Edelweiss: My Anthem

| By Paul | | Comments (12)

On Christmas Day my wife, kids, and I watched the 1965 film "Sound of Music". It was a lovely movie and uplifting. I remember it being broadcast on television annually; it was a huge event for me along with the "Wizard of Oz".

I identified with the story on a number of levels. And only this past year did I know why. I was sure that it had parallels to my own life, with the multiple children each with their own "quirks", the nanny trying to get control and manage them, the father who was unaware of what was going on, and the threat of the German's and the fear that came with that.

Ultimately, as many of you know, the father protected his children and the story had a happy ending. I'd like to think my life will have a happy ending. Maybe I'm being too naive and too idealistic. But, who knows, maybe that's exactly how it will turn out!

It's all rather interesting because both of my daughters are playing and singing songs from the musical now. My youngest and I have been playing "My Favorite Things" together with her on violin and me on piano for about a month. My oldest is playing a medley of songs with her school band and chorus.

I took a particular liking to "Edelweiss" because the father, Georg von Trapp, sang that song to his children. It was a delightful scene in which he first became "aware", with the help of Maria, that he had not been paying much attention to them. There was another touching scene towards the end of the movie where he began to sing it to the large audience at the Salzburg music festival, could not get through it, Maria had to help him and then all the audience joined in as a statement of solidarity.

I've changed one word in the lyrics, next to last word, to make the song have meaning to both my inside and outside families:

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 children forever

I have been singing this to my kids and quite like the way it "fits". I recorded this song along with a vocal track and published it here a couple of weeks ago. But I had to take it down because there was a visceral reaction. So, a couple of weeks removed from that experience, I just recorded an ever-so-simple piano track. I wanted to play the song very simply because it's kind of like a lullaby.

I think it's perfectly appropriate to make this song my personal anthem.


Ivory said:

You did great! When I was small, I used to hear my mother sing this song. She never sang it to me, but I loved hearing her sing it (in German). Her ancestors are from Germany and the song was part of her childhood. I, too, watched Sound of Music, but on the 26th. Now that you mention it, the children are like having DID, with all the fuss. I bet you have a happy ending...

Happy New Year and best wishes for that Happy Ending!

Paul Author Profile Page replied to Ivory:

Thanks Ivory! Well, right after this, when going to bed in the wee hours of the morning, everything just collapsed. And it was bad.

Petrogenic said:

Hi Paul,

I watched this movie this year for the first time... somehow it was much less innocent/darker than I expected in parts and yet still humblingly naive and innocent in others. And the good guys won. Sort of. But it was good to finally see it when in a place to deal with it. You sound like a good father (both inside and out). I have faith in your happy ending.


Paul Author Profile Page replied to Petrogenic:

Thanks, Petr., for your sentiments and personal compliment.

shen said:

What a wonderful comparison. I love this analogy and picture all the little ones being lead by the loving nanny who eventually reconciles her own issues as well as those of the children.

I hope you realize how much it means to your daughters that you are there for them. Too many fathers are not.

Paul Author Profile Page replied to shen:

Gee, Shen, I appreciate what you say. I really wished I believed what other people see in me as far as being a father. I can sometimes reality check this. But, often I cannot. This needs to become a blog post all its own someday. But I will have to work up the courage for it.

castorgirl said:

I agree Petr., the movie is quite dark in places, as well as holding a sense of innocence in others. This is another way in which the movie could be seen to mirror a dissociative system - some parts continue to hold a sense of innocence, despite the pain and hurt held by others.

I hope one day you can see yourself as the loving, involved father that you give glimpses of in this blog, Paul. No parent is perfect, in the face of imperfection, having a loving parent who takes the time to tell stories and be involved in their different activities is pretty special...

I love your version of this song, it's simplicity is moving and touching.

Take care,

Paul Author Profile Page replied to castorgirl:

CG, I trust you and do hope that I can see myself in a better light someday. Intellectually, I know I am loving and involved with my kids. But, it's more complicated than that.

Marie said:

Love it! Love it! Love it!

You have such a beautiful touch . . . mmmmmmm

- Marie (Coming Out of the Trees)

Paul Author Profile Page replied to Marie:

Marie, You are way too nice to me! But I soak it all up!! Thanks!

What a beautiful song to sing to your children. The Sound of Music has always been a favorite movie of my daughter so we always watched it when it was on the TV. It is a favorite of mine as well. It is a wonderful story of inspiration and good triumphing over evil.

Steve said:

Thanks for this. The song is one of my favourites, and this is a beautiful arrangement of it.

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This page contains a single entry published on January 18, 2010 9:15 PM.

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