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“Pass Me By”

Father Goose

I had never heard of the 1964 Cary Grant WWII romantic comedy “Father Goose” until Rob, one of my US based followers, wrote in response to my previous blog Getting to the meeting on time…with makeup that it had reminded him of the movie’s theme song – “Pass Me By”. Clearly I hadn’t heard of the song either.

I was chuffed and of course I wanted to write about this. But how to blog about a movie one hasn’t seen or a song one hasn’t heard?

This called for some research – and with a flash of the keyboard (and the help of my old friend Google) it didn’t take very long at all to track it down. The short, short version is Cary Grant plays a beachcomber who is co-opted by the Allies to look out for enemy planes over the Pacific during WWII.  You can read more here.

Judging by the opening credits and the playful theme song “Pass Me By” – it looks like a movie I’d enjoy.

I’ve got me ten fine toes to wiggle in the sand.
Lots of idle fingers snap to my command.
A lively pair of heels that kick to beat the band.
Contemplatin’ nature can be fascinatin’.
Add to these a nose that I can thumb,
And a mouth by gum have I,
To tell the whole darn world if you don’t happen to like it deal me out,
Thankyou kindly Pass Me By
Chorus: Pass Me By-y, Pass Me By-y-y.
 If you don’t happen to like it Pass Me By.
 
I’ve got me two great shoes that never saw a shine.

Trousers I can hold up with a laundry line.

A lovely patch that hides an awful lot of spine.

Shirt-tails flyin’, I’m a bloomin’ dandelion!

Add to these a grin from ear to ear,

And all the proper gear have I,

To tell the whole darn world if you don’t like the assortment deal me out,

Thankyou kindly Pass Me By
Chorus: Pass Me By-y, Pass Me By-y-y.
If you don’t happen to like it Pass Me By.
Lyrics: Carolyn Leigh
 Music: Cy Coleman

Definitely tantalising…and definitely blogworthy.

On the face of it, the song is talking about a someone who just wants a beachcombing easy life. About someone who thumbs their nose at the world. About someone who only does what they want or can bothered to do.

But this song must have come my way for a reason. So that was challenge enough for me to take a closer look…and it struck me that there is much truth in this apparently frivolous song. Definitely some things to think more closely about.

Gratitude

Our beachcomber may appear lazy and cheeky, but he has  an attitude of gratitude. Clearly he is happy with what he has and who he is.

He is happy to have “ten fine toes…fingers…a nose…a mouth”. How many of us feel this level of happiness that we have fingers and toes? Or a mouth or a nose???

He is happy with his “two great shoes”. That’s not two pairs of shoes – but two shoes. A right shoe and a left shoe. How many of us could make do and feel gratitude for owning just one pair of shoes? We need at least one pair for weekdays and one pair for goo…don’t we???

Simplicity

The beachcomber lives a pretty slimmed down and simple like. He has no excess clothes or any other stuff really. It sounds like all he has is pretty much the clothes on his back.

And he’s pretty happy to sit and contemplate nature – no phone or other electronic device to distract him. No social media to be always connected. He’s offline and loving it.

How many of us can cope with being offline for a mere 24 hours, or even 24 minutes? Can any of survive offline for just 24 seconds without getting withdrawals? It can be tough. And for that matter can any of us even remember how to contemplate nature? Or how to be fascinated by nature???

Self-confidence

Not only is the beachcomber grateful and living the simple life, but he is so supremely self-confident. Just happy to be in his own skin. And if the world doesn’t like it – well then he invites the world to pass him by, to walk away.

Thumbing his nose at the world isn’t so much disdain for the world, as a reflection of his attitude – that he will be himself, needs to be himself, can only be himself. He has never stopped for a moment to ask: “What will they think?” Because he knows the truth. What the world thinks truly does not matter – what matters is that he is living with integrity in a way that is true to himself.

How many of us have truly let go of wondering what the world is thinking about us? How may of us never take look over our shoulder to see if the Jones’s approve? How many of us can really invite the world to pass us by and walk away if it doesn’t like what it sees?

So…

So this simple song with it’s playful tune has much to teach us what gratitude, simplicity and self-confidence might look like. And it shows us this in a way that is quite inspiring and fun.

So how do we get there? Well that will have to be the subject of another blog (or two) on another day.

But for now – I’m off to try and track down the movie…

And thanks Rob for the thought – you made me think – it was fun!!!
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3 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Helenasydney's Blog and commented:
    The wonderful writer Jocelyn Lowinger found herself on a marvellous journey when the title of her new blog turned out to also be the title of a song from a Cary Grant movie. As a good chassidishe maydel she knew there is no such thing as coincidence so set out to find what in the song related to her and her blog. The result is compelling .. enjoy!

  2. Rob Burnside

    Now that I’ve watched the opening to “Father Goose” at least fifteen times, I want to find the movie, too! Also, I’d recommend to anyone “Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison” (Robert Mitchum and Jean Kerr, circa 1957), a similar story with a more dramatic tone. Thanks Dr. J for another great blog–entertaining and thought-provoking all at once.

    • Rob Burnside

      Excuse me, I believe it was Deborah Kerr (see above).

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