Friday was the last day of camp for this group of students. They were awesome, really working with the material. What I couldn’t believe was how much they loved the book and the original movie.
I was shocked, and not in a snarky, sarcastic way. I am shocked in a sincere way. They loved the original movie. I gave them a survey, and they could have the last day watching Tin Man from the Sci Fi channel, or they could watch “The Wiz” or the original movie. We watched clips from all three, comparing and contrasting – we also read chapters from the book and I played clips of songs that were influenced by or referenced the movie or book.
It was unanimous, they chose the original.
Watching it again after so long three things came to mind. The songs are cool in a cheesy way, the special effects are cool in a cheesy way, and the story is still sweet. I think that the theme, adventure over home still resonates.
I was surprised though… there is an old song by Judy Collins, “Dorothy” the chorus goes “Dorothy was a fool to leave; She should have stayed/ She had it all in her hand/ She had it made.” There is a part about trading all that color for black and white. I couldn’t find the song online, so I printed the lyrics and we read them as a poem. When I was a young woman living in Kansas, I would listen to that song and dream about adventures in color. I agreed Dorothy was a fool. But when I asked my students if they agreed with the lyrics, they said no. She should have gone home. They would agree that there is “No place like home” I’m still not sure what home really means to me. But I still would take adventure in color over home in black and white any day of the week, month or year.
Written by Hugh Prestwood and sung by Judy Collins
Livin in Kansas/ A life alone
She never married/She’s hardly known
She stares out the window/Far away
Looking for another/ Windy day
Dorothy was a fool to leave/ She should have stayed
She had it right in her hands/She had it made
She could have had it all for keeps/ She was afraid
She could have stayed
It seems like only/ Yesterday
But 40 years have all but/ Slipped away
Since a lonely/ Black haired girl
Was taken for her one/ And only whirl
Same old bluebird/ Flyin high
Over rainbows/ In that Kansas sky
Why oh why/ Oh…. why
I guess it only serves her right
For trading all that color/For black and white
All her sorrow/ All because
There ain’t no way to stand Kansas/ When you’ve been to Oz
I have been haunted by this song most of my life.