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One night in New York, on Broadway, the

great star Mary Martin was preparing to go on stage, as she had a 1000 times before, in

Rodger & Hammerstain’s South Pacific. Just before she took stage a note was handed her.

The letter was signed Oscar Hammerstein who was that evening on his death bed. The

note was short. It simply said: "Dear Mary, A bell’s not a bell until you ring it. A song’s

not a song until you sing it. Love in your heart is not put there to stay. Love isn’t love till

you give it away." When the play was over the cast rushed her backstage and asked,

"What happened? We’ve never seen you perform that way before?" Mary read to them

Hammerstein’s note and said, "Tonight, I gave my love away."

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