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Album: The Sound of Music SoundtrackReleased: 1959
This song comes from the 1959 Broadway musical The Sound Of Music, which was made into a popular film in 1965. In the play, Captain Von Trapp uses it to describe the way he feels about his love for Austria that is slowly dying away due to the Nazis and the Third Reich. The song was written by the show's composers, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. The movie version of The Sound Of Music featured the song twice, and Christopher Plummer's performance of this song as the Captain was so convincing, that many viewers assumed "Edelweiss" was a traditional song of Austria rather than the creation of two American songwriters.
Viewers also had no idea that it's wasn't Plummer's voice on the song. The plan was to have him sing, but despite lessons he took before filming, his singing voice proved far from film quality (especially when juxtaposed with Julie Andrews) and a professional singer named Bill Lee was brought in to overdub his singing parts. Plummer explains in his autobiography that he was terrified when they brought him into a studio to record the song, and that Julie Andrews held his had to try and settle him. Plummer learned that singing is very different than acting.
Edelweiss is a mountain flower, and the official flower of Switzerland. In the film version of the movie, the youngest Von Trapp child presents some Edelweiss to her father's mistress, the Baroness Schraeder.
This song was the last lyric Oscar Hammerstein published. He died of stomach cancer in 1960, shortly after The Sound of Music opened on Broadway.