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. Its music was composed by Richard Rodgers to lyrics written by Oscar Hammerstein II.


One of Rodgers’s 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 16, 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. Page not only was thus the first person ever to record any song from the beloved musical but also even showcased the song in an episode of her self-titled nationally televised variety show sponsored by Oldsmobile, bringing national attention to the Rodgers and Hammerstein masterpiece.



The song was sung by Mary Martin in the 1959 stage musical of the same name. As of the middle of March of 2015, the original-cast album was out of print and had not been reissued in any form.


The version of the song which is perhaps the best known 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.

Neely Plumb was the music producer of the film's soundtrack album, which incorporated this version.[1]


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.

Honors and lists[edit]

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

In popular culture[edit]

Italo-American opera/romantic crossover artist Sergio Franchi recorded the song in his 1963 RCA Victor Red Seal album Broadway, I Love You.[2]

In 2007, Grammy-winning and multi-platinum country recording artist Carrie Underwood sang a rendition at the Movies Rock festival; in 2013 Underwood recorded the song for The Sound of Music: Music from the NBC Television Event, and also performed the song acting out the lead role of Maria in 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! The well-known opening line, "the hills are alive with the sound of music," also appears in the movie Yellow Submarine and the TV show Friends in Season 1 Episode 22.

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 1993 film Addams Family Values.

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

Per Gessle, of Roxette, 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. One example: "The hills are alive and they ate Bart Simpson." (This is sung as hills in the background literally belch.)

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.


  1. ^ Plumb is credited as music producer on the back cover of the soundtrack album's LP version.
  2. ^