Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bight copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
I first heard those words from the voice of Mary Martin on the original cast album of The Sound of Music, broadcast on our radio one Sunday evening in late December, only a few weeks after the show had opened on Broadway to great reviews. A week or so later, I had in hand my own copy of the snowy white cast album. Decorated in delicate foliage, in colors gold and red and green, how like a lovely Christmas morning gift it felt. In a few weeks, it would reach the number one spot on Billboard’s Best Selling Albums and remain there for 16 straight weeks. Sometimes at the skating rink during club practice, they played it.
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things
In those sunnier days, Rodgers and Hammerstein were the gods of musical theatre, able to capture in song the widely shared sentiments of Americans. One evening in the early 1950s, a televised toast to their magic was broadcast simultaneously on ALL three major networks. Point made?
Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
I could never have known how fate would coddle and guide this musical up a most remark road, gradually cementing its charms into the hearts of Americans. The movie that followed a few years later achieved a phenomenal success. Two words may have spelled its everlasting lock on our hearts: Julie Andrews. Years later, people flock to movie houses to participate in a sing-along of the songs as they appear on the screen.
Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
In 1961, through the soprano sax of jazz musician John Coltrane, My Favorite Things became an almost instant classic, and would become Coltrane's most requested song ever, and his personal favorite of all his recordings. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1988 and certified gold in 2018.
A few magical days ago, while listening to a local FM adult contemporary station that plays non-stop Christmas music every season, came the sweetest young voice singing the song. And I felt a rare connection between that night long ago, listening to Mary Martin, and now, hearing the song from a new voice on the radio, making it feel like a perfect addition to the holiday cannon, as if it had always been there.
Silver white winters that melt into springs ...