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Archive for the ‘Wizard of Oz’ Category

“Bali Ha’i” and “The Jitterbug”

Friday, January 10th, 2014

A while back I posted some observations on what my ears heard as the influence of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Bali Ha’i” (from the 1949 South Pacific¬†soundtrack) on Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” and some others. ¬†A deleted scene from The Wizard of Oz (1942), though, has me wondering if Rodgers and Hammerstein actually borrowed from Harold Arlen. The expensive, elaborate scene included an Arlen song (lyrics by E.Y. Harburg) called “The Jitterbug,” in which Dorothy and friends dance frenetically under the influence of the song title’s creatures (only the grainy version above, shot by Arlen himself, exists). Although “The Jitterbug” never made it to the final cut of the film, it did appear in a 1942 stage musical version, which is one way it might have seeped into Rodgers and Hammerstein’s consciousness.