a lonely goatherd

In The Sound of Music Maria and the children sing a lovely song about a lonely goatherd, but do you know the story? I’ve seen the movie numerous times but never paid attention to the words. In case you’re in the same boat, gather round and I’ll explain it to you.

Once upon a time there was a lonely goatherd on a high hill. He yodeled loudly and was heard by a remote village, a prince, laden men, men eating dinner (table d’hote), men drinking beer and last but not least, a girl with a pale pink coat.

The girl in the pale pink coat responded with a yodel of her own and the girl’s mother soon heard a gleaming gloat. A yodeling duet (you can guess who the duet consists of) ensued and the duet would soon become a trio. (I’m guessing that means they were going to have a baby). The end.

It’s an admittedly short story without much of a plot, but it’s entertaining nonetheless. Odl-lay-e-ooh.


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  1. Growing up I would always sing along with that song (much to the dismay of my family). Because of that, I can yodel an adorable little ditty.

    Adorable by my standards of course. ;)

    Thanks for the lyrics. Now I can sing without mumbling half the words.

    Comment by Mel on June 9, 2003 @ 9:31 am
  2. Now just how do you solve a problem like Maria?

    Comment by Renee on June 9, 2003 @ 9:59 am
  3. That is a very romantic song.

    Comment by Carly on June 10, 2003 @ 9:54 am
  4. The mother of the little girl in the pale pink coat did not “hear a gleaming gloat”. The mother HAD a “gleaming gloat”, this refers to the expression on her face (take a look at the mother marionette in the film).
    And the term “table d’hôte” means a fixed menu as opposed to one that provides a choice (“à la carte”).
    Apart from these two small slips, a useful and entertaining summary of one of Oscar Hammerstein II’s most ingenious lyrics.

    Comment by Larry on January 3, 2004 @ 8:40 pm
  5. Thanks for the correction Larry. I looked at the lyrics again and it does indeed say the mother had a gleaming gloat.

    I looked at a few other sites for the definition of table d’hôte and they agreed with the definition you gave (definition 1, definition 2).

    Comment by dan on January 4, 2004 @ 1:26 am
  6. I don’t think “they we having a baby”, but one of the villagers begin to yodel back to the duet and the duet will become a trio and become a chorus in the village. I’m a Japanese.
    I don’t understand the expression “the mother soon heard a gleaming gloat.” I think a gleaming gloat means “a little satisfied smile.”

    Comment by noboru on November 8, 2010 @ 8:22 pm

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