“You Are Beautiful”

More than 60 years removed now, so long ago,
you are mostly ghosts now, but you were then
good news, big headlines of an all-Asian cast,
the first time – and for many years to come.

Set squarely in San Francisco, symbolic largest
Chinatown, a love story, Asian romantic leads,
unheard of until then, first the Broadway play,
then a Hollywood hit, big box office numbers.

Who knew that moviegoers would flock
to see people of my color sing and dance
up on the big screen, a longing hit, for all
of us who never saw ourselves in films.

Nancy, like Miyoshi, you not ‘were,’ but are
beautiful, live forever always in the moment,
present, our story, a long hill climb with no trolley,
the Flower Drum Song of you all, lifting our feet.

* * * * *

“You Are Beautiful” lyrics

Along the Hwang Ho Valley where young men walk and dream,
A flower boat with singing girls came drifting down the stream.
I saw the face of only one come drifting down the stream.

You are beautiful, small and shy.
You are the girl whose eyes met mine
Just as your boat sailed by.

This I know of you, nothing more,
You are the girl whose eyes met mine
Passing the river shore.

You are the girl whose laugh I heard,
Silver and soft and bright;
Soft as the fall of lotus leaves
Brushing the air of night.

While your flower boat sailed away,
Gently your eyes looked back on mine,
Clearly you heard me say,
“You are the girl I will love some day.” 

“You Are Beautiful” (Rodgers/Hammerstein)
© 1958, Copyright Renewed, Williamson Music Company (ASCAP) c/o Concord Music Publishing.

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