Remembering the ‘music’

Published 10:10 am Thursday, February 26, 2015

If you watched this year’s Academy Awards, you probably know that March 2 marks the 50th anniversary of the U.S. debut of the beloved film “The Sound Of Music.”

(If you watched the slate of obscure nominees for Academy Awards, you probably also know that the Hollywood hills are alive with the sound of…self-important, clueless voting members crying, “An Oscar for the ‘feel good movie of the year’? That’s a disease we must vaccinate against – even if it causes autism!”)

But I digress. My real point is that this milestone needs to be acknowledged March 2 and throughout the rest of 2015. I’ve worked up some possible ways you could pay homage to the film.

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You could discuss the congressional committee examining the plight of the nation’s Lonely Goatherds, and the efficacy of increasing the Churned Income Tax Credit. Oh, and Congressman Philmuhpokkets, whose district just happens to include the McKeethan Highlander Musical Instruments headquarters, stresses the need to improve the goatherds’ 21st-century social skills by teaching them bagpipes instead of yodeling. (Which brings us back to DOUGH!)

You could devise a game in which you score points for naming the shortcuts, Hollywood distortions and historical inaccuracies in the movie. For instance, contrary to the exciting escape at the end of the film, the real von Trapp Family did not hike to safety in Switzerland, as it was 150 miles from Salzburg, Austria.

Guess someone made the judgment call that it was more inspiring to challenge moviegoers to overcome obstacles and attain their goals by “climbing ev’ry mountain” instead of saying, “Forget that! We’re hopping a train across Italy!”

Elton John is a huge fan of the movie. You could check to see what various other celebrities’ think about the film as well. Bruce Jenner, for instance. (“How do you solve a problem like Maria? I dunno, maybe at least she wouldn’t be messing up the convent if she turned into a Maurice.”)

Check out “Scientific American” magazine for the brewing controversy over Rodgers and Hammerstein’s vintage song “Edelweiss.” (“Edelweiss, Eidelweiss, /Every morning you greet me/Small and white, clean and bright/Your GMO plot won’t defeat me!”)

You could buy the 50th anniversary DVD and go back over the movie with a more cynical eye than you used the first time you saw it in a theater or on network TV. Then you would recognize that the musical number “Sixteen Going On Seventeen” is obviously an embedded commercial for Botox!

Perhaps you could watch an interview with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer carrying on like an old married couple. Or maybe go to an event where Rudy Giuliani and Pres. Obama carry on like an old married couple, with Giuliani challenging the allegedly America-hating president to sing his own version of “My Favorite Things.” (“Um…Brown paper executive orders tied up with strings?”)

Imagine Andrews getting her Maria and Mary Poppins roles mixed up. (“A spoonful of sugar helps the swastikas go down…”)

You could imagine different directors stepping into the shoes of Robert Wise, giving their own vision of the story. Clint Eastwood would probably call it “Austrian Sniper,” and the von Trapp Family Singers wouldn’t have to rush through their closing number. (“Bring on the Nazis! Try and stop this encore!”)

So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, good night. I’d write some more, but that would start a fight.


Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades”. Danny’s’ weekly column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate.