anne_mikolay_120Back in the day, 1965 to be exact, the nuns in my grammar school took a bus load of little children, myself included, into New York City to see The Sound of Music. The nuns loved it, of course; the kids…not so much. At that time, we knew nothing about Nazi Germany, and we were totally baffled by the movie’s plot. In fact, all I remember about my first viewing of The Sound of Music is that I laughed at Julie Andrews’ haircut. I thought she looked like a boy in an apron, and I was equally unenthusiastic about the film’s music. Imagine how thrilled I was when the nuns made my class memorize the words to “Edelweiss” and “My Favorite Things.” From that day forward, I disliked The Sound of Music and everything about it.

Fast forward a few years (okay, more than a few), and my husband convinced me to watch an uncut airing of The Sound of Music on NBC. Though the production takes considerable fictional license with the von Trapp family’s history, I was far more impressed the second time around. I didn’t laugh at Julie Andrews’ haircut this time, though I did find her rather amusing on her 69th birthday.

To commemorate the occasion on October 1st, Julie Andrews appeared at an AARP benefit held at Radio City Music Hall, and performed a personal, timely version of “My Favorite Things.” She received a four minute standing ovation; if you are middle aged or older, you will equally appreciate her revised lyrics to one of The Sound of Music’s most beloved songs.

And so, for your amusement, I turn this column over to Julie Andrews and her version of “My Favorite Things:”


“Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting,

Walkers and hand-rails and new dental fittings,

Bundles of magazines tied up in string,

These are a few of my favorite things.


Cadillacs and cataracts, and hearing aids and glasses,

Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,

Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,

These are a few of my favorite things.


When the pipes leak, when the bones creak,

When the knees go bad,

I simply remember my favorite things,

And then I don’t feel so bad.


Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,

No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,

Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,

These are a few of my favorite things.


Back pains, confused brains, and no need for sinnin’,

Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin’,

And we won’t mention our short, shrunken frames,

When we remember our favorite things.


When the joints ache, When the hips break,

When the eyes grow dim,

Then I remember the great life I’ve had,

And then I don’t feel so bad!


Well, Ms. Andrews, or Maria, I’m not laughing at you now. I’m laughing with you!

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Anne Mikolay

Anne Mikolay

Anne M. Mikolay joined The Atlantic Highlands Herald as a columnist in 2008. Prior to penning “The Armchair Critic,” Anne wrote feature articles for The Monmouth Journal. Her work has appeared in national...