My Favorite Things (song)
|"My Favorite Things"|
|Lyricist(s)||Oscar Hammerstein II|
In the original Broadway production, this song was introduced by Mary Martin playing Maria and Patricia Neway playing Mother Abbess. Julie Andrews, who played Maria in the 1965 film version of the musical, had previously sung the song on the Christmas special for The Garry Moore Show.
In the musical, the lyrics to the song are a reference to things Maria loves, such as "whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens". These are the things she selects to fill her mind with when times are bad.
The original Broadway musical places the song in the Mother Abbess's office, just before she sends Maria to serve Captain von Trapp's family as governess to his seven children. However, Ernest Lehman, the screenwriter for the film adaptation, repositioned it so that Maria would sing it with the children during the thunderstorm scene in her bedroom, replacing "The Lonely Goatherd", which had originally been sung at this point. Many stage productions also make this change, shifting "The Lonely Goatherd" to another scene.
The first section of the melody has the distinctive property of using only the notes 1, 2, and 5 (tonic, supertonic, and dominant) of the scale. By using the same melody-pattern, Rodgers harmonized it differently in different stanzas, using a series of minor triads one time and major triads the next.
The song ends with a borrowed line of lyric and notes from Rodgers' earlier composition with Lorenz Hart, "Glad to Be Unhappy", a standard about finding peace in the midst of unrequited love. Using the same two notes for the phrasing of "so sad" in the original song, Rodgers brings the gloom of the song to a similar upbeat ending – "and then I don't feel so bad."
In 2004 the movie version of the song finished at No. 64 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.
Other notable versions
John Coltrane played a fourteen-minute version in E minor as the title track of an album recorded in October 1960 and released in March 1961. It became a jazz classic and a signature song for Coltrane in concert, also appearing on Newport '63 in 1963.
Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass released a version in 1969 as a single from their 1968 album, Christmas Album. It reached No. 45 on the Billboard 100. Lorrie Morgan's version appeared in 1994 and again in 1999 at No. 64 and No. 69, respectively, on the Hot Country Songs chart after she recorded it for her 1993 album, Merry Christmas from London.