Christmas is approaching fast, and this time of year, My Fair Lady always comes on TV at least a couple of times before the holidays are over. That, and The Sound of Music, Gone with the wind and It’s a Wonderful Life, to name a few.
There is something so nostalgic and homely about watching old movies in midwinter.
I like having them on in the background as I spend a lazy weekend at my parents’ house, cleaning, baking and cuddling with the dog. If it’s a really good day, there is soft snowfall outside and I don’t have anywhere to go.
Old movies were made with such exacting standards and a pedantic attention to detail. The end results, for so many of these films, is stunning – there’s a reason why they’re called classics.
If you’ve been living under a rock, I’ll give a short description of the plot in My Fair Lady: it’s a 1964 version of a famous musical where a poor girl named Eliza Doolittle sells flowers on the streets of London. She is discovered by Henry Higgins who takes her under his wing. He wants to train her to appear like she is aristocratic, especially in the way she speaks, in order to prove a point to his friend. Of course, they eventually succeed in transforming her.
To be honest, My Fair Lady was never my favorite movie, but I’ve come to appreciate it more. After all, Audrey Hepburn takes elegance to a whole different level with those jewels and that hat.
There is one scene in particular that has stuck with me. It’s in the beginning of the movie when Eliza is selling flowers and dreaming of a better life, in the song “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly”.
The song goes like this:
All I want is a room somewhere
Far away from the cold night air
With one enormous chair
Oh, wouldn’t it be loverly?
Lots of chocolate for me to eat
Lots of coal makin’ lots of heat
Warm face, warm hands, warm feet
Oh, wouldn’t it be loverly?
Oh, so lovely sittin’
I would never budge till spring
Eliza and other people working alongside her are cold, tired and hungry.
They are not lusting after money or fame. Their highest wish is a living room with a comfortable chair and a lit fire.
There’s something about this song that reminds me of the privilege that I have, and often take for granted. The simple things: home. Safety. Warmth. Peace. Rest. Chocolate. This is the kind of life that so many people dream of.
- It makes me appreciate everything around me.
- It makes me feel happier at once, to know how lucky I am.
- Most of all, this makes me want to stop complaining about stupid things. I guess when we’ve always had everything we need, we tend to take it for granted.
For those of us that are privileged, the dream we should have is not to get more of anything, it’s to realize what we already have. Wouldn’t that be…loverly?
Maybe we should all complain a little less this Christmas, and continue with the habit into the new year.