It Might As Well Be Spring
I was happy to persuade my friend, Renee Cantwell, to come over and sing this week’s tune, Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s It Might As Well Be Spring, from their 1945 film (and first collaboration) State Fair.
Renee has sung all over the Philadelphia area in Broadway-musical roles, as well as serious music with The Philadelphia Singers and the Philadelphia Opera Company, often with her Philadelphia Singer husband, Gregory.
The three of us were working together a few days back when Renee decided on It Might As Well Be Spring. Strictly speaking, it is a song that is not meant to be sung in spring. In the show it was done in late summer at, well, state fair time. In our defense, when we decided upon the song, the weather was so rainy and cold, we had plausible evidence to believe it was not yet spring, and good reason to wish that we might feel its effects sometime soon
It’s a beautifully languorous melody and in fact won the Oscar for best song. The film was finally made into a stage play on Broadway in 1995. Interestingly, the song was sung by Dick Haymes in the movie but when I saw a stage production of the show I could swear the song was sung by the ingénue. I don’t know if it was a stage change or simply a director’s choice. In any case, I have affectionate memories of that stage production which we saw on Long Beach Island, New Jersey with our then young son and friends. I recall an even younger friend, Tucker, remarking that the State Fair song which boasted that it was the state’s best state fair was flatly stupid. He was candidly right of course. Indeed, it is a fairly idiotic show that, to be kind, has not aged well. But the dancing was fun and It Might as Well Be Spring remains a beauty. Click on the red title to hear our version. The lyrics are below.
I’m as restless as a willow in a windstorm.
I’m as jumpy as a puppet on a string.
I’d say that I have spring fever,
But I know it isn’t spring.
I am starry-eyed and vaguely discontented,
Like a nightingale without a song to sing.
Oh why should I have spring fever
When it isn’t even spring?
I keep wishing I were somewhere else,
Walking down a strange new street,
Hearing words that I have never heard
From a man I’ve yet to meet.
I’m as busy as a spider spinning daydreams.
I’m as giddy as a baby on a swing.
I haven’t seen a crocus or a rosebud
Or a robin on the wing.
But I feel so gay in a melancholy way
That it might as well be spring.
It might as