Last weekend "Bye Bye Birdie"
was on the movie channel. That's the first time I'd seen that movie in years. It was made in 1963 and starred Ann Margaret, Dick Van Dyke, Janet Leigh, Bobby Rydell, and Paul Lynne. Paul Lynne should have gotten an Oscar for playing a heterosexual father.
Anyway, the movie was a musical that came out just a couple of months after the Cuban missile crisis when the entire nation was on edge about nuclear war with the Soviet Union.
It was a very frightening time. I remember my mother stock piling canned food in our basement in case of a nuclear attack. At school we practiced "duck and cover" where we got under our desks in a fetal position to protect us from a nuclear blast. We literally thought that our days were numbered.
When "Bye Bye Birdie"
came out in the spring of 1963 people flocked to the theaters to take their minds off the international crisis. In the movie there was a lively musical number with these comforting lyrics that seem to speak to us all.
"There is music to play,
people to see,
places to go.
There's everything for you and me.
Life's a ball
if only you know it.
And it's there
just waiting for you.
so come on and show it.
You've got a lot of living to do.
I want a taste of everything.
Let's live it up and really swing.
We've got a lot of living to do!"