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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Music Bali Hai song from South Pacific
Bali Hai song from South Pacific
christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3813
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2007-08-06 12:03 am   Permalink

I can't believe it, but I never knew the song Bali Hai was from South Pacific.
It is amazing to hear it with lyrics!

Bloody Mary:
Most people live on a lonely island,
Lost in the middle of a foggy sea.
Most people long for another island,
One where they know they will like to be.

Bali Ha'i may call you,
Any night, any day,
In your heart, you'll hear it call you:
"Come away...Come away."

Bali Ha'i will whisper
In the wind of the sea:
"Here am I, your special island!
Come to me, come to me!"

Your own special hopes,
Your own special dreams,
Bloom on the hillside
And shine in the streams.
If you try, you'll find me
Where the sky meets the sea.
"Here am I your special island
Come to me, Come to me."

Bali Ha'i,
Bali Ha'i,
Bali Ha'i!

Someday you'll see me floatin' in the sunshine,
My head stickin' out from a low fluin' cloud,
You'll hear me call you,
Singin' through the sunshine,
Sweet and clear as can be:
"Come to me, here am I, come to me."
If you try, you'll find me
Where the sky meets the sea.
"Here am I your special island
Come to me, Come to me."

Bali Ha'i,
Bali Ha'i,
Bali Ha'i!



 
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Jeff Central
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 23, 2002
Posts: 1588
From: Columbus, Ohio
Posted: 2007-08-06 03:51 am   Permalink

One of my favorite songs of all time, besides "Quiet Village" of course!!

Cheers and Mahalo,
Jeff


 
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VampiressRN
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: Nov 23, 2006
Posts: 5726
From: Sun City Lincoln Hills (NorCal)
Posted: 2007-08-06 06:11 am   Permalink

It is such a beautiful haunting song....one of my favorites too. Thanks for posting the lyrics.
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Kon-Hemsby
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 17, 2003
Posts: 1285
From: Andover, England
Posted: 2007-08-06 07:34 am   Permalink

Personally, I prefer the lyrics in the Phantom Surfers version.

 
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rupe33
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 08, 2004
Posts: 319
From: DC Metro Area (MD)
Posted: 2007-08-06 08:40 am   Permalink

The lyrics of this song eluded me for several years as I only had seen "South Pacific" for the first time this year. But prior to that, at Hukilau 2006, King Kukulele asked the delightful Alice Berry to sing a song on the bus ride out to the Jetsetter Lounge. She conjured an impromptu rendition of 'Bali Hai' that was simply lovely, and it was the first time I'd heard the words ever.

One of my favorite Hukilau moments; thanks, Alice!

Cheers,
~Rupe
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11153
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-08-06 8:02 pm   Permalink

Chris, I am shocked!
BOT page 123, the opening to the James Michener chapter:

"Bali Ha'i may call you, any night, any day,
In your heart, you hear it call you: come away, come away.
Bali Ha'i will whisper, on the wind, on the sea,
here am I, your special island, come to me, come to me!

Your own special hopes, your own special dreams,
loom on the hillside and shine in the stream.
If you try, you will find me, where the sky meets the sea.
Here am I, your special island, come to me, come to me."

I know what you mean, I never HEARD the lyrics until I listened to Gloria Lynne's version, her pronounciation was so clear yet so romantic.

This IS what Tiki culture is all about, folks:
"Here am I, your special island! Come to me, come to me!
Your own special hopes, your own special dreams..."

Everybody wanted to have their own special ...private Idaho!


 
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Kaiwaza
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 06, 2003
Posts: 463
From: Waikiki Beach, Hawaii
Posted: 2007-08-06 8:10 pm   Permalink

Wow..every so often something just stupifies me. I had no idea there were people who love exotica/tiki-dom and didn't know this song backwards and forwards..LOL. I mean, nothing against you in the least, I just always assumed Bali Ha'i was sort of a "mantra" of polynesiacs everywhere. I m ust have something like 120 versions of it..LOL.
By the way, interesting tidbit....Bali Hai was kind of an after thought for "South Pacific." They felt they needed another song to "round out" the musical and thought "Hey, let's write a song about the island" and they wrote it lyrics and all over a 15 minute lunch break...seriously. The rest is history.
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Polynesiac
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jan 29, 2004
Posts: 2079
From: San Pedro, CA
Posted: 2007-08-06 8:12 pm   Permalink

Wait...big bro - you actually WROTE in the BOT?!?!?!

Funny you should post this chris. I too have never seen SP, but it's one of those soundtracks that I always pass up at the record stores. I've heard the song from the movie before, but it never dawned on me that there were such extensive lyrics.
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rupe33
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 08, 2004
Posts: 319
From: DC Metro Area (MD)
Posted: 2007-08-06 8:49 pm   Permalink

If you haven't seen the movie... I'd recommend checking it out, but I'd also say read Michener's "Tales Of The South Pacific" book first.

