Morning Music: My Favorite Things

My Favorite Things - John ColtraneOkay, it’s almost over. Today, we will do “My Favorite Things” from the 1965 film The Sound of Music. I liked the musical very much when I was young. I don’t care for it so much now. I’m not that fond of Christopher Plummer — except when he’s playing a Klingon. But mostly, there is just something offensively earnest about the whole thing.

When I was younger, I always wondered about something. In the play, the new Nazi Youth Rolfe does not summon the Nazis — allowing the family to get away. In the film, he does, leading to a rather stupid car chase. I had wondered if this was an indication of changing ideas about human nature. But later I concluded that it was formal. In a play, you couldn’t have a chase. In a film, you can. Simple as that. I still prefer the non-chase, because I want to believe that people are basically good.

Luckily for you all, I just remembered that John Coltrane did a great version of the song. That’s piano by McCoy Tyner — another of my favorite things.

One thought on “Morning Music: My Favorite Things

  1. Rodgers had his moments. Hammerstein — oh, I dunno. To me they broke musicals (Rodgers and Hart did not.) The Sledgehammer Of Meaning in Rodgers/Hammerstein is intolerable, especially when the lyrics are basically catchy ad jingles.

    To me the best musicals were inspired one-time moments. “Music Man,” “Fiddler,” “1776.” When people tried making those moments into a career, they lost the silliness which made musicals fun. Lerner/Loewe’s “My Fair Lady” is horribly sexist but entertaining, although “Pygmalion” beats it hands-down. “Camelot” is mostly a plot wreck tied together with OK songs (I do like “I Wonder What The King Is Doing Tonight” and the hopelessly cheesy “If Ever I Would Leave You.”)

    I respectfully disagree that it’s just live dancing and singing which make musicals fun. That’s part of it. It’s also simply enjoying fun songs that express stories in the heightened way music can express emotions, and movies can contain that. I think “Hedwig” is a wonderful musical. “South Park” and “Little Shop Of Horrors” are pretty good, too.

    (“Chicago,” which won an Oscar, is terrible except for John C. Reilly singing “Mr. Cellophane.”)

    Here’s the best song from “Little Shop.” You may be surprised to realize how good it is. The line “depression is just status quo” is astounding:

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