Spring Is Busting Out All Over!


Well, the song is June Is Busting Out All Over, from the gorgeous Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel… It’s a rousing, jolly song, with a macho sort of chorus kicking things off and a lot of energetic (and athletic) dancing in the middle. As in most of these fifties musicals, everyone is well-scrubbed, clean and white, in the original version; and the men do manly things like fishing and boating, while the women bake cakes, wearing aprons. You can watch the entire sequence on dear old YouTube. Here are the lyrics:

Exuberant dancing: the scene from Carousel in which June is busting out.
Exuberant, clean-cut dancing: the scene from Carousel in which June is busting out.

Men]
June is bustin’ out all over!
All over the meadow and the hill!
Buds’re bustin’ outa bushes
And the rompin’ river pushes
Ev’ry little wheel that wheels beside the mill!

June is bustin’ out all over!
The feelin’ is gettin’ so intense
That the young Virginia creepers
Hev been huggin’ the bejeepers
Outa all the mornin’-glories on the fence.
Because it’s June!
June, June, June
Jest because it’s June, June, June!

June is bustin’ out all over!
The ocean is full of Jacks and Jills,
With her little tail a-swishin’
Ev’ry lady fish is wishin’
That a male would come
And grab her by the gills!

[All]
Because it’s June! June, June, June
Just because it’s June, June, June!

[Barbara]
Fresh and alive and gay and young
June is a love song, sweetly sung

[Girls]
June is bustin’ out all over!
The saplin’s are bustin’ out with sap!
Love he’s found my brother, “Junior,”
And my sister’s even lunier,
And my ma is gettin’ kittenish with Pap.

[All]
June is bustin’ out all over!

The cute little lambs of a European spring. Or as my father used to say: "Delicious with mint sauce"!
The cute little lambs of a European spring. Or as my father used to say: “Delicious with mint sauce”!

[Barbara]
June is bustin’ out all over!
The sheep aren’t sleepin’ any more.
All the rams that chase ewe sheep
Are determined there’ll be new sheep,
And the ewe sheep aren’t even keepin’ score!

[All]
Because it’s June! June, June, June
Just because it’s June, June, June!
It’s June! It’s June, June, June
Just because it’s June, June…

[Claramae]
March went out like a lion
A-whippin’ up the water in the bay.
Then April cried and stepped aside,
And along came pretty little May!

May was full of promises,
But she didn’t keep ’em quick enough for some,
And a crowd of Doubtin’ Thomases
Was predictin’ that the summer’d never come.

[Men]
But it’s comin’, by gum!
Y’ ken can feel it come,
Y’ ken can feel it in yer heart,
Y’ ken can see it in the ground,

[Girls]
Y’ ken can see it in the trees,
Y’ ken can smell it in the breeze

[All]
Look around, look around, look around!

[Claramae]
To ladies the men are payin’ court.
Lotsa ships are kept at anchor
Jest because the captains hanker
Fer the comfort they ken only get in port!

[Barbara]
June makes the bay look bright and new,
Sails gleamin’ white on sunlit blue.

[All]
You can hear it comin’!

[Claramae]
June is bustin’ out all over
The moonlight is shining on the shore
And the girls who were contrary
With the boys in January,
Aren’t nearly so contrary anymore!

[Claramae and Chorus]
Because it’s June! June, June, June
Just because it’s June, June, June!

[Ballet]

[All]
On accounta it’s June!
June, June, June
Jest because it’s June, June, June

Quite a lot of lyrics! Well, I am going to date myself horribly now. Although I was quite small when this movie was released (1956), I was fascinated as a child by American musical theater, much of which was translated into films. For me, they were quite magical – and the fact that I didn’t understand half of what they were singing made them all the more fascinating (I didn’t understand American). For me, as a child, they had a Technicolor, dream-like quality. It was another world, far from that of my quiet London neighborhood.

Cowslips, courtesy of my Facebook friend John Wyatt.
Cowslips, courtesy of my Facebook friend John Wyatt.

These songs must be built into my DNA, because over the weekend I was thinking (and singing to myself): Spring is busting out all over…

Well, we don’t have real seasons in Jamaica, I’m afraid. In the tropics, everything is even: It’s generally hot year round – a little cooler for periods, a little wetter for periods. The days are virtually the same length. There is really, honestly, little variety – although Jamaicans will use the word “season” – as in “mango season,” which is round about now. Most leaves don’t fall, many plants bloom year-round. Trees bloom at certain times, but it’s not really regarded as a season.

One of my friend's glorious photographs, from Borstig Prastgard, Sweden. (With his permission)
One of my friend’s glorious photographs, from Borstig Prastgard, Sweden. (With his permission)

I must confess – I really miss the in-your-face season of spring. I do. It did not help that a friend of mine who lives in rural Sweden, and regularly posts exquisite photographs of the changing moods of nature, shared a glorious collection on Facebook of daffodils, daisies, cowslips, forget-me-nots, tulips, grape hyacinths…all glowing in a gentle spring sun. I felt suddenly tearful and longing for northern climes – perhaps forgetting, though, that up north spring has a habit of turning wet and nasty on you, overnight.

Ah, but… In Jamaica, spring is somehow in the air. The birds are convinced of it. It’s a kind of vibration, perhaps. Our neighborhood (that part which still includes trees) has been frantically busy in the past two or three weeks. Our next door neighbor shared some beautiful videos of their Red-Billed Streamertail (“Doctor Bird”) babies, at different stages of development. The fledglings, quivering anxiously on the nest a couple of weeks ago, are now flitting around and guzzling all the syrup out of the bird feeders like pros. A pair of Zenaida Doves (“Pea Doves”) spend half the day chasing each other around in ever-decreasing circles. Don’t they get dizzy?

One of our Jamaican Woodpeckers on his favorite perch, a lamp post. To his right, a Northern Mockingbird is hoping to evict him. (My photo)
One of our Jamaican Woodpeckers on his favorite perch, a lamp post. To his right, a Northern Mockingbird is hoping to evict him. (My photo)

My feathered friends are behaving oddly. One of our Jamaican Woodpeckers appeared at the window earlier today, peering in at me for a couple of minutes. I did not dare move to grab my camera, but as our eyes met, I wondered what on earth had got into him. He actually (literally) stuck out his tongue at me. Similarly, a Northern Mockingbird zoomed past the window several times, back and forth. Was he in a tiff with Mr. Woodpecker? Who knows. Meanwhile, the Smooth-Billed Anis’ nest of two years ago has been reconstructed to three times its previous size at the top of a Julie mango tree. It’s a bit like the Royalton Negril hotel – getting larger by the minute. Will baby Anis emerge?

Are we going to have an explosion of Smooth-Billed Anis, like last year? (My photo)
Are we going to have an explosion of Smooth-Billed Anis, like last year? (My photo)

Then another slightly crazy birder like me described on Facebook how she and her child found a Jamaican Tody’s nest in a bank while on a hillside walk, with accompanying video. The sound effects were muffled human squeals of delight. I want more baby bird videos!

Basically, however, spring in the tropics means it just gets steadily warmer. I am steeling myself for the summer city heat, and the approach of the dreaded hurricane season, just two weeks away.

Ah! That’s another season we all look forward to. Oh, no. We don’t, do we.


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