Posted by: Jim E | February 11, 2013

Words…Music…Stories…Movies…History…And Seven Brides For Seven Brothers…

I have been reading a variety of books lately…history, biographies, etc…and I am reading, right now, a book about the Naval battle surrounding Guadalcanal…a WWII book…it’s called Dietrich Bonhoeffer“Neptune’s Inferno” by James Hornfischer…he is great at telling naval history…his research is wonderful…I just finished “Bonhoeffer” by Eric Matexas, another wonderful book…again, he did so much research to write the book…and there have been a few others that I read recently…

The thing that invariably stands out in every book I read is how much research the author has to do before they can actually write the book…and most of the good authors spend about as much time reading about the time period of the book, as the actual time in writing…one of the things that stands out to me, as I read, is how much reference is made to history of the time…like the Guadalcanal battle…at the Neptune's Infernosame time (1942), the battle of Stalingrad was going on…and the battle for El Alemien, in North Africa…all happening at the same time…and by the end of 1942 things, though still uncertain, are looking up for the allies…and my Dad was still home with his wife and two boys, me being one of them…it would be the fall of 1943 before he went in the Navy…and ended up very close to Guadalcanal, in New Guinea at Milne Bay…aboard the USS Cinnamon…

So words are so important…and when you put them down on paper, there always is much research to do…whether in a book or in music, words do make a huge difference…and how much the author of  one or the other knows about the subject he writes about…the better the book, the song…so that brings me to the other day…I saw the musical “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers” written about somewhere…Oh, I remember, it was something about Plutarch…an ancient Greek historian, and his book, “Life of Romulus”…and his description of the Seven Brides for Seven BrothersRomans and the Sabine women…and how the Romans kidnapped the Sabine women for their brides…then the reference went to Stephen Vincent Benet and his short story, “Sobbin’ Women”, a parody of that ancient Greek story published in 1938…Benet updated the story to 1850 and the Oregon frontier, substituting the Romans with seven rural brothers…then to the movie, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”…a 1954 musical, with Jane Powell and Howard Keel…the story was, of course, changed again to fit a musical about the same idea…

I saw the movie way back, probably when it came out in 1954…and though a movie like this would not be made today…yet it is a wonderful musical coming from material of the distant past…and like many stories and movies today, based on some historic event or happening and the screenplay written to “make it work” with audiences today…and like the story, even the songs written by Johnny Mercer have Plutarch, Benet and 1850’s Oregon written all over it…like one of the main songs, “Sobbin’ Women”…I will attach that song to this post…and listen for Plutarch’s name…you will enjoy it…maybe enough to look up the movie and watch it…great color…great songs…and though produced on a “shoestring” it is a good example of a 40’s and 50’s musical…

So words, music, stories, movies, history…and even Seven Brides for Seven Brothers…who could ask for more on this February day…


  1. I love seven brides for seven brother, this song makes me smile, thank you for sharing

    • Yup…the whole movie is like that…a smile and a good feeling…I like that…thanks for the comment…Jim E

      • It is indeed, just some terrible haircuts lol, thank again for sharing this, I had forgotten how much I had enjoyed it on cold winter days,

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