Kenny G a music maestro and smooth jazz saxophonist, shares his melodic version of the original Broadway musical places the song “My Favorite Things”. And as in the play, we can imagine Mother Abbess’s office, just before she sends Maria to serve Captain von Trapp’s family as governess to his seven children. However, Ernest Lehman, the screenwriter for the film adaptation, repositioned it so that Maria would sing it with the children during the thunderstorm scene in her bedroom, replacing “The Lonely Goatherd”, which had originally been sung at this point. Many stage productions also make this change, shifting “The Lonely Goatherd” to another scene.
The first section of the melody has a distinctive property of using only the notes 1, 2, and 5 (tonic, supertonic, and dominant) of the scale. By using the same melody-pattern, Rodgers harmonized it differently in different stanzas, using a series of minor triads one time and major triads the next.
The song ends with a borrowed line of lyric and notes from Rodgers’ earlier composition with Lorenz Hart, “Glad to Be Unhappy”, a standard about finding peace in the midst of unrequited love. Using the same two notes for the phrasing of “so sad” in the original song, Rodgers brings the gloom of the song to a similar upbeat ending – “and then I don’t feel so bad.”
In 2004 the movie version of the song finished at No. 64 on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.