In the States, The movie turns up on TCM from time to time - try a Tivo Wishlist if you've got Tivo. It is out on DVD--and a more recent production with Glenn Close is available too (haven't seen it yet).

Also... you'll never look at Mr. Hand (Ray Walson, also from 'My Favorite Martian') the same way again after seeing the 1958 film!

Bali Hai *will* call you!
~RUpe
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bamalamalu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 20, 2006
Posts: 564
Posted: 2007-08-06 9:59 pm   Permalink

I was just looking through the new TCM guide this afternoon and saw "South Pacific" listed again. It looks like the next showing will be September 20th at 12:30 Eastern/9:30AM Pacific time.

Always one of my favorite songs - that is one magical refrain! Occasionally it makes an appearance among the background music at the Bali Hai restaurant; always a nice compliment to the Mai Tai.


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11153
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-08-07 07:14 am   Permalink

I must admit I find South Pacific hard to watch. Kind of like West Side Story. I love the sets, the colors, the costumes...but as soon as the characters break into this operatic singing, I cringe. Unbearable to watch for me. Hard to believe, but there ARE things that can be too kitschy, too tacky, even for me.

The first time I got to see it was spectacular, it was a special screening at the the Zoo Palace in Berlin, on the HUGE screen. That was before Tiki. For me as a contemporary cinematographer, the use of those pink soft-edge filters to enhance the "romantic" mood was an experience of shock and disbelief, like "they didn't really do that, did they?".

BUT it had an indelible impact on America, and thus was a main ambassador of Polynesian pop:

From "Cold War Orientalism---Asia in the Middlebrow Imagination, 1945-1961" :

Donald Henahan recalled that Rogers & Hammerstein's songs achieved a level of ubiquity in the late 1940s and early 1950s that few contemporary songwriters could match: "Few inhabitants of America in 1949 could have failed to know every dramatic nuance and singable note of South Pacific...the Rogers score penetrated every layer of American culture...For years, no American ear could escape...The songs oozed out of every radio and television set, assailed one in elevators, restaurants and washrooms. A generation of susceptible youth could hardly escape them, and did not try."


 
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bb moondog
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 18, 2006
Posts: 492
From: Gilbert AZ
Posted: 2007-08-07 07:44 am   Permalink

I agree with the 'kitschy' unWATCHABLE assessment..these are different times. Even in the 70s when that thing would come on the Movie of the Week I'd avoid it like the PLAGUE--everything is just FINE until they start SINGING --with the possible exception of 'Bali hai', which with the staging and pretty decent performance always came through fine..
its more of your PARENTS tiki than ours--yet it WAS hugely influential in urban polynesiafied patios and faux exotic home decor modifications


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11153
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-08-07 08:27 am   Permalink

I might not interpret this correctly, but it seems that this the point where I diverge from much of "OUR" Tiki, which is the Tiki of today I guess. To me it was always about "our parents' " ( or grandparents') Tiki, and ITS greatness, my appreciation for it really and effectively being a modern form of ancestor worship. I cannot watch the singing in South Pacific, but I am fascinated by the effects it had on mid-century pop culture, and so I appreciate it as a phenomenon.
I look at so much in Tiki today and shake my head...automatically relegating myself to a "parental" mindset by taking that perspective.


 
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tripower
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Oct 18, 2005
Posts: 21
Posted: 2007-08-08 11:32 am   Permalink

To quote:

"For me as a contemporary cinematographer, the use of those pink soft-edge filters to enhance the "romantic" mood was an experience of shock and disbelief, like "they didn't really do that, did they?". "

As a contemporary cinematographer (with an obvious appreciation of tiki culture) how can you not love South Pacific? Real Technicolor, huge Todd AO format, those colors...sadly no film will ever be able to look like that again.

It's like an experimental film done on the scale of epic Greek tragedy...it's poetry man. Just the scenes at Liat's hut alone...


 
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bigbrotiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 11153
From: Tiki Island, above the Silverlake
Posted: 2007-08-09 4:26 pm   Permalink

"Real Technicolor, huge Todd AO format, those colors...sadly no film will ever be able to look like that again"

I totally agree, that's why I mentioned that I saw it on a huge Todd AO screen that it was intended for, it was amazing, as I said earlier: "...I love the sets, the colors, the costumes.." but that still does not do away with the singing.

And that soft edge filter effect: I shot music videos for the Cramps with that later. And the Liat scene...you don't have to convert me there, either: Book of Tiki, last paragraph page 125 --it was THE scene in the movie.


 
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