“You Only Live Twice,” is the overblown Nancy Sinatra-sung theme to the Sean Connery-led Bond film of the same name. You know, the one where he supposedly “passes” as Japanese for half the movie?
As a “romantic internationalists” I’m easily emotionally entrapped by mythic tales of global adventure. See for example the post, “I Blame James Bond.” Similarly, I’m wildly sentimental about the line, “I had a farm in Africa … ,” from “Out of Africa” even though Karen Blixen’s old-fashioned expat story ends in syphilis, heart-break and ruin.
So, you won’t be surprised to hear that I read the over-wrought words of “You Only Live Twice” as an exotic expat-living theme song. For those unfamiliar with the song, you can hear it on YouTube here. It was also the music used for the final scene of last season’s Mad Men. The key lyrics are as follows:
You Only Live Twice or so it seems,
One life for yourself and one for your dreams.
You drift through the years and life seems tame,
Till one dream appears and love is its name.
Substitute “love” with (the rather un-snappy) “life abroad” and you get a hint of what I mean.
And love is a stranger who’ll beckon you on,
Don’t think of the danger or the stranger is gone.
“Danger” like abandoning a practical and prudent career-track and wondering when, how and if one will ever get back.
This dream is for you, so pay the price.
Make one dream come true, you only live twice.
The “dream” was (and remains) too interesting to resist, safe career path be damned. After all, I could have spent the last seven years talking about kitchen renovation.
God, I’m a sap.
What about you? Does “The Year of Living Dangerously” make you want to up-sticks for Sukarno-era Indonesia? Did “Lost in Translation” make you want to visit Japan, despite that they spent most of the movie holed-up in the Tokyo Park Hyatt?