Let’s Look at the Lyrics: The Sound of Music Song

sound of musicI remember watching only a few movies growing up: Home Alone, Pretty Woman (inexplicably, given that I wasn’t even allowed to watch PG-13 movies until I was 13), Newsies, and The Sound of Music.

We knew The Sound of Music better than the Von Trapp family. I don’t know why, but it was a family staple, and I have to say that it’s a pretty good movie. I remember having a crush on the “16 going on 17” girl. I’m sure she’s 18 by now.

The movie has a number of famous songs, perhaps most notably “The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music, Da Da Da Da” (I think that’s the actual title). But the song that is most sung from the movie thanks to kindergarten classes everywhere is the Do Re Mi song.

That’s what I’m here to talk about today. I’m going to dissect these lyrics. Most are fine, but there’s one line that is such lazy writing that I’m writing a blog post about it. Let’s get started.

Doe- a deer, a female deer: Sure, I have no problem with this.

Ray- a drop of golden sun: I would have gone with “LaMontagne,” but this is fine.

Me- a name I call myself: It’s not really a name, but it’s close enough.

Far- a long long way to run: Or bike. Or swim. “Far” is far no matter how you get there.

Sew- a needle pulling thread: This is straight from the dictionary. Great job.

La- a note to follow so: Wait a minute! This is the line. This is THE line. After the careful writing that preceded this line, the best you can give us is “a note to follow so.” It doesn’t mean anything out of the context of the song! At least some of the other lines offer educational value.

“La” is so much more than a note to follow so. La is the sound you make when you sing. La is Los Angeles. La lanthanum on the periodic table of elements. Lah is an interjection. La is close enough to “law” to use–if you can turn “re” into “ray” and “so” into “sew,” you can turn “la” into “law.”

lanthanumOf those, lanthanum is my favorite. So I’d like to propose a revised line with almost the correct number of syllables to keep the rhythm going:

La- a metallic element

See, you just learned something, as did the Von Trapp family. Let’s finish the song.

Tea- a drink with jam and bread: You bet it’s a drink with jam and bread. Unless it’s lanthanum jam, and then you better not eat it.

That will bring us back to do oh oh oh: Again, not great writing, but we need something to refresh the refrain.

I’m glad we finally solved that problem. Do you have any other song lyrics you’d like me to fix in the future?