The Sound of Music (song)

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"The Sound of Music"
Song from The Sound of Music
Published 1959
Writer Oscar Hammerstein II
Composer Richard Rodgers

“The Sound of Music” is the title song from the 1959 musical The Sound of Music, composed by Richard Rodgers to lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. One of Rogers and Hammerstein’s favorite singers was the 1950s best-selling female vocalist, Patti Page. They approached Page and her manager Jack Rael to see if the duo would be interested in recording the title song, The Sound of Music, feeling that a well-known artist might give the Broadway musical a little “national” attention. Rael and Page agreed and recorded the song for Mercury Records at Fine Sound Studios in New York on November 16th 1959, the same day The Sound of Music opened on Broadway. Page’s version was recorded a full week before the original Broadway cast entered Columbia Studios to record the cast album. Not only was Page the first person to ever record any song from the beloved musical but even showcased the song in an episode of her self-titled nationally televised variety show sponsored by Oldsmobile, bringing national attention to the Rogers and Hammerstein masterpiece. It was sung by Mary Martin in the 1959 stage musical of the same name. It was sung by Julie Andrews in the 1965 film version, with a reprise by the Von Trapp family later in the film. The song introduces the character of Maria, a young novice in an Austrian abbey..

The song was ranked tenth in the American Film Institute's list of the 100 Greatest Songs in Movie History.

The stage version of the song has a four-line vocal prelude ("My day in the hills has come to an end I know...") followed by the familiar "The hills are alive with the sound of music..." The film soundtrack and the soundtrack album have two different instrumental preludes to "The hills are alive..." both of which contain portions of the original vocal prelude. The cast album to the 1998 Broadway revival contains the four-line prelude as well as the instrumental prelude present in the film version. This version is also the same key as the film version.

In popular culture[edit]

Italio-American opera/romantic, crossover artist Sergio Franchi recorded the song in his 1963 RCA Victor Red Seal album Broadway, I Love You.[1]

In 2007, Grammy-winning and multi-platinum country recording artist Carrie Underwood sang a rendition at the Movies Rock festival and in 2013 Underwood would record the song for The Sound of Music: Music from the NBC Television Event and perform the song in the lead role of Maria for The Sound of Music Live!.

The song was covered by Hong Kong female singer Kong Ling (江玲), on her LP album Kong Ling with Diamond Records in 1966.

This song is referenced many times in the film Moulin Rouge!, and the well known verse "the hills are alive with the sound of music" also appears in the movie Yellow Submarine and also in the TV show '"Friends".

Australian pop princess Kylie Minogue performed the opening lines at the beginning of her KylieFever2002 Tour and in the film Moulin Rouge!.

The Julie Andrews recording from the film features in the film Addams Family Values (1993).

Renée Zellweger performs the song in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004).

Per Gessle played this song as an opening for his European solo tour The Party Crasher.

JLS sample the song on their 2010 single "The Club Is Alive".

A Simpsons comic book has a section in which Sideshow Bob and his brother Cecil sing parodies of musicals. Some of their songs are based on The Sound of Music, with the original lyrics replaced by ones about killing Bart Simpson. For example, "The hills are alive and they ate Bart Simpson," (sung as hills in the background literally burp).

Japanese voice actress Ayahi Takagaki sang her rendition of this song during her 2013 Relation of Colors series of concert tours.

American singer/songwriter Lady Gaga performed the song along with a medley of others from the musical as part of a tribute to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the film at the 87th Academy Awards.