I can’t claim that in the case of my wife and me, “Like a rose under the April snow, I was always certain love would grow.” After all, both of us had been in good relationships that crumbled, and we knew that life was unpredictable.
But now, 33 years later, Joanna and I can truly say that in our case we have seemingly been blessed with “love ageless and evergreen, seldom seen by two.” In fact, our relationship has been far, far better than the one portrayed in the film where those quoted lines were heard.
The phrases come from “Evergreen,” the “love theme” from the 1976 version of “A Star is Born” starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. (I’ve never seen the 1954 version starring Judy Garland and James Mason or the 1937 version starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March, though all three films won Academy Awards. Supposedly a new version of the film is “in development.”)
“Evergreen” beautifully expresses much of how I feel about our marriage, Streisand has an amazing voice, we’ve long been fans of Kristofferson, and we live in the “Evergreen State.” So despite the sad nature of the film that featured the song, “Evergreen” belongs on this blog.
Lyrics here, with video (from a scene in the film, supposedly done in a single take) below.
Joanna and I love the state of Washington, and not just because — after living most of our lives together in Idaho, Arizona and North Carolina — it’s nice to be in a politically “blue” state that supports a livable wage, affordable healthcare and gay marriage. It is the only state that has ever had two female senators and a female governor at the same time. And outside of Alaska or Hawaii, you can’t find a state farther from the craziness of the “other Washington.”
Here you can find varied geography: ocean coastline, big rivers, a multitude of lakes, mountains, desert, rain forest, cities and farms. Temperatures tend to be moderate, giving us four seasons, with relatively low humidity. In terms of natural disasters — despite the occasional volcanic eruption — we are safer than folks almost anywhere else. And of course it’s where we lived when in graduate school and where I got my Ph.D., leading to the life we enjoy now.
Though the state still falls short in education funding, it is a relatively healthy state. Maybe there’s something to that whole “apple a day” thing, considering Washington’s most famous crop. Originally an Artie Shaw song (video), “I’ll Be with You in Apple Blossom Time” (sometimes abbreviated, or with part of the title in parentheses) has been done by a range of performers that includes the Platters (video), Barry Manilo (video), Jo Stafford (video), the White Stripes (video), the Four Aces (video) and Harry James & his Orchestra with Helen Forrest (video). The Andrews Sisters sang it (video), along with another beloved old song related to apples (and to World War II), “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree.”
Though our wedding wasn’t in Washington, and though it came well before apple blossom time, it did prove to be a wonderful day — as have many of our days in the Evergreen State. For this post I’ve chosen a video by a more recent performer, singer/actor Emmy Rossum, who brings a fresh young voice to old standards.
Lyrics here, with video below.