Monday, October 26, 2009

Darn that Rope!


One movie I enjoy popping in while I'm working on freelance is Hitchcock's Rope. For some reason it just makes for interesting listening. I guess it's a good example of screenwriting of the time. The acting is a little overdone and there are morbid puns galore - what's not to love?

Anyway, there's a story cited in the film called, "The Mistletoe Bough" which is the favorite tale of Brandon, the brains of the murderous duo. Curious, I looked it up (and you can too, the history is pretty interesting) and discovered this poem. It's more of a Christmas themed piece (apparently it became a very popular carol sung at Christmastime) but I think you'll agree fits the season we are currently enjoying.

The mistletoe hung in the castle hall
The holly branch shone on the old oak wall.
The Baron's retainers were blithe and gay,
Keeping the Christmas holiday.

The Baron beheld with a father's pride
His beautiful child, Lord Lovell's bride.
And she, with her bright eyes seemed to be
The star of that goodly company.
Oh, the mistletoe bough.
Oh, the mistletoe bough.

"I'm weary of dancing, now," she cried;
"Here, tarry a moment, I'll hide, I'll hide,
And, Lovell, be sure you're the first to trace
The clue to my secret hiding place."

Away she ran, and her friends began
Each tower to search and each nook to scan.
And young Lovell cried, "Oh, where do you hide?
I'm lonesome without you, my own fair bride."
Oh, the mistletoe bough.
Oh, the mistletoe bough.

They sought her that night, they sought her next day,
They sought her in vain when a week passed away.
In the highest, the lowest, the loneliest spot,
Young Lovell sought wildly, but found her not.

The years passed by and their brief at last
Was told as a sorrowful tale long past.
When Lovell appeared, all the children cried,
"See the old man weeps for his fairy bride."
Oh, the mistletoe bough.
Oh, the mistletoe bough.

At length, an old chest that had long laid hid
Was found in the castle; they raised the lid.
A skeleton form lay mouldering there
In the bridal wreath of that lady fair.

How sad the day when in sportive jest
She hid from her lord in the old oak chest,
It closed with a spring and a dreadful doom,
And the bride lay clasped in a living tomb.
Oh, the mistletoe bough.
Oh, the mistletoe bough.


For an added holiday bonus you can pick up a choral version on iTunes for a measly buck. The one I personally like is off the recording, "The Choral Music of Carey Blyton" featuring Canzonetta. There is a delicious knocking-on-oak sound that fades with each chorus thrown in for added creepiness!

20 comments:

Rogueevolent said...

My oh my, oh my!!!! You just never fail to amaze me with your unlimitless coolness - -
As a Hitchcock novice (I've seen a few but have a long list of catching-up to view) you've tickled my macabre-bone. The song and its history is delicious. You've made my Tuesday Mike: SALUTE

Mike Adair said...

I've submitted the song to the folks that run Ilene's choir. I thought it might appeal to the more dramatic of the bunch but I fear it's a bit too macabre.

Just can't imagine singing this at Christmas, though!

I own a few Hitch DVD's so just say the word!

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