Sunday, September 7, 2014

Berowne's 236

(Also for ABC Wednesday: "I" is for "International")

Men cluster to me like moths around a flame
And if their wings burn, I know I'm not to blame

Falling in love again
Never wanted to
What am I to do?
Can't help it.

Love's always been my game
Play it how I may
I was made that way
Can't help it.

That was Marlene’s song, her signature song.

She had been a Berlin showgirl, struggling to make something of herself, and all she had achieved in the thirties was a position in a vaudeville group named “The Girl Kabarett,” when she hit it big in a movie.

Marlene – surely you don’t really need the last name – starred in the internationally successful film “The Blue Angel,” the story of a cabaret singer who pretty well destroys a respectable school teacher, and Hollywood called: Come on over and do some of that for us.

But she was German, and it was the thirties, and the Nazis were in power, so she did what you might expect.

Except she actually did what you might never have expected.  Marlene Dietrich was strongly anti-Nazi right from the beginning.  She came to the U S and became an American citizen.  She wrote:

In “Blue Angel,” she sang the song she became known by.  It became “Falling in Love Again,” in America, but her version went like this.

Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuß
Auf Liebe eingestellt

I am from head to toe with love involved.

 Denn das ist meine Welt.
Und sonst gar nichts.

That’s about my world; there’s not much else.

Das ist, was soll ich machen,
Meine Natur

That is, no matter what I do, my nature.

During the war Marlene traveled everywhere, selling war bonds like crazy, visiting wounded American soldiers and so on.  She was an international star and she had traveled a long way from a tiny part in the vaudeville group “The Girl Kabarett.”

21 comments:

Helen said...

Add this to the long list of fascinating posts you gift us ...

naturgesetz said...

Nice to be reminded of Marlene.

Roger Owen Green said...

ah, I remember her, even though she was already a legend by the time I was born

Kutamun said...

Sounds like one if the bravest people incolved on either side ! ( not to mention smartest , and most beautiful)

Kathe W. said...

Thanks Berowne for telling us about Marlene. I did not know about how she came to be here and especially all the wonderful ways she showed support and love for America.

Steve E said...

My first ten years were spent in the U.S. during the 1930's (born in 1933!) Those were tough years to be most anywhere besides America. With rationing, shortages, saving this and that, air raid practices--we had it pretty good--unlike millions we sent "over there"...brothers, fathers, cousins, aunts. And we had that brightest, sweetest light: Marlene.

Thank you SO much, allowing me to travel back for this moment, Berowne....

Berowne said...

What a terrific, and rather moving, comment, Steve E - thanx so much.

Karen S. said...

What a splendid way to be, she was a lovely person from the inside out! Very nice tribute for her my friend.

Vidhya Rao - Paint My Word said...

wow, interesting story...funnily i was just thinking how America did accept her and gave citizenship - she could be a lady spy! But Alas, I was wrong - she was that wandering soul that just was seeking peaceful life.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you for this interesting post. Marlène has been in the Netherlands as well. one of our wellknown authors who was also a comedian, weil introducing her to the audience,
said that a friend of his seeing her long beautiful legs, had remarked with a sigh :" Oh, could my wife had but one such a leg"...,
Have a great week!
Wil, ABCW Team.

Anita said...

Marlene's story can be made into a movie.
Thanks for introducing.

Anita

Hildred said...

Remembered with affection...

Truedessa said...

Thanks for an interesting read, I was surprised as I was expecting a quiz or question to answer. She was indeed a woman of integrity. It is good to remember people who made a difference in the world.

Kim Adams Morgan said...

Not familiar with this. But thanks to you, I am now. It's good to be back at Magpie. Missed you all.

Tess Kincaid said...

Love her...excellent post Mr. B...

Berowne said...


What a generous comment, Tess; sincere thanx.

Lmkazmierczak said...

A class act♪

senderupwords said...

;) Nice! Love and Light, S

humbird said...

Very interesting! Thank you for sharing :)x

Stafford Ray said...

Strangely, or should I say unusually, her songs were sung by soldiers on both sides in the same war, such was her talent.

Cris said...

Interesting story...

 
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