Paint Your Wagon (image from www.barnesandnoble.com)

The movie “Paint your Wagon” doesn’t only offer a great cowboy story but also a different side of our favorite film actors Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood. The fact that the leads Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood and Jean Seberg can’t sing matters not a jot; they perform with charisma, and bring a touch of realism to the proceedings, their songs seeming to evolve naturally from the action.

Lee Marvin: “ Wand’rin Star”

Wand’rin’ Star” was a number one single in the UK and Ireland for Lee Marvin for three weeks in March 1970.

It was originally written by Alan J. Lerner (lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music) for the stage musical Paint Your Wagon in 1951.  Lee Marvin took the role of prospector Ben Rumson.

Not a natural singer, Marvin nevertheless sang all of his songs in the film, rejecting the idea of miming to another singer’s voice. Despite the film being a box office flop, the soundtrack became a success. Orchestrated and arranged by Nelson Riddle, Marvin’s version of the song “Wand’rin Star” became a number-one single in Ireland and the UK, keeping The Beatles at number two in the UK with their single “Let It Be”. Marvin never released a follow-up single, so he is considered a one-hit wonder.

I was born under a wandrin’ star,
I was born under a wandrin’ star.
Wheels are made for rollin’
Mules are made to pack.

I’ve never seen a sight that didn’t look better looking back.
I was born under a wandrin’ star.
Mud can make you prisoner, and the plains can bake you dry.
Snow can burn your eyes, but only people make you cry.

Clint Eastwood: “I Talk To the Trees”

Clint Eastwood shows us how pale rider passed those lonely days. This is the best side of Eastwood.  He doesn’t stick himself in a box and is willing to try something that doesn’t fit his persona.

I talk to the trees

But they don’t listen to me

I talk to the stars

But they never hear me

The breeze hasn’t time

To stop and hear what

I say I talk to them all in vain

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