- Mood: Ornery, Cheerful
- Themes: Early summer, young love
- Tempo: Upbeat
- Genre/Style: Showtune
June is here! The kids are (mostly) out of school, the swimming pools are open, the trees are all green now, and my dear husband is not yet tired of mowing the lawn. These early signs of summer are a perfect topic for discussion among older adults and other long-term groups. As it turns out, this is also the topic of our newest song spotlight: “June Is Bustin’ Out All Over.”
This song is one of the show-stoppers from the 1945 musical “Carousel” by the famed duo Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. “Carousel” was the second collaboration for the pair, following the wild success of their first musical, “Oklahoma!” Their new musical was a hit in its own right, and it also included the soon-to-be-popular songs “If I Loved You” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” the latter of which is another favorite song with some of my clients and another great source for discussion. “Carousel” also has a special place in my heart because I was part of the orchestra for the run of performances of this musical during my first year of college. (I can still picture the gal who led “June is Bustin’ Out All Over,” with the full cast joining in!)
In the context of the musical, “June is Bustin’ Out All Over” is the big cast number that provides the transition from the first scenes where the two main characters meet and fall in love, to the scenes some time later after they have married. That being said, it is not really necessary for you or the elders you work with to be familiar with the plot of this musical to enjoy the song. The main idea of “June is Bustin’ Out All Over” is simply welcoming the beginning of summer, with all the sights and sounds of the season, as well as the early summer love that seems to happen across the natural world. This song has great imagery and lyrics that are fun to sing. Check out this example:
June is bustin’ out all over
The feelin’ is gettin’ so intense,
That the young Virginia creepers
Hev been huggin’ the bejeebers
Outta all the mornin’ glories on the fence!
What a great picture! Another favorite line of mine: “Ma is gettin’ kittenish with Pap.” You can’t help but deliver these lines with a wink and a smile! This song presents the perfect opportunity to talk about young love and the beginnings of special relationships.
One more great feature of this song is that the rhythm of the lyrics encourages movement at a steady pace. You could encourage elders to sing the line “June is bustin’ out all over” then clap or stomp their feet to the beat as you sing the rest of the lyrics, which really are a mouthful. Rhythm instruments could also pair nicely with this song.
I also have a great songwriting experience that has developed from this song, but for that, you’ll have to watch for my next post. In the meantime, enjoy your first days of June!
This post is part of an occasional series on special songs to share with your loved ones. For more song spotlights, click here.