Alexander Nevsky - source of term "torch song"?

Dennis Nicholls

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 5, 1998
Messages
10,691
Location
Boise, ID
Real Name
Dennis
I was wondering if the expression "torch song" and perhaps "carrying a torch" came from the film Alexander Nevsky. After the battle on the ice, Olga goes looking for her beaux at twilight literally carrying a torch. What she sings is a torch song in both senses of the expression. Is this the source of the expression? Frustrated etymologists want to know.
------------------
Feline audience members Katie, Susie, and the one and only Fluffy Pumpkin
 

Hendrik

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 23, 1998
Messages
595
...according to my Collins English Dictionary - Millennium Edition - the expression torch song ("a sentimental or romantic popular song, usually sung by a woman") comes from the phrase "to carry a torch for (someone)"...
...what the lady in Aleksander Nevsky sings, however, is hardly that - in the specific context of that film it's a dirge: a chant of lamentation for the dead...
. . .
. . .
 

Dennis Nicholls

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 5, 1998
Messages
10,691
Location
Boise, ID
Real Name
Dennis
I don't know about that Hendrik. The lyrics of "The Field of the Dead" are a "sentimental song about unrequited love" which is one definition of a torch song:
"Whoever died a good death for Russia
I shall kiss upon his dead eyes
And to that young man who remained alive
I shal be a faithful wife, a loving spouse
I shall not marry a handsome man
earthly beauty comes to an end
But I shall wed a brave man
Cry out in answer, bright falcons!"
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
344,858
Messages
4,722,433
Members
141,345
Latest member
els