Music Passion – Flowers

This is my first entry in Music Passion.  Every month, bloggers are posting one of their favorite songs based on each month’s theme.  Thanks to Katrina of Freedom to a Full Life, last month’s most popularly “liked” entry, I have the chance to participate.

If you follow my blog, you already know I love flowers.  They captivate me with their graceful but short-lived beauty.  How could I pass this up?  There are so many songs out there about flowers but it didn’t take long to pull a childhood favorite from a little box of specially-kept memories in my heart.  It’s a favorite of my dad’s too which makes it all the more dear to me.  A hint…  It’s about the little flower pictured above.  Do you know what it is?

The song is “Edelweiss” from the soundtrack of the movie The Sound of Music.  As you begin this video, which is the scene from the original movie, you’ll also be reminded of another very famous Roger’s and Hammerstein tune.  The singing of “Edelweiss” follows it directly.

“Edelweiss” was composed by the legendary Rodgers and Hammerstein for their 1959 musical The Sound of Music.  It would be the last song they composed together.  The song is named for a tiny white flower which grows native to the Alps where the story is set.  The song as it first appears in the original film is sung by Captain Von Trapp as a testament of defiant patriotism.  The welling of emotion that springs forth from the image of the tiny flowers is what drove the song so deeply into my memories.  It was a testament to purity and conviction.

The Lyrics:

Edelweiss, Edelweiss
Every morning you greet me
Small and white clean and bright
You look happy to meet me
Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever
Bless my homeland forever.

Small and white clean and bright
You look happy to meet me
Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever
Bless my homeland forever

Writing of the Song:

While The Sound of Music was in tryouts in Boston, Richard Rodgers felt Captain von Trapp should have a song with which he would bid farewell to the Austria he knew and loved. He and Oscar Hammerstein II decided to write an extra song that Captain von Trapp would sing in the Kaltzberg Festival (Salzburg Festival in the film) concert sequence towards the end of the show. As they were writing it, they felt that this song could also utilise the guitar-playing and folk-singing talents of Theodore Bikel, who created the role of Captain von Trapp on Broadway. The Lindsay and Crouse script provides a metaphor of the edelweiss flower, as a symbol of the Austria that Captain von Trapp, Maria and their children knew would live on in their hearts despite the Nazi annexation of their homeland. As such, the metaphor of this song builds on an earlier scene when Gretl presents a bouquet of edelweiss flowers to Elsa Schraeder during her visit to the von Trapp household. Rodgers provided a haunting waltz-time melody, based on simple romanticBiedermeier era tunes like Hänschen klein and others, to the simple Italian style ritornello lyric that Hammerstein wrote about the appearance of the Edelweiss flower. This song turned out to be one of the most beloved songs in the musical, and also one of the best-loved songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Another Use:

During the 1970s in the United States, the song became a popular tune with which to sing the benediction in some Christian churches. At a United Methodist Women’s Conference, revised lyrics for the song were handed out with instructions stating that the benediction was to be sung to the tune of “Edelweiss”. The trend spread quickly across different denominations of Christianity, and it is still very common to hear the benedictory lyrics (“May the Lord, Mighty God”) sung to an organ or piano accompaniment of the song from the Sound of Music.

Altered Benediction Lyrics:

“May the Lord, mighty God,
Bless and keep you forever.
Grant you peace, perfect peace,
Courage in every endeavor.
Lift your eyes and see His face,
And His grace forever.
May the Lord, mighty God,
Bless and keep you forever.”

Despite the popularity of this practice, the estates of Rodgers and Hammerstein have not authorized the use of the lyrics of this benediction with the melody of the song, and hold that this practice is illegal. Rodgers stated that “he would take legal action against any group” using the “Edelweiss” melody with altered words, and the current rightsholders will not grant permission for these requests, which are “inconsistent with the creators’ intentions”.

(Source:  Wikipedia)

Do you want to play along?  Stay tuned, go to All About Lemon’s Music Passion Page for the ground rules, and go grab your favorite song about flowers!  You can’t repeat someone else’s entry and the most popular will get to choose next month’s theme.  Go!

7 thoughts on “Music Passion – Flowers

  1. Pingback: Music Passion- Flowers – allaboutlemon

  2. Pingback: Music Passion- Let’s Hear Some Flowers… – allaboutlemon

  3. Pingback: Music Passion Flash Back- 2012 Edition – allaboutlemon-All Around, In, And Out Of My Own Universe

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