August 11, 2008

Do-Re-Mi

We began the Weekend Gathering of Random Family Members by watching the The Sound of Music, with running commentary from family members. My sisters and I love to talk during movies, a trait that not everyone appreciates, although I am always puzzled as to why. I mean, some people would PAY for such brilliant and insightful commentary. Of course, the subtle conversations between the characters in the movie caused much hilarity amongst the younger generation, who said things like, "Yeah, she's really thinking: you bitch!" Everyone but Urban Sophisticate kept saying, "Shouldn't the male lead have at least one attractive quality?" Since Red-haired Sister and I have memorized Maria von Trapp's autobiography, we kept chiming in to explain to the kids what REALLY happened.

Most of us have memories associated with The Sound of Music. Urban Sophisticate remembers watching it over and over again years ago during her semester abroad back in 1991. Red-haired Sister and I can remember going to see it with Kindergarten Friend and her sister at the movie theater, back in the seventies. My parents had the album so we heard the songs growing up. And my daughter sang the songs back in fifth grade, in her elementary school choir.

Watching the musical together had a peculiar and lingering effect on my family, causing them to burst into spontaneous songs at odd moments for the rest of the weekend. No one in the family suffers from self-consciousness so being in public places like the boardwalk did nothing to stop the singing. In fact, the mere sight of a pavilion would cause people to dance around singing, "I am sixteen going on seventeen." On Sunday, my sisters and I came out of the women's bathroom at a nature center to find the kids mysteriously hidden in these wooden boxes built to hold planters or trash cans. Then Dandelion Niece popped up, singing, "Doe a deer, a female deer" and the rest of the kids followed suit, each popping up with a line from the song. Most of the family have beautiful voices (I'm a notable exception), so we have no doubt that anyone overhearing us probably mistook us for descendants of the Von Trapp family.

15 comments:

kathy a. said...

oh, that's hilarious! and it's a multigenerational infection!

my sisters and i will sometimes spontaneously fall into song -- usually weird songs from our childhoods. my kids mostly get embarassed when that happens. i definitely support having a crowd of relatives singing inappropriately in public.

JustMe said...

that is SO cool! the sound of music is my all time favorite movie.

Singing Owl said...

As for me, I am enthralled that watching the movie caused the random breakouts into song--even in public! I did that, and my late sis. But nobody else I know. I was smiling just thinking about all of you.

Miranda said...

I've always loved the Sound of Music although I can not recall my first exposure. It was always there, though.

In a neat twist of fate, I attended a conference in the place that the movie Von Trapp house was based on.
The conference was forgettable but siting on the terrace that inspired the boat scene in the movie was inspired by for six nights will always be a magic memory for me.

Cathy said...

I don't know how many times my youngest daughter and I watched that when she was a toddler, but I can tell you it probably reached obsession with her. We never tired of it though. And... it sure beats the alternative to other things she could have been watching.

I think it is my favorite movie of all time.

I should probably read the autobiography.

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Posts like this convince me that my family is somehow related to your family.

Sarah Sometimes said...

this is too funny. I have fond memories of being taken to a . . . DRIVE-IN theater in Long Island with my favorite aunt and uncle and my cousins to see it. probably late 60s. around when it came out I guess.

Nadine said...

Love the movie. Love the singing. Love your family.

Baby Lisa said...

I remember that time we went to that theater so long ago with you and your sister. Afterwards we would rewrite the movie with some embellishments and strange character names. I still have those stories.

My earliest memory was when the movie actually premiered. After, my cousins and I would act it out. I was five, but my older cousin got the role of Gretl. The resentment will never end.....

Bardiac said...

I've got an earwig now. :/

If I start singing the Do-Re-Mi song randomly at the office, people will wonder, won't they? Can I borrow some of your family to help?

jo(e) said...

Bardiac: Oh, you should just start singing and see who joins in. The cool people will.

Baby Lisa: You were cheated out of that role. You would have been a much better Gretl than your cousin.

Gawdess said...

I love the pictures you give us from your camera and I love the pictures you give us from your words.

Lilian said...

AWESOME! (everything, from running commentary during the movie -- I like that too, of course -- to breaking into song, particularly some of my favorite songs of all time).

I ADORE The Sound of Music, to the point that, when put in charge of music and a closing program/play many years ago (I think back in 1994) at a two week summer "Immersion English Course," I wrote a parody (more like a cover version, or adaptation really) of the musical. I gave/wrote a part to ALL The students in the various levels of the course and had them dub several of the songs. The funniest part is that all the children were adults, or at least older teenagers. And my friend and I were "puppets" for the Lonely Goatherd -- that was hilarious, I tell ya.

Anyway... I more than know every single song and every line of the movie by heart. This play was performed again in the following year, with a few more children added to the mix (more participants than parts), I "made up" a pair of twins, boy and girl... and then again in the summer of 2001, when I was already living here in the U.S. and returned to Brazil to teach a summer class.

Wow, this totally is a blog post. I should go post it to my blog. It's so random, though... who would be interested in this stuff? ;-) Well, hopefully you will...

jo(e) said...

It's been fun to listen to all the associations and memories people have with the songs from that movie.

Dede said...

Oh yeah, and I *totally* forgot to say that I've also read the biography. In fact, I should buy so I could torture my sons in the future by telling them "what really happened" every time they get to watch the movie.

I also forgot to say that we're such die-hard fans that we ABSURDLY, I should now point-out in hindsight, on our one and only day in Salzburg, (1) wasted precious minutes going to the post office to mail a packet home [this is a pretty random, if true, thing, totally unrelated to the point ;-)] and (2) spent over 3 hours, most of the afternoon, doing the cheesy "Sound of Music" tour (the house mentioned by another comment, the "16 going on 17" gazebo, the church where the wedding takes place (two different churches, BTW -- back form one, front another), and I guess that was about it. In conclusion -- we DID NOT get to go up to the medieval castle on top of the mountain overlooking the city. We only walked around that garden where part of the Do-Re-Mi song is sang, later in the day and took some pictures.

OK, to be fair, the visit wasn't really totally ruined by the tour. In the morning we visited both Mozart's house (where he spent his childhood) and Mozart's birthplace, and we had lunch at an open air market... delicious strawberries and a sweet baked good...

OK, I'm sure there would be other things to share, but I'll stop here :-D. It's certainly been a fun conversation...