My Favorite Things (song)

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"My Favorite Things"
Published 1959
Genre Jazz, Christmas music
Composer(s) Richard Rodgers
Lyricist(s) Oscar Hammerstein II
Language English

"My Favorite Things" is a 1959 song, originally from the Rodgers and Hammerstein, musical The Sound of Music.

The song was first performed by Maria (played by Mary Martin) and Mother Abbess (Patricia Neway) in the original 1959 Broadway production.

Julie Andrews performed the song for the first time on the Christmas special for The Garry Moore Show in 1961, and then she starred in the 1965 film.


In the musical, the lyrics to the song are a reference to things Maria loves, such as "whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens". These are the things she selects to fill her mind with when times are bad.

The original Broadway musical places this song in the Mother Abbess's office, just before she sends Maria to serve Captain von Trapp's family as governess to his seven children. However, Ernest Lehman, the screenwriter for the film adaptation, repositioned this song so that Maria would sing it with the children during the thunderstorm scene in her bedroom, replacing "The Lonely Goatherd", which had originally been sung at this point. Many stage productions also make this change, shifting "The Lonely Goatherd" to another scene.

The first section of the melody has the distinctive property of using only the notes 1, 2, and 5 (tonic, supertonic, and dominant) of the scale. By using the same melody-pattern, Rodgers harmonized it differently in different stanzas, using a series of minor triads one time and major triads the next.

The song ends with a borrowed line of lyric and notes from Rodgers' earlier composition with Lorenz Hart, "Glad to Be Unhappy", a standard about finding peace in the midst of unrequited love. Using the same two notes for the phrasing of "so sad" in the original song, Rodgers brings the gloom of my "Favorite Things" to a similar upbeat ending – "and then I don't feel so bad."

In 2004 the movie version of "My Favorite Things" finished at No. 64 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.

In popular culture[edit]

John Coltrane[edit]

Jazz artist John Coltrane did an extended, close to fourteen-minute version in E minor on his 1961 album taken from the title of the song. It became a jazz classic and a signature for Coltrane in concert, also appearing on Newport '63 in 1963, Live at the Half Note: One Down, One Up and New Thing at Newport in 1965, Live at the Village Vanguard Again! and Offering: Live at Temple University in 1966, and The Olatunji Concert: The Last Live Recording in 1967.

Other notable versions[edit]

The lyrics in My Favorite Things, are composed of Holiday and Winter time imagery. Some examples in the song: Bright copper Kettle (making warm beverages), Warm woolen Mittens, Brown Paper Packages tied-up with Strings, Sleigh bells, Snowflakes, Silver white winters melting, Whiskers on Kitten etc. ~ which has made the song popular for the Christmas & Holiday season and due to the merry tune of the song. Its seasonal theme, although the holiday itself is never mentioned in the lyrics.

Many popular songs that are of Wintry imagery, of the 20th Century, have fitted into the Christmas genre, songs like “Winter Wonderland,” “Sleigh Ride,” and "My Favorite Things," all mention the winter weather, staying warm, and mention of "sleigh-bells" implying that this song refers to the Christmas period. All have fitted into the Christmas Music Playlist. My Favorite Things has become a very popular song during the Christmas & Holiday season. The song has appeared on numerous Christmas albums, including:


External links[edit]