The Academy Award winner Oscar Hammerstein II seems as far away from the pantun as can be. The musical theatre genius from a bygone era co-wrote 850 songs, and Hammerstein was the lyricist and playwright in his partnerships; his collaborators wrote the music. His most famous collaboration, by far, was with Richard Rodgers, which included one of my favourite movies when I was a child - The Sound of Music.
There is a very enduring song Hammerstein wrote called I am Going To Like It Here, sung very charmingly by Lea Salonga in the accompanying YouTube video.
Oscar Hammerstein's song is an example of a form of poetry made popular in France called the pantoum, which is of course the form inspired by our 15th century pantun berkait, and popularised in 19th century France by none other than Victor Hugo.
I AM GOING TO LIKE IT HERE
I'm going to like it here. There is something about the place, An encouraging atmosphere, Like a smile on a friendly face.
There is something about the place, So caressing and warm it is. Like a smile on a friendly face, Like a port in a storm it is.
So caressing and warm it is. All the people are so sincere. Like a port in a storm it is. I am going to like here.
All the people are so sincere. There's especially one I like. I am going to like here. It's the father's first son I like.
There's especially one I like. There is something about his face. It's the father's first son I like. He's the reason I love the place.
There is something about his face. I would follow him anywhere. If he goes to another place, I am going to like it there.
NAGA spans three realms from the ancient world -- Middle Kingdom during
the Tang Dynasty, Nagara and Bhumi Semenanjung Melayu. It is the story
of three adventurers, Sri Gemom, Srikandi and Kemboja and how fate set
their worlds on a collision course that shook the very foundations of an
ancient civilisation. More than that, against the background of sorcery
and magic, the tragic tale of survival and loyalty shines through.