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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bali Ha'i

By Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II
1949

Written for the musical South Pacific, the song was meant to evoke the dreamlike, exotic quality of the fictional volcanic island for which it is named. The island was inspired by the real Pacific island of Ambae, mentioned by James Michener in the novel on which the play was based. It was performed by Juanita Hill on stage and in the film version, and first recorded by Perry Como. In the 1950s, it would become predictably popular during the exotica movement, thanks to its Oriental, mystical sound.

Lyrics:

Most people live on a lonely island,
lost in the middle of a foggy sea
most people long for another island
one where they know they would like to be.

Bali Ha'i may call you,
Any night, any day,
In your heart you'll hear it call you,
"Come away, come away . . ."

Bali Ha'i will whisper,
On the wind of the sea,
"Here am I your special island"
"Come to me, come to me . . ."

Your own special hopes,
Your own special dreams,
Bloom on the hillside,
And shine in the streams . . .

If you try you'll find me
Where the sky meets the sea
Here am I your special island
Come to me, come to me . . .

Bali Ha'i
Bali Ha'i
Bali Ha'i

Someday you'll see me,
Floating in the sunshine,
My head sticking out from a low flying cloud . . .

You'll hear me call you,
Singing through the sunshine
Sweet and clear as can be . . .

"Come to me, here am I"
"Come to me"
"Come to me"

Bali Ha'i . . .

Recorded By:

Frank Sinatra
Martin Denny
Stacey Kent
Tak Shindo
Perry Como

2 comments:

ob said...

GREAT post -- though bits of this song always put me in mind of Franz Waxman's score for Bride of Frankenstein!

B-Sol said...

Now that you mention it, I DO hear a touch of Waxman's Bride theme in there! Never noticed that before...

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