- NNHS Newsletter - Edelweiss
“I will be the gladdest thing
Edna St. Vincent Millay,
“Afternoon on a Hill”
Dear Friends and Schoolmates,
I love this song.
BONUS - Edelweiss - Bill Lee dubbing for Christopher Plummer
"Edelweiss" is a show tune from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music. It is named after the edelweiss, a white flower found high in the Alps. It is sung by Captain Georg Ludwig von Trapp and his family during the concert near the end of Act II as a defiant statement of Austrian patriotism in the face of the pressure put upon him to join the navy of Nazi Germany. In the 1965 film adaptation, the song is also sung by the Captain earlier in the film as he rediscovers music and a love for his children.
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 to the simple 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.
This song was the last song that Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote together; Hammerstein was suffering from stomach cancer, which would take his life nine months after The Sound of Music opened on Broadway.
Although the stage production uses the song only during the concert sequence, Ernest Lehman's screenplay for the film adaptation uses the song twice. Lehman created a scene that makes extra use of the song. This scene, inspired by a line in the original script by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, calls for Captain von Trapp to sing this song with his children in their family drawing room and rediscover the love he felt for them. Lehman also expanded the scope of the song when it was sung in the Salzburg Festival concert scene so that Captain von Trapp and his family would call the crowds to join in the song with him, in defiance of the Nazi soldiers posted around the arena. It is interesting to note that one of the Nazi commandants is shown singing in a baritone, revealing that he cares more for Austria than for the Reich.
The great popularity of the song has led many of its audience to believe that it is an Austrian folk song or even the official national anthem. The New York Times and The Guardian have both reported that Ronald Reagan had it performed for an emissary of Austria when he visited the United States, believing it to be their national anthem. However, Austria's official anthem is "Land der Berge, Land am Strome" and the anthem used before the Anschluss was "Sei gesegnet ohne Ende". The edelweiss is a popular flower in Austria and was featured on the old 1 Schilling coin. It can also now be seen on the 2 cent Euro coin. The flower is protected in Austria and illegal to pick. An "edelweiss" is also worn as a cap device by certain Austrian Army and all German Gebirgsjäger  (Mountain Troopers, literal translation Mountain Hunters) Units.
There is similar confusion about another song co-authored by Hammerstein, "Ol' Man River" from the musical Showboat, which is widely misbelieved to be a Negro spiritual. The similarity in misconception about the two songs has been noted by two writers, both of whom see it as as tribute to Hammerstein's talents. Alyson McLamore in her book Musical theater: an appreciation writes "The last song to be written for the show was "Edelweiss," a tender little homage to a native flower of Austria that has the effect of authentic Austrian folksong, much as "Ol' Man River" struck listeners as a genuine African American spiritual" Hugh Fordin in his biography of Oscar Hammerstein speaks of "the ability of the authors to simulate the quality of an authentic folk song..."Ol' Man River" had the ring of a black laborer's song...Thirty years later "Edelweiss was widely believed to be an old Austrian song, though Oscar...composed it for the Sound of Music."
THIS WEEK'S BIRTHDAYS:
Happy Birthday today
Johanne Coates Richardson ('57)
Howard Smith ('63) of VA
('66) of VA!
Happy Birthday this week to:
18 - Eileen Rash Vaught ('57) AND F.A. Saunders (Hampton HS - '64) of VA;
20 - Ware Morrison ('63) of VA;
21 - Carol Collier Sparrow ('63) of VA;
22 - Bruce Sims ('56) of VA AND Carolyn Clark Wilt ('57) AND Sandra Sherman Filippo ('57) AND the late Norman Dick ('60) (d. 26 Nov 2015) AND Rochelle Spooner ('63) of NY;
23 - Chandler Nelms (Hampton HS - '63) of MD!
|Many Happy Returns to You All!|
900 YEARS AGO TODAY:
|January 16, 1120 - The Council of Nablus was held, establishing the earliest surviving written laws of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.|
100 YEARS AGO TODAY:
|January 16, 1920 - Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated was founded on the campus of Howard University. January 16, 1920 - The League of Nations held its first council meeting in Paris, France.|
THIS DAY IN WWII:
|January 16, 1944 - Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower took command of the Allied invasion force in London.|
January 16, 1970 - Baseball player and coach Ron Villone was born Ronald Thomas Villone, Jr. in Englewood, New Jersey.
|“Don’t be gloomy. Do not dwell on unkind things. Stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. Even if you are not happy, put a smile on your face. ‘Accentuate the positive.’ Look a little deeper for the good. Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, with great and strong purpose in your heart. Love life.”|
From Joan Lauterbach Krause ('60) of VA - 01/16/19:
|Thank you, Joan!|
From Carlene Matthews Vannoy ('60 / '64) of VA - 01/15/19:
|SO SADLY TRUE! Thank you, Carlene!|
From Mary Massey Lyle ('61) of PA - 01/16/19:
AGREED - ALSO TRUE! Thanks, Mary!
From Mark Hutcherson ('66) of VA - 01/15/19:
|“I told my
psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous -
everyone hasn't met me yet.”
BONUS EDELWEISS CROCHET PATTERN:
BONUS EDELWEISS KNIT PATTERN:
BONUS AUSTRIAN RECIPES:
|Q. What's the difference between a poorly
dressed man on a tricycle and a well-dressed man on a bicycle?
|DATES TO REMEMBER:|
PERSONAL WEB SITE: http://www.angelfire.com/weird2/cluckmeat
Music by Richard Rodgers (28 June 1902 - 30 Dec 1979)
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II (12 July 1895 - 30 Aug 1960)
The Sound of Music,
"Edelweiss" midi courtesy of http://alien98.tripod.com/show.htm - 01/18/11 (sic)
"Edelweiss" lyrics courtesy of http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/r/rodgers_and_hammerstein/edelweiss.html - 01/18/11 (sic)
Image of Edelweiss courtesy of - http://ubiquitous-ly.com/tag/ideas/ - 01/18/11 (sic)
Flower Bar 59 Divider Line clip art courtesy of http://www.angelfire.com/pa/FlaminJune/Flowerlines4.html- 01/19/11 (sic)
Animated Tiny Birthday Cake clip art courtesy of Sarah Puckett Kressaty ('65) of
VA - 08/31/05
Animated Army Flag clip art courtesy of http://www.angelfire.com/ny4/KevsGifsGalore/Patriotic.html - 06/18/03
Army Seal clip art courtesy of Al Farber ('64) of GA - 05/24/06 (still
Laughing Jerry courtesy of Cookie Phillips Tyndall ('64) of VA - 06/14/06
Navy Seal clip art courtesy of http://www.onemileup.com/miniSeals.asp - 05/29/06
Laughing Mouse clip art courtesy of Al Farber ('64) of GA - 11/07/07
Jeffrey Holman's Image "A Drop in the Bucket" courtesy of https://tearsfromalonelygod.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/a-drop-in-the-bucket/ - 05/23/16