Do You Know the Lyrics to These Rodgers and Hammerstein Songs?

By: Gavin Thagard

Do You Know the Lyrics to These Rodgers and Hammerstein Songs?
Image: Al Aumuller, World Telegram staff photographer

About This Quiz

"Oh, what a beautiful day..." to take a quiz on the songs of the brilliant duo Rodgers and Hammerstein! Are you a fan of this duo? Could you ace this quiz on the lyrics to some of their greatest songs? Here's your chance to find out! 

Rodgers and Hammerstein changed the face of Broadway and musical theater during their run together. This was, of course, after having successful careers separately before they finally joined forces. When the two finally came together, magic happened on stage, as Rodgers and Hammerstein composed some of the greatest songs in the history of musical theater, songs that are still remembered and sung today. 

In fact, the musicals of Rodgers and Hammerstein broke records, won awards and delighted audiences for nearly 20 years as they transformed how musicals were viewed on Broadway. Their success spawned revivals as well as film adaptations of many of their greatest works, showing that their legacy will not soon be forgotten. 

How well do you know the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein? Can you sing all of their songs from "Oh, what a beautiful mornin'" to "Edelweiss"? If you think you can, then take this quiz and show everyone just how much you know about the legends of American musical theater! 

What lyrics come after "Edelweiss, Edelweiss, every morning you greet me..."?
And wake me from sleep
Small and white, clean and bright
"Edelweiss" was sung by the VonTrapps in The Sound of Music, the duo's last collaboration together. Before they'd met many years before, Richard Rodgers had been a musical composer who attended college at the Institute of Musical Art. His interest in music, however, can be traced back to his childhood.
Early as the sun is bright
Oh so small, oh so bright

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Which lyrics come after "Climb every mountain, search high and low, follow every byway..."?
Wherever it goes
To the places that you know
Every path you know
This is also from The Sound of Music, which is considered by many Rodgers and Hammersteiners to be their most famous work. This was more than 20 years after Rodgers had started his career, attending Columbia University where he met lyricist Lorenz Hart, whom he worked with until Hart's death in 1943. Richard Rodgers' first professional production, Poor Little Ritz Girl, had premiered in 1920.
To the places you should go

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How about "June is bustin' out all over! The ocean is full of Jack and Jills..."?
All geared up to swim
Gearing up to swim
With her little tail a-swirlin'
With her little tail a-swishin'
These lyrics are from Carousel, the second musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein. It hit Broadway in 1945. Carousel featured an anti-hero protagonist, which was rare at the time in musical theatre. It was a popular decision, as the musical was another huge success on Broadway.

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Complete this lyric: "They've spread the message far and wide, the Prince is giving a ball! They say he wants to find a bride..."
A lady from them all
Out of those he calls
From the ladies called
He may find one at the ball!
We hope you knew this was from Cinderella, the duo's only work intended for television, which aired in 1957.

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And this one? "Impossible, for a plain yellow pumpkin..."
To become a golden carriage
Yep, still Cinderella. You knew that. But did you also know that Rodgers professional song (not a full production, just his first song) debut was "Any Old Place With You" in 1919? It was part of the musical comedy A Lonely Romeo.
To turn to gold
To grow into a marriage
To grow wheels and seats

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"I have heard people rant and rave and bellow that we're done and we might as well be dead, but I'm only a cockeyed optimist..."
And I can't get it into my head
"Cock-Eyed Optimist" was featured in South Pacific, another mega-hit for Rodgers and Hammerstein. It's 2008 revival even won no less than seven Tony Awards.
And I sure would like to wed
Looking for a woman to bed
Whose every friend has fled

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"You say goodbye, away you fly, but on your lips, you keep a kiss. All your life you'll dream of this..."
My last kiss, our last kiss
A dreadfully lovely night
A lovely, lovely night
Ah Cinderella, living the fairytale. Cinderella aired on CBS in 1957.
A night of love

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"I'm as corny as Kansas in August..."
On the eve of night
I'm as normal as blueberry pie
This is from South Pacific - even thought it does sound a bit like it could hail from Oklahoma!
I'm as funny as mustard
I'm as high as a balloon

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"I was as faithful as can be—"
for me
This is immediately followed by "Them stories 'bout the way I lost my bloomer—rumors!" in the song "All Er Nothin'" from Oklahoma! Incidentally, Oscar Hammerstein II was a lyricist who also attended Columbia University. However, he was there several years before Richard Rodgers.
you'll see
tru-ly
faithful to a tee

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"Do I want you because you're wonderful..."
Or do I want you at all?
Or do I want you because you're bad?
Or are you wonderful because I want you?
This was also from Cinderella. Julie Andrews starred as Cinderella. Both Rodgers and Hammerstein were excited to work with her as she'd already had success on Broadway in musicals like The Boy Friend and My Fair Lady.
Or am I confused?

