Rocks In The Attic #529: Rodgers & Hammerstein – ‘The Sound Of Music (O.S.T.)’ (1965)

rita529I love a good overture, and this one has a pearler. It’s probably my favourite part of a traditional soundtrack – the moment where we are introduced into the musical dictionary of the film by a medley of the score’s most memorable moments. Sometimes they can be a little cloying, particular if the different melodies are crowbarred together with no thought to harmonic transition, but if they’re done well, they can be breathtaking.

I’m not a fan of The Sound Of Music. I’ve endured it a few times, but usually the experience is ruined by whoever I’m watching it with. Sound Of Music fans can be as annoying as any obsessive music fan. I once went to a party which in its later hours devolved into a viewing of the film. Okay, I thought. Why not? But then the half-dozen or so girls watching it with me decided to quote the entire film and sing all the words. They enjoyed themselves, I’m sure.

It’s the same level of fandom that has always kept me at an arm’s distance from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I watched that film on television in my youth, and wasn’t particularly enamoured with it, but in the mid-2000s I was visiting a friend in Oxford when I saw how religiously its fans can be. On a mini-pub crawl, we came across a couple of men in one bar dressed to the nines in stockings, suspenders and garish make-up. Hmm. What’s going on here, we all thought. Then at the next bar, there were a few more men dressed in a similar fashion.

At the next bar – the one closest to the cinema which we had worked out was showing The Rocky Horror Picture Show that very night – we were faced with dozens of men dressed like Dr. Frank. N. Furter. It was a very strange sight; it was truly awesome, to correctly use a word that is so overused today. And these men weren’t the effeminate type you might associate with cross-dressers. They were all different shapes and sizes – short blokes, skinny blokes, young blokes, old blokes. The event may have even been organised by the local rugby club, because the majority of them were big, stocky, hairy blokes.

I hear that sing-a-long cinema nights of The Sound Of Music are a popular thing. People dress as nuns and  I can’t think of anything worse. Although, maybe hanging out – quite literally – at a busy bar in full drag might just be worse.

Hit: The Sound Of Music

Hidden Gem: Climb Ev’ry Mountain

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