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Gene PItney Town Without Pity

Movie Music

The movie A Town without Pity (1961) was filmed in Austria deals with American occupying forces in Germany post WWII. The film, which was based on the novel by Manfred Gregor, features Gene Pitney’s haunting song “A Town without Pity .” The song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song but lost to “Moon River.” However, this golden oldie did win a Golden Globe award for “Best Motion Picture Song.” Dimitri Tiomkin (music) and Ned Washington (lyrics) wrote the “Town Without Pity. In 1961, it went to #13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, #10 in Canada, #32 in the U.K., and #31 in Australia.

In the story, four soldiers leave their army post and travel to the nearby town, looking for beer and more. They see a young German girl changing from her bikini beside a swimming hole, and a gang rape occurs. Major Steve Garrett, played by Kirk Douglas, defends the soldiers during a trial held in civilian facilities near the base. The movie is an indictment of the treatment of the girl by her father and the local people. The lack of pity focused on in the film wasn’t directed toward the four soldiers but rather on those close to the girl in the town.

Here are the lyrics for “Town Without Pity” by Gene Pitney:

“When you’re young and so in love as we
And bewildered by the world we see
Why do people hurt us so
Only those in love would know
What a town without pity can do

If we stop to gaze upon a star
People talk about how bad we are
Ours is not an easy age
We’re like tigers in a cage
What a town without pity can do

The young have problems, many problems
We need an understanding heart
Why don’t they help us, try to help us
Before this clay and granite planet falls apart
Take these eager lips and hold me fast
I’m afraid this kind of joy can’t last

How can we keep love alive
How can anything survive
When these little minds tear you in two
What a town without pity can do

How can we keep love alive
How can anything survive
When these little minds tear you in two
What a town without pity can do

No, it isn’t very pretty what a town without pity can do.”

For more songs by Gene Pitney: “(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance,” “Only Love Can Break a Heart,” and “Half Heaven Half Heartache.”

Gene Pitney on Musicor Town Without Pity

For More Golden Oldies Music       

The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop, rock and roll, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.

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3 Comments

  1. […] and listening to other songs by Gene Pitney: “Only Love Can Break a Heart,” “Town Without Pity,” and “(The Man Who Shot) Liberty […]

  2. […] and listening to other songs by Gene Pitney: “Only Love Can Break a Heart,” “Town Without Pity,” and “(The Man Who Shot) Liberty […]

  3. […] other songs by Gene Pitney: “Town Without Pity,” “Only Love Can Break a Heart,” “Half Heaven Half […]

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