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Edelweiss

The Sound of Music

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Christopher Plummer


Captain Georg von Trapp, a widower with seven children, hires Maria a soon-to-be nun as his children's governess. Here he sings to his children the song "Edelweiss," expressing his love for his home country of Austria. Maria nurtures the children, the Captain and Maria fall in love, and the whole family escapes Nazi rule by climbing over the mountains of the Alps to freedom in Switzerland. The much-loved musical was based on a true story of the singing Trapp family who left Austria in 1938 before their home country was annexed by Germany. They eventually ended up in Stowe, Vermont.

Edelweiss is an original song from Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, in fact, the last song Hammerstein wrote before his death. During his long musical career he wrote lyrics for over 850 songs. He won two Tonys for The Sound of Music stage musical, one for Music and one as Producer. Forty-eight years after this movie was released, Christopher Plummer (von Trapp) won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (for Beginners).

When we lived in Switzerland and hiked in the Alps I was always looking for the small white Edelweiss flower. I found them as difficult to locate as the Trailing Arbutus I remember from my childhood in Michigan.

Here are Oscar Hammerstein's lovely lyrics:


CAPTAIN:
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
Edelweiss,Edelweiss
Bless my homeland forever.

CAPTAIN, MARIA, THE CHILDREN AND CHORUS:
Small and white clean and bright
You look happy to meet me
Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever
Edelweiss,Edelweiss
Bless my homeland forever







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