Monday, March 18, 2013

Follow Ups

So yesterday I posted "An Irish Lullabye" as my song for Sunday, noting it was written in 1914 by James Royce Shannon. Then I cam across some trivia which credited the song to Chauncey Olcott and claimed it was on the "Top Ten" list for 1913. I did a little to figure out what the correct information was. As far as I can determine, the song was written by James Royce Shannon in 1913 for a play by Chauncey Olcott  called Shameen Dhu which debuted in  New York City in February of 1914. Moral? Don't trust either Wikipedia or A trivia calendar to be perfectly accurate.

Last week, I posted about Oz the Great and Powerful, wondering if the theological allusions in it were intentional. A friend mentioned that she had heard that the Oz books were shot through with Christian allegory and so maybe the movie producers had intentionally incorporated some. I hadn't heard that, so I decided to check it out.

I asked my husband, who is in the thick of directing a reader's theater version of The Wizard of Oz if he had heard about Christian imagery in the books. He hadn't but it lead to a larger discussion. My son jumped in. "Are you thinking to hard about this? You have a group of people making requests." Ahh...

Thinking simply, along those lines, Dorothy's longing for home could symbolize the Christian's longing for the heavenly kingdom. So maybe....

Research... many people have used The Wizard of Oz as an analogy for the Christian life. L. Frank Baum however was not a Christian. His Methodist parents sent him to a Sunday School which intentionally taught ethics without religion, believing religious decisions should be made by adults. In adulthood, Mr. Baum became a Theosophist. Members of this spiritual group seek divine wisdom by studying a variety of religions and teachers. They see God in all nature and all nature as divine.

It seems unlikely that Mr. Baum intentionally incorporated Christian theology and teaching in his books. He did have some political messages and satire woven into them, though I never recognized that either. The scarecrow was a common image in political cartoons at the turn of the century.

The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite children's tales. And I did enjoy this new movie.

Have a blessed day.


  1. I enjoyed the movie, as well. As a prequel, there were some inconsistencies with the original, but it was still quite enjoyable. I wonder if Disney will try to do a remake of the original? I think the Wizard of Oz is still my favorite, all-time movie. That and It's a Wonderful Life.

    As an aside, I felt a little old. The only actor I recognized by name or face was Mila Kunis.

    1. I didn't recognize even her...I heard Disney might do a remake, but I can't imagine it. We'll see.