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The Sound of Music
German Lyrics Trivia


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When we first began to compile the German and English lyrics for the songs from The Sound of Music, it was difficult to find the name or names of the translator(s) for the German song versions (yes, there are several). At that time I posted a request for more information from anyone who might have some knowledge about the German song translations.

To date I have received only one response to that request, but it is a very good one. Richard Haldi in Ohio wrote me a very detailed account of facts related to The Sound of Music in German. Although we still don’t have a definitive answer, thanks to Mr. Haldi, we do know a lot more. Among other things, he wrote:

“The recent German-language stage production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC at the Volksoper in Vienna changed many of the German lyrics from those originally used in the film [known in German as] MEINE LIEDER, MEINE TRÄUME. The title song from the movie, ‘Die Täler entlang,’ became ‘Das Lied der Berge’ in the stage play; ‘Do Re Me’ became ‘C-D-E’ and ‘Finde ich schön’ became ‘Die Dinge, die ich gerne mag.’ According to the CD jacket of the German stage version, its lyrics are by a number of different lyricists: Ute Horstmann and Eberhard Storch translated all of the songs (including ‘Edelweiss’) except for ‘Something Good,’ which was translated by Peter Pikl and Christoph Wagner-Trenkwitz as ‘Gut gemacht.’ I would think one of those men would certainly know who wrote the movie’s original German lyrics, since many of those earlier movie lyrics were retained for the Volksoper production.”


The CD of the Vienna Volksoper’s German production of The Sound of Music that premiered in 2005.

An Austrian stage version of The Sound of Music

People who know how much the 1965 film version is hated in Austria and Germany (mostly by people who have never seen the movie) were surprised when the Vienna Volksoper announced the premiere of its German stage production of The Sound of Music in 2005. But it became such a success that the production was still running in 2008, with about a dozen performances each season. For the Volksoper version, most of the musical’s songs were given new German lyrics that differ from the German lyrics for the 1965 film version. On stage in Vienna, Maria (played by the Austro-Australian Sandra Pires in 2005) sings German lyrics that were not heard in the German version of the film. The Vienna musical also contains translations of two songs from the Broadway production that were cut from the film. (See more in the sidebar on the right.)

For much more about the history behind the film and the making of The Sound of Music, see "The Sound of Music" from the German-Hollywood Connection.


In the Volksoper version, the ‘Do Re Me’ song is renamed ‘C-D-E’ and the lyrics go...

    C, wie Cellophanpapier,
    D, bei D-Zug denkt man dran,
    E, ein Elefantentier,
    F, wie flatterhafte Fahn',
    G, Gesangsverein vom Land,
    A, vom Alphabet bekannt,
    H, wie Hagebuttentee,
    das führt uns zurück zu C.

In the film’s German version the lyrics for ‘Do Re Me’ are completely different. (More song titles in the sidebar on the right.) It should also be noted that three Rodgers and Hammerstein songs from the original 1959 Broadway production were cut from the film version. Two new songs (“Something Good” and “I Have Confidence in Me”) were added by Rodgers at director Robert Wise’s request.

Unfortunately, unlike the German DVD of the original film, the CD of the live Volksoper performance does not include the German song lyrics — a serious failing for a recording that retails for about 19 euros.

WEB > Wiener Volksoper
WEB > Sound of Music - Volksoper (2008)

The German-Hollywood Connection: For much more about the history behind the film, its many German and Austrian connections, and the making of The Sound of Music, see this detailed article from my The German-Hollywood Connection pages.

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Sound of Music 1: “Die Täler entlang”
The German version of “The Hills Are Alive (with the Sound of Music).” Song lyrics in German and English.

Sound of Music 2: “Finde ich schön”
The German version of “My Favorite Things.” Song lyrics in German and English.

BACK > SoM German Song Lyrics
MORE > German Song Lyrics in German and English

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