Friday, May 27, 2011

Town Without Pity

In 1961, a movie starring Kirk Douglas and titled 'Town Without Pity' was released.  I remember going to the local movie theatre to see it.  I remember it being an intense drama.  I don't think I have ever seen it again. 

What I remember most is the theme song.  Gene Pitney sang an incredibly moving song that was nominated for an Oscar but lost out to the 'sappy' Moon River (yuck).  It did win the Golden Globe.  I remember turning up my radio any time it was played, which was a lot.

Anyway, this song appears in more movies than just this one.  It also was heard in the 1988 'Hairspray'.  And last night, while watching a rerun of 'Cold Case', the song was heard again (this time in a case of gay-bashing). 

It was also used in the closing credits for 'Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat', though I admit I have not seen that movie.  But I have seen 'Look Who's Talking', though I do not remember the song in that, but hey, it was 1989.

I am guessing it has gotten more usage in TV shows than any other song.  If you are unfamiliar with the song, here are the lyrics and a couple of videos.  I am sure you can think of many things the lyrics can apply to today.  And I think I may just rent the movie and watch  it again.

The Lyrics:

When you're young and so in love as we
And bewildered by the world we see
Why do people hurt us so
Only those in love would know
What a town without pity can do

If we stop to gaze upon a star
People talk about how bad we are
Ours is not an easy age
We're like tigers in a cage
What a town without pity can do

The young have problems, many problems
We need an understanding heart
Why don't they help us, try and help us
Before this clay and granite planet falls apart

Take these eager lips and hold me fast
I'm afraid this kind of joy can't last
How can we keep love alive
How can anything survive
When these little minds tear you in two
What a town without pity can do

How can we keep love alive
How can anything survive
When these little minds tear you in two
What a town without pity can do

No, it isn't very pretty what a town without pity, can do.

The videos:

Gene Pitney:

Movie clips:

1 comment:

  1. Your post was very interesting and thought provoking but Moon River by Johnny Mercer, while not his best song was better than the edgy Town Without Pity. Mercer may have won the award because of a body of work which included Accentuate the Positive. Did enjoy listening to the music videos and reading the lyrics.


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