Tag: The Beatles

Return to the movies!

Another movie, another dog! Correction: another world-famous dog!

Monday’s post Hail the Hero was about Max.

Max, a feature film by the producers of the doggie classic Marley and Me, intends to explore a soldier dog’s journey that doesn’t end with this heartbreaking image of a pup chasing down his fallen brother, but rather begins with it.

So it’s rather nice to welcome a guest post from Emily Ridgewell that features a dog that became known far and wide thanks to television and the cinema.

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An Incredible Rescue: An Often Forgotten “Tail” From The Golden Age Of Hollywood

By Emily Ridgewell

In the shadow of recent world tragedies, and long before cute puppies and kittens graced the internet, there were former movie legends in the form of incredible canines that found their way onto the big screen in the golden age of Hollywood. Think of adorable dogs like Toto from The Wizard of Oz or Lassie from many different types of these movies and television shows.

But there’s another “tail” (pardon the pun) about a German Shepherd named Rin Tin Tin who stole America’s heart and eventually had millions of fans all around the world long before the advent of the internet. Few of us today know the real-life story of this precious little puppy who was rescued from a war zone long before Toto or Lassie gained their fame and fortune as canine celebrities.

According to a historically-related biography published long-after this rag-tag dog shot to fame in the late twenties and early thirties, there was a young American soldier stationed in Europe shortly before the end of World War I. Corporal Lee Duncan was traipsing through the aftermath of formerly German-occupied farming village in France when he came across a single building, actually it was a kennel, that remained somewhat intact after a devastating bombing had leveled the entire town.

After cautiously entering the building, the young trooper painfully walked over more than a dozen dead German Shepherd dogs. These canine soldiers were trained for combat and left behind by the Third Reich. Corporal Duncan heard whimpering coming from deeper inside this solitary structure and continued on with his mission. To his amazement, Lee discovered some unlikely survivors of this terrible tragedy.

AFTER THE UNTHINKABLE – LIVING & LOVABLE

Lying in the rubble, there Lee saw a female shepard with five young puppies who were just a few days old. Corporal Duncan was no stranger to abandonment since his own father had left him and his mother to fend for themselves back in 1898. Just a year later, his Mom took him and a younger sibling to an orphanage. Perhaps this tugged on his heartstrings and he couldn’t leave behind this young family so he took them all underneath his wing.

He took the entire brood back to his barracks in a living and loving rescue effort. The young Corporal quickly realized he couldn’t care for all of them and found loving homes for all but two of the pups. He kept a little boy and girl, named them Nanette and Rin Tin Tin, both titles given to good luck charms found in France.

THE CANINES AFTER CHAOS

Lee continued to care for his beloved best buddies as the chaos of the war continued. After the conflict had concluded, Corporal Duncan was bound and determined to take his little war refugees home with him. Imagine the red-tape he was faced with and, long story short, he lost Nanette to pneumonia after bringing them both home to the states.

The WWI veteran got a job in his home state of California and began training Rin Tin Tin to perform some tricks in their spare time. After some filming occurred, the former Corporal wrote a screenplay and the rest (as they say) is history.

There’s an old saying (later turned into a Beatles song – also from many days gone by) that rings true in this case, you “Can’t Buy Me Love.” And that’s the whole point.

You can’t purchase the love and affection of an animal, but if you rescue one, you’ll find unconditional love that lasts forever. You might not become rich and famous after rescuing an animal, but you’ll never find a deeper love and connection with your four-legged best friend.

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Emily Ridgewell is an arts professional and a pet enthusiast from sunny LA. Emily has a creative energy and an aesthetic sense of living, where everything beautiful is worth sharing. She loves her yorkie Olivia and writes original and fun articles on ways to learn and improve your pet-best friend’s life. She finds exciting new things to explore and experience! Don’t forget to connect with her on Twitter: @ridgewell_j

Picking up on that ‘old saying’ with regard to The Beatles makes it easy to close today’s post. (And sorry if this makes some of you feel old!)

Here’s a little bit of music history:

Written by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 29 January; 25 February; 10 March 1964
Producer: George Martin
Engineers: Norman Smith, Geoff Emerick

Released: 20 March 1964 (UK), 16 March 1964 (US)

Can’t Buy Me Love was The Beatles’ sixth British single, released with the b-side You Can’t Do That. It was written while the group were in Paris for a 19-date residency at the city’s Olympia Theatre.

