musicology #208

12AngryMen #5 (alternativesoundtrack #3)

(Original Broadway Cast – America)

Day 5 and the murder weapon is the first piece of incontrovertible evidence to be questioned by Fonda. Last time I’ll mention it but to edit the dialogue is almost a sin so there’s a lot that will be missed. Maybe, (as with regular commentor, the countess), you may find yourself securing a copy and laying it down one night. if you do, and you havent seen it already, you’re in for a treat.

the music is a classic from the 1957 Broadway production of West Side Story. The section where two of the girls debate the relative values of the two ‘island’s’, (Manhattan & Puerto Rico).

the propaganda is clear that Manhattan, (and America), wins hands down. I’m not passing any comment on this and I use the word propaganda to mean Media Promotion and Advertising of cultural ‘values’.

Puerto Rico,
You lovely island . . .
Island of tropical breezes.
Always the pineapples growing,
Always the coffee blossoms blowing . . .

Puerto Rico . . .
You ugly island . . .
Island of tropic diseases.
Always the hurricanes blowing,
Always the population growing . . .
And the money owing,
And the babies crying,
And the bullets flying.
I like the island Manhattan.
Smoke on your pipe and put that in!


14 thoughts on “musicology #208

  1. Top piece…. “let’s get to the point” or “let’s talk about it”….. loaded words indeed!!

    Top bit of music…. even so – and a pleasant surprise to boot – it threw me. I didn’t know the original soundtrack was only two of the girls…. the film version is the Puerto Rican boys and girls of the Puerto Rican gang “tossing the debate around” while throwing some blinding shapes (dancing to those not in the know)…. “Up On The Roof”


  2. the producing of a similar knife as the murder weapon by Fonda is a great piece of theatre, it introduces a shock to the rest of the group which allows him to chip away at their certainty, you can almost hear the cracks appearing in that piece of dialogue!…great slice o music, one of many I like from that show.


  3. and that bit at the end where he says that if no-one else is in doubt he will join the Guilty crew..class.

    looking forward to todays dialogue.


  4. What I’m finding is how strong the dialogue comes across without the visuals. I mean, I’ve seen this film many times and never (till now) been so aware of the power! So much so that I’m beginning to experiment with ‘watching’ T.V. with my eyes shut…. metaphorically speaking that is!!

    And of course the selections of music are just right…. pukka!!!


  5. like your ‘duke’. definately a different experience without the, (sometimes), deceitful confusion of the ‘minces’ getting in the way


  6. Most certainly is a different, and very worthwhile, experience. And yes, like any of the senses *when stimulated/driven by desire, the ‘minces’ can and do deceive… However it’s also an experience requiring – ney, demanding – a lot of effort because the draining task of “the daily crust” is forever muscling in… or as the case may be… trying to.

    *Section 2 of The Book of Chuang Tzu – the Tao is the Great Equalizer.

    P.S. What’s a ‘duke’? I assume it’s back or rhyming slang so what’s the other (key) word?
    And here’s a ‘nifty’ (though not rhyming) bit of cockney slang for you….. “shuffling the Apostles”. A clue… A tricky monetary theory… practice in my case!!


  7. duke of argyle

    we are all shuffling them Apostles at the moment so you are certainly not alone. obviously you wont take any comfort in that as you know its boom and bust economics and at the moment it’s bust all round, (other than for the very few)

    as for the Tao being the great equalizer…right on.
    what is the Tao though, (other than that which cannot be named !!) always a pleasure to receive your comments…appreciated.


  8. “What is the Tao though”…. Are you asking me…. one who’s struggling on the bottom rung of such wisdom. I mean, get this…. “Things are “good or “bad” because we choose to perceive them so. This is the central point in Chuang Tzu’s argument (argument: not a very good choice of word if you ask me). So much of the experience of our lives depends on our perception. If we see the wholeness of things rather than focusing on their fragmented opposites, we can achieve the broad, large and passive view of the world that the Sage has. The Sage, like us, sees that things are fragmented into opposites and these opposites constantly changing in their relation to each other, but for the Sage, these things are fluctuating in a closed, ultimately balanced system. The whole is what Chuang Tzu calls the CONSTANT (my capitals), and the Sage relates all things to the CONSTANT”……. or this real nugget……..

    Shame, just as I’m getting up to pace, I’ve run out of TIME

    “Ideas are the currency of the future”…. right on.


  9. no, just thinking aloud. for me the Tao satisfies an instinct. it makes ‘sense’. the only CONSTANT in life is change so nothing is fixed therefore nothing lasts or can be held on to. apparently Jung, (a big fan of Asian culture), concluded that the Western mindset could not truly understand the Eastern as the fundamentals of each were so different.

    Recently I have been listening to some very good lectures on Western philosophy beginning with Kant and his legacy and without going too deep into what I am learning it seems to me that Logic and Reason are the major building blocks of the Western mindset. What strikes me, (and Iv’e only just begun the series of lectures), is the lack of duality/balance within Kant’s philosophical viewpoint. Nonetheless I am finding the lectures very interesting and informative as well as enjoyable.

    as for Time, it keeps running and passing…passing and running, (a bit like me on the pitch last night !!)


  10. Yes, questioning “Western Dogma” is where I’m currently at too…. and it’s a real puzzler…. in fact, it’s quite a task… not to mention the resulting bafflement/ire by those “nearest and dearest” as I struggle along the path!!

    Q. “Time”. Was that a Steve Miller song??


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