A Happy Story

A recent email conversation

To Doreen Harding, Vice Chair of the College Amateur Operatic Society

Dear Doreen

I hope you don’t mind my contacting you like this. My late father Ron Price was a member of the College Operatic Society from the 1950s until I should think 1980s, and played the junior romantic lead until well into his 50s. I still find myself remembering some of the songs he used to practise at home, and I would be delighted if you could let me know where I could find a list of your performances during those years to refresh my memory about some of them. I’ve looked on your website but can only find information about some of your more recent events (some of which - Oliver and Fiddler on the Roof) Dad appeared in on a previous occasion.

I hope you may be able to point me in the direction of finding these details for olde times’ sake.

It’s good to see the Society is still going strong - and still having those Sunday rehearsals that I remember.

All good wishes,

Tony Price


Dear Tony,

How nice of you to contact me in regard to your father. I am attaching a list of our shows up to 2008. This was part of our booklet celebrating our 70th birthday. In 2018, we celebrate our 80th. I hope this gives you the information you seek and helps to refresh your memory. Am also attaching a photo of Ron playing Jupiter in ‘Orpheus in the Underworld’ in 1984.

Yes, we are still surviving in this very competitive world for amateur groups with the valuable support of the College in allowing us to use their rehearsal facilities without cost but we do not take this privilege for granted.

If you did require any more images, I am sure that Thelma Vincent may be able to assist as her late husband Fred took very many show photographs of the productions.

As you can see from our website, our current production is ‘Into the Woods’ by Stephen Sondheim. Not an easy production musically but we will give of our best in July.

My very best regards Doreen CAOS


Dear Doreen

Thank you so much for your very prompt reply. It’s a joy to see the list of shows and remember so many that Dad was in - also so many that I don’t remember at all, and don’t know whether he wasn’t in them for some reason, or I was just being a stroppy teenager and not wanting to see them. When I left home of course I hardly went to see them anymore.

So far the list has not helped me to track down a particular song that has been in my head the last few days, which Dad used to sing. Possibly it wasn’t from a show but just a popular song he knew from somewhere else. I remember the tune quite well, but the words are hazy; something like

If you should go, my love, take with you on your way the song of the lark at dawn

So far Google hasn’t helped me. Ah well.

Thanks again, and all good wishes


Dear Tiny,

I have fund this song on the following website:

http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/t/takethesun.shtml

It appears to be the one that you are referring to. It must have been one which your father was particularly fond of rather than one from our productions.

It is also on YouTube sung by Tito Gobbi.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU4kP2u_bpk

TAKE THE SUN Nino Rota & Emery Bonett

Sung by Tito Gobbi in the film “The Glass Mountain”

Since you must go my love,
Take with you on your way
The song of the lark at dawn.
Take all the flow’rs of May,
The blossom tasselled bough
Means only heartbreak now
I walk in the dark alone.

Take the sun from the sky,
And take the moon from on high.
Take the laughter and delight,
All of heaven’s light,
For after you have gone
Oh! How shall I need the sun?

Take the sun from the sky,
And take the moon from on high
For what-so-e’er you take
You leave my heart to break
And when my life is done
Oh how shall I need the sun?
Take the sun.

Copyright 1949 Published by Keith Prowse & Co Ltd 42-43 Poland Street, London, W1

Trust this helps you. It is a beautful song.

Kind regards
Doreen


Dear Doreen!

Thank you thank you, you lovely lovely person.

I suppose I had hoped that if you recognised the song you would tell me, but you really have gone the extra mile with the links to the lyrics and to YouTube. That is indeed the song I had in mind, and it brought tears to my eyes to hear it, and remember Dad singing it. Now I see the source of it in the film The Glass Mountain, I do remember hearing that at some time, and because it was in a film which included those scenes in a theatre, I guess I assumed it must have come from a show.

I had wondered if it might perhaps have been a song Dad heard when he was in Italy during the War. He always was a bit of an Italophile, and I think I got called Tony because he had liked the name from that time. In fact the film The Glass Mountain was released in 1949, the year I was born. So that’s another thing that makes me feel curiously connected.

Many thanks again for taking so much trouble. With all good wishes,

Written on May 9, 2017