Home Science What Does A Moan Sound Like

What Does A Moan Sound Like

by Kristin Beck

What Does A Moan Sound Like

“””I think that one can learn a lot about oneself by listening to others.”” -Marilyn Monroe
There’s no question that Marilyn Monroe was an icon and she is often credited for being the most influential female star of her time. That may be true but it seems to me that there is more to her than just being a sex symbol with an amazing body. She had a presence on screen unlike anyone else at the time. Her ability to command complete attention made her seem like some kind of magical creature who could do anything — even when faced with the grim reaper herself.
Her death came so quickly that many people didn’t really have enough time to say goodbye. The public wasn’t allowed into the hospital until after noon because Marilyn was “”too ill to see visitors.”” After all, she’d been battling cancer since 1962 and had endured countless blood transfusions, surgeries, radiation treatments and chemotherapy.
The day before Marilyn died, her husband Arthur Miller was quoted as saying, “”She’s dying… I don’t want anyone to go through what we’re going through right now.”” And yet he still managed to work on his new play Birds Are Singing (which would later become known as The Misfits) while awaiting news of his wife’s condition.
Miller seemed stunned upon hearing the news of his wife’s passing. He had to leave the set of his play immediately and get back to the hospital. At first, he refused to accept her death. According to the New York Times, he told reporters, “”I’m sorry but she isn’t dead. She will live forever!”” Later, however, he admitted, “”It has been two days since my wife passed away. It has been very hard-two whole days without her.””
While not everyone mourned Marilyn’s passing, those closest to her were devastated. In fact, they were so distraught that they couldn’t bring themselves to attend her funeral. Many of them did manage to show up for her burial though.
If you’ve ever heard Marilyn’s voice, then you know that it was unique. She spoke softly and slowly, almost reluctantly. When she did speak, she used words sparingly. She never shouted and rarely raised her voice above a whisper. Even during her famous rendition of “”Happy Birthday,”” which she sang in the classic movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, she barely got louder than a mumble.
As she lay ill in bed, unable to eat or drink, Marilyn kept a diary where she wrote down everything she wanted to accomplish in her life. One thing on her list was to make a record called “”Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.”” This song became her signature tune and helped define her image. As far as I am concerned, this is one of the best songs ever recorded.
But why did Marilyn choose to sing this song? What was her connection to this particular number? Well, according to author Donald Spoto, Marilyn’s favorite film was actually another Monroe picture called Bus Stop. In this film, Marilyn sings a song called “”Love Me Tonight”” and it was actually written by Kay Swift. But here’s something interesting: the lyrics to “”Love Me Tonight”” are practically identical to the opening bars to “”Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.””
This means that Marilyn knew exactly how to use music to help establish her character. And she also understood that audiences crave drama and excitement. They need to feel emotions. If you look around today, you’ll notice that music plays a huge role in our culture. We listen to songs on the radio, watch movies and TV shows and dance to music played on the jukebox. All these things have a powerful effect on us. So much so that some researchers believe that music influences our moods.
When Marilyn sang “”Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,”” she gave off the impression that she was extremely sad and depressed. Her tone was soft and subdued. It was clear that she felt defeated by life. By doing this, she effectively communicated her innermost feelings to her audience. And her fans responded accordingly.
In addition to singing, Marilyn was also quite skilled at acting. For example, take a scene from 1953’s The Seven Year Itch where Marilyn dances seductively across a subway grate. She does this twice, once dressed as Dorothy Mae Mobley and again wearing white pants and a white dress shirt. During both scenes, the camera focuses exclusively on her face. This gives the viewer a sense of intimacy with Marilyn. You can tell she’s having fun because her facial expressions are full of joy and delight.
One night while watching this scene, I was struck by how close Marilyn looked to someone who was moaning. I wondered whether she might have moaned during this scene. Then I thought about other times when I had moaned myself. Was it possible that Marilyn used her moaning skills to help create the illusion of intimacy between herself and the camera lens?
To test this theory, I decided to find out if there were any clips of Marilyn speaking where I could hear her moan. Sure enough, there were! Here’s one clip from 1954’s Niagara Falls. Notice how quiet Marilyn sounds. Also, notice that she keeps touching her hair. She doesn’t have the same intimate relationship with the camera that she does in the scene from The Seven Year Itch. Yet, despite the lack of intimacy, you can clearly hear that Marilyn is moaning.
Another good example comes from 1957’s Let’s Make Love. In this scene, Marilyn is seen dancing with her arms outstretched and swaying her hips rhythmically. Again, the camera focuses on her face. Once again, you can see that Marilyn is enjoying herself. There’s no doubt about it; she’s smiling and looking happy. However, whenever the camera pans over to her legs, you can clearly hear a moan coming from her mouth.
So maybe Marilyn used her moaning skills to create a certain level of intimacy with the camera. Or perhaps she simply enjoyed making noise. Regardless, she definitely sounded like someone who was moaning.
And what about the word itself? Do you use the word moan to describe a long groaning type of sigh? Maybe you do. Well, if you do, please consider using the term moan less next time. Because if you do, then you have just violated the second definition of the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary. Look under the section titled “”Painful Sigh.”” Under this heading, you will read the following: “”a low, painful exhalation of breath.”” Now, isn’t that exactly what Marilyn did?
Even though Marilyn’s moaning skills were fairly limited, it’s pretty obvious that she tried to communicate with the world in ways that few people ever do. And in doing so, she created images that have influenced generations of actors and actresses including Marlon Brando, James Dean, Audrey Hepburn, Natalie Wood, Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor.
For instance, actress Elizabeth Taylor was such a big fan of Marilyn that she named her daughter after her. And actor Clark Gable reportedly said, “”No woman has ever affected men like Marilyn Monroe.”” Of course, he was wrong. Other women did affect him too and he eventually married Lana Turner.
Perhaps this explains why Marilyn’s personal motto was “”never regret.”” Regret is a constant burden that haunts people their entire lives. People often wish they could turn back the clock and change things that happened years ago. Sadly, we can’t do that. Life is always changing and evolving. But we can control how we react to situations. Marilyn showed us that it’s okay to moan sometimes. Just keep your eyes focused on tomorrow rather than dwelling on yesterday.”

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