Behind the Song: My Favorite Things

My Favorite Things is another song from a popular musical, The Sound of Music,  that is often heard at Christmas although there is no mention of Christmas in the song. The popularity at Christmas is most likely due to the winter-related imagery of “snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes, silver white winters that melt into spring.”

The song was written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein for their musical The Sound of MusicRaindrops and whiskers

In the 1965 film version with Julie Andrews, the scene using this song occurs with the children in Maria’s bedroom.  In the original stage version, staring Mary Martin, the song is placed in the Mother Abbess’s office just before Maria is sent to the Von Trapp home for the first time.

“The song was written to be sung by a young woman scared of facing new responsibilities outside the convent.”   In the film version the fear comes from the thunderstorm.

The song ends with the lyrics, “and then I don’t feel so bad,” to take away from the fear and provide a more upbeat ending.  Rodger’s borrowed these lyrics and notes from his earlier composition with Lorenz Hart, Glad to be Happy.

On the television program “100 Greatest Songs from Musicals,” Julie Andrews stated she loved singing this song “because it was a happy song with powerful imagery.”

Ms. Andrews tweaked the song for her 69th birthday celebration and AARP benefit.  “She replaced a few favorite things with senior-friendly items such as pacemakers and dentures.”

The American Film Institute ranked the song #64 of the “100 Beloved Songs in Film” in 2004.