The first thing you need to know about the song "Edelweiss" is that it is not an Austrian or German song. The only thing "German" about "Edelweiss" is its title and the Alpine flower itself. The song was written and composed by two Americans: Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (words). Hammerstein did have a German heritage, but the song is strictly American. (Hammerstein's grandfather, Oscar Hammerstein I, was born in Sceczin, Pommerania in 1848, the eldest son of a German-speaking, Jewish family.) In the film version, Captain von Trapp (Christopher Plummer) sings an emotional version of "Edelweiss," which may have contributed to the false idea that it is the Austrian national anthem.

The second thing you need to know about the song "Edelweiss" is that it is virtually unknown in Austria, as is the classic film "The Sound of Music." Although Salzburg makes a good living by exploiting the film, the Austrian city's tourist customers for "The Sound of Music" tours include very few Austrians or Germans.

NOTE: The German and English versions of the "Edelweiss" song lyrics below are provided for educational use only. No infringement of copyright is implied or intended. The English lyrics below are the original Hammerstein version, not a translation of the German. The author of the German version is unknown to us.

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