ie. young people about 18-19 talk about other cultures in a way that sounds like they're really saying "Oh look, they're so exotic."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: fat B****rd
Date: 19 May 12 - 06:54 AM

How many UK 'catters of a certain age will be more familiar with Ray Ellington as 'Sheikh Rattleandroll' and 'The Red Bladder' as heard in the Goon Show?
I don't mean to belittle this thread, it'sa quite fascinating IMO.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 May 12 - 06:57 AM

My dad knows The Goon Show, even though we're not from the UK. My family likes UK comedy.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: fat B****rd
Date: 19 May 12 - 07:28 AM

Zapristi !!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 May 12 - 07:32 AM

So, fb, what are your opinions on TDS?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: JJ
Date: 19 May 12 - 07:55 AM

If you're ever in New York City, visit the Paley Center and see the TV version from the early 1950s starring a rather-too-old Nelson Eddy.

It isn't very good, but it's a fascinating historical document.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 May 12 - 07:58 AM

Alright, if I ever visit America, that's one of the things I'll do. JJ, do you share my opinions on the operetta's plot?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: fat B****rd
Date: 19 May 12 - 09:23 AM

TDS is fine by me. My wife is more appreciative of 'straight' musicals than myself but we watched it, the Macrae-Grayson version about 22 years ago which was the last time I noticed it being on UK TV.
Now the Robeson version of Showboat.....there's a musical if ever I saw one.
Best regards to you ME1


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 May 12 - 09:39 AM

Thanks, FB. Just waiting for JJ to express his/her opinion. ETA: My teacher really likes Paul Robeson too. And so do I.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 May 12 - 08:00 PM

Why doesn't anyone else guess the secret identity?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 19 May 12 - 11:09 PM

Anyone have a clue why? Is everyone in the plot so clueless that no-one notices the Governor's son sneaking out at night? (I know the plot is implausible, but this one plot point bugs me!. Or is it a convention of secret identity plots that everyone acts really dumb when they could easily figure out the hero's secret for themselves?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Anyone want to discuss The Desert Song?
From: MorwenEdhelwen1
Date: 20 May 12 - 12:00 AM

For that matter, can a secret identity plot ever be done well, without big plot holes?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 9 April 5:31 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.