Ah! Nostalgia!

Feelings across the universe

If you can’t feel it, you can’t write it!

This saying was offered in a creative writing class that Jean and I attended when we were living in Payson, Arizona.  It came to me spontaneously as I started today’s post.  Because feeling what is going on around us is the only way to write it, to share it, to bring it to the attention of all.

These are tough times for so many that love the world around us and having the odd weep is a perfectly rational, and healthy, thing to happen.

So as you listen to the following just feel it. And if a tear comes to your eye … embrace it.

Hopefully, you listened to the full seven minutes before reading on!  Because to end the post at this point would be to leave out some great connections.

The first being that the inspiration for today’s post came from Peter Sinclair’s blog Climate Denial Crock of the Week, to which I subscribe.  The post was called Music Break: Across the Universe:

Put this on in the background and let it creep up on you.

Elizabeth Shepherd performs Live-to-Air with Michael Occipinti’s Shine On: The Universe of John Lennon
Toronto, June 1, 2012 CBC Radio

UPDATE: by popular demand, the original below.

Secondly, a quick dip into WikiPedia reveals that the song was recorded by the Beatles in February 1968 at the famous Abbey Road studios and released on the 12th December, 1969. It was written by John Lennon, and credited to Lennon–McCartney.

abbey road studios
Abbey Road Studios, 3 Abbey Road, St. John’s Wood, London

Thirdly, that Wikipedia reference includes the background to the composition of the song, some of which I will share here:

One night in 1967, the phrase “words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup” came to Lennon after hearing his ex-wife Cynthia, according to Lennon, “going on and on about something.” Later, after “she’d gone to sleep—and I kept hearing these words over and over, flowing like an endless stream,” Lennon went downstairs and turned it into a song. He began to write the rest of the lyrics and when he was done, he went to bed and forgot about them.

I was lying next to my first wife in bed, you know, and I was irritated, and I was thinking. She must have been going on and on about something and she’d gone to sleep and I kept hearing these words over and over, flowing like an endless stream. I went downstairs and it turned into a sort of cosmic song rather than an irritated song, rather than a “Why are you always mouthing off at me?”[1]… [The words] were purely inspirational and were given to me as boom!. I don’t own it you know; it came through like that.[2]

The flavour of the song was heavily influenced by Lennon’s and the Beatles’ interest in Transcendental Meditation in late 1967 – early 1968, when the song was composed. Based on this he added the mantra “Jai guru deva om” (Sanskrit: जय गुरुदेव ) to the piece, which became the link to the chorus. The Sanskrit phrase is a sentence fragment whose words could have many meanings. Literally it approximates as “glory to the shining remover of darkness,”[3] and can be paraphrased as “Victory to God divine”, “Hail to the divine guru”, or the phrase commonly invoked by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in referring to his spiritual teacher “All Glory to Guru Dev.”[4]

Finally the lyrics.

“Across The Universe”

Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup
They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my open mind
Possessing and caressing me
Jai Guru Deva OM

Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world

Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes
They call me on and on across the universe
Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letter box
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe
Jai Guru Deva OM

Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world

Sounds of laughter shades of live are ringing through my open ears
Inciting and inviting me
Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns
It calls me on and on, across the universe
Jai Guru Deva OM

Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world

Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva [fade out]

Footnote

The title of the song was given a new dimension when NASA beamed the song into space.

“On 4 February 2008, at 00:00 UTC, NASA transmitted the Interstellar Message “Across the Universe” in the direction of the star Polaris, 431 light years from Earth. The transmission was made using a 70m antenna in the Deep Space Network’s Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex, located outside of Madrid, Spain. It was done with an “X band” transmitter, radiating into the antenna at 18 kW. This was done to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the song’s recording, the 45th anniversary of the Deep Space Network (DSN), and the 50th anniversary of NASA. The idea was hatched by Beatles historian Martin Lewis, who encouraged all Beatles fans to play the track as it was beamed to the distant star. The event marked the first time a song had ever been intentionally transmitted into deep space, and was approved by McCartney, Yoko Ono, and Apple Corps.”

Thus those feelings so beautifully expressed in the song will be echoing around the universe for time immemorial. Now that is a legacy!