Monday, May 6, 2013

This Week's Best Tune

What is generally considered the most popular musical of the Sixties; the movie (1965) that saved 20th Century Fox studios? Hint: the film won the 38th Oscars' Best Picture award. It featured music and lyrics from Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II. It was adapted for the screen from a successful 1959 stage musical about the singing Von Trapp family (Oscar Hammerstein died shortly after the stage musical opened on Broadway, before the film was made). The iconic opening featured long range camera images that soared over a view of the Austrian Alps (They were taken from a swooping helicopter). Julie Andrews with arms extended whirled on a lush hilltop and sang the title song "The hills are alive with the sound of music . . ."

That song is ranked number ten on AFI's (American Film Institute) list of the top 100 songs in American cinemaThe Sound of Music continued with many other great song standards sung by Maria ("Sixteen Going on Seventeen"), the Mother Superior ("Climb Every Mountain"), the Von Trapp children ("My Favorite Things" and "Do Re Mi Fa") and their Navy Captain father ("Edelweiss").

A native Austrian in our family thinks the American obsession with this musical is a bit odd - the music, the story, and Sound of Music Tours to her country. Cheers Andrea (8-).

Lyrics by Rogers and Hammerstein:

The hills are alive with the sound of music
With songs they have sung for a thousand years
The hills fill my heart with the sound of music
My heart wants to sing every song it hears

My heart wants to beat like the wings of the birds
that rise from the lake to the trees
My heart wants to sigh like a chime that flies
from a church on a breeze
To laugh like a brook when it trips and falls over
stones on its way
To sing through the night like a lark who is learning to pray

I go to the hills when my heart is lonely
I know I will hear what I've heard before
My heart will be blessed with the sound of music
And I'll sing once more

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