Edelweiss: My Anthem
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:
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
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.