If you’ve seen the The Sound of Music (and who hasn’t?), then you’ll know the famous scene where Maria (Julie Andrews) gives the children their first real music lesson, “Do-Re-Mi.” The lyrics to the famous number have been memorized by millions of fans of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic all over the world:
Do, a deer, a female deer / Re, a drop of golden sun / Mi, a name I call myself / Fa, a long long way to run / So, a needle pulling thread / La, a note to follow so / Ti, a drink with jam and bread …
Well, guess what? Those weren’t always the words. The original “Do-Re-Mi” lyrics Oscar Hammerstein intended for the stage version of the musical are completely different than those from the well-known 1965 film adaptation. Now imagine that same scene with Maria and the children if Hammerstein had kept these original lyrics:
Do, a verb with many definitions
Re, a prefix that means “do again”
Mi, the object form of the pronoun I
La, as in “tra-la-la” or “Bin La-La-Laden”
Which version is better? You decide. Try singing it for yourself!