This One’s for Ruth: My Thoughts on The Sound of Music
The Nuns. I’d love to sing in a multi-part ensemble like that, singing lowest alto. One of the nuns, Sister Sophia,is none other than Marni Nixon. Who is Marni Nixon, you may ask. She’s the talented singer that dubbed the singing voices of several notable film actresses of the day. She sang for Deborah Kerr in The King and I, Natalie Wood in West Side Story, Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady. In the DVD commentary for The Sound of Music, director Robert Wise comments that audiences were finally able to see the woman whose voice they knew so well.
Edelweiss. A lovely song that became a school choir standard in the ’60s. I distinctly remember my third grade teacher (1966-67) saying, “We are not singing Edelweiss for the parents’ program.” We sang Windy, made popular by The Association. My third grade teacher was too cool for school. She also had a blonde “beehive” and wore miniskirts and pink lipstick. She’s the woman who first inspired me to be a writer. I think of her when I hear the song Edelweiss. And silently thank her.
My favorite line. A Nazi sympathizer, Herr Zeller, attends a party at the Von Trapp home. In a tense conversation about Hitler’s suspected invasion into peaceful Austria, the Captain says to Herr Zeller, “If the Nazis take over Austria, you will be the entire trumpet section.”
Zeller responds, “You flatter me.”
And then, the Captain says my favorite line in the movie: “Oh, how clumsy of me. I meant to accuse you.”
It’s nice to have a few movies I can watch again and again “when I’m feeling bad.” They’re like old friends that know just what to say to make me feel better, to help me “sing once more.”