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"I can't resist a Romeo in a sombrero and chaps. Soon as I sit on their laps..."
It all makes me snap
My knees will nearly snap
Somethin' inside of me snaps
Oklahoma! opened on broadway in 1943. The show was so successful that it won a special Pulitzer Prize in 1944. But maybe the best part of the whole show was when this song, "I Cain't Say No", was born.
Everything inside of me snaps

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"Born on the opposite sides of the sea..."
We are as diff'rent as people can be
It was in 1949 that Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific opened on Broadway. This show had an incredible run of over five years. This song was from the Finale.
So far apart are we
Never to meet
As far apart as we can be

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"Talk about the moon floatin' in the sky..."
A reflection so big it looks fake
Lookin' at a lily on the lake
This is from "Happy Talk" in South Pacific. South Pacific was based on short stories by James Michener. The stories were from his book Tales of the South Pacific.
Peering down and on the make
All that starlight shinin' on the lake

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"Caught in our gold plated chains are we, lost in our wealthy domains are we..."
Trapped like rich men are we
Trapped by out riches are we
Trapped by our capital gains are we
Did you know this is from "How Can Love Survive?" in The Sound of Music? If you did, you're most certainly taking the right quiz.
Trapped by our huge gains are we

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"I'm gonna wave that man..."
Right outta my arms
Thanks to a certain advertising campaign in the 80s, you might also know the other lyrics from this South Pacific gem: "I'm gonna wash that man right outta my hair..."
Right outta here
Right outta your arms
Right back to me

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"For the world is full of zanies and..."
Zombies
Fools
Another tidbit from Cinderella.
Idiots
Liars

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"I'm as mild and as meek as a mouse. When I hear a command, I obey. But, I know of a spot in my house..."
Where no mouse will go
Only a mouse can go
Where no one will chase a mouse
Where no one can stand in my way
You go, girl! Er, Cinderella.

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"Free like a bird in the woodland wild, free like a gypsy​..."
Free like a child
Some of the other popular musical standards from this show include "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" and the title track, "Oklahoma!" Altogether, now: "OHHH-klahoma-where-the-wind-goes-sweepin-down-the-plaaain..."
Free as a cloud
But lonely like a child
But lonely like a cloud

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"I could swear that she was padded from her shoulder to her heel, but later in the second act..."
When she began to heal
When she began to peel
Oklahoma! was adapted into a film in 1955.
As her body peeled
I didn't know how she'd feel

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"Why should a woman who is healthy and strong blubber like a baby if..."
Her day is long
Her hair is a mess
Her man is gone
Her man goes away
The story of Oklahoma! was based on Green Grow the Lilacs.

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"She climbs a tree and scrapes her knee..."
And bleeds and bleeds
And tear her dress
Her dress has got a tear
This is what the nuns are singing in the beginning of The Sound of Music, wondering aloud just how they should solve a problem like their sister, Maria.
And cries to me

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"But he spends so much time in his round-bottomed boat that he can't..."
Make it home for dinner
Seem to lose the smell of fish
Carousel has had several great revivals over the years. The most recent was in 2018. Richard Rodgers believed it was the best musical he ever wrote. Time Magazine once called it the best musical of the 20th century.
Bring us fish to eat
Remember the sun is hot

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"Bloody Mary is the girl I love..."
Now ain't that too damn bad!
This is from "Bloody Mary", another show-stopper in South Pacific. South Pacific won the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It also won 10 Tony Awards.
Now ain't that sad!
And I can't stop!
And I won't stop!

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"Brown paper packages tied up with strings..."
These are a few of my favorite things
Ok, nevermind - "A Few of My Favorite Things" is definitely our favorite song from The Sound of Music. Isn't it everybody's?
Are mailed in bunches, all for me
I'll send out beyond the sea
Fill my heart with glee

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"When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things..."
That make me feel glee
That feel me with glee
And the life isn't so bad
And then I don't feel so bad
In fact, if you don't have this song stuck in your head by now, you might want to check your pulse.

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"There's a bright, golden haze on the meadow. The corn is as high as..."
My head
The moon
It will stand
An elephant's eye
That's just how things grow in Oklahoma!

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"Don't stand in the rain with me..."
We'll both get a cold
People will say we're in love!
This Oklahoma! interlude is almost a reverse love song, lyrically speaking, with both of the stars playing hard-to-get.
It's not a great place to be
As the rain is all I have

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"Getting to know you, getting to know..."
all about you
The fifth musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein, The King and I starred Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner. The musical helped launch the career of Brynner, who went on to star in the film version of The King and I in 1956. Deborah Kerr took on the role of Anna.
why I hate you
you through and through
I like you

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"Climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow..."
To the highest cloud
Into the sky
Till you find the gold
Till you find your dream
The story for The Sound of Music was based on the real-life memoir of Maria von Trapp. The book had been published 10 years before the musical reached Broadway.

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"When men say I'm sweet as candy%0DAs around in a dance we whirl,%0DIt goes to my head like brandy..."
And sets me all a-twirl
And gives my hair a curl
But makes me want to hurl
I enjoy being a girl!
Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song, which featured the song "I Enjoy Being a Girl", was produced in 1958. It was directed by Gene Kelly. The cast for Flower Drum Song was predominantly Asian, which was groundbreaking for Broadway at the time.

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"The hills fill my heart with..."
Delight
Dread
The sound of music
Did we mention Julie Andrews is incredible?
Musical sounds

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"Oh why should I have spring fever..."
When it isn't even spring?
Rodgers and Hammerstein worked on the music for the 1945 film State Fair. Their song "It Might as Well Be Spring" from the film won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
If I'm as giddy as a baby on a swing?
When I've only seen a robin on the wing?
Over just any old thing?

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"And I set by myself like a cobweb on a shelf, by myself in..."
A broken house
A broken office
A lonely room
"A Lonely Room" was sung by the character of Jud Fry in Oklahoma! It wasn't featured in the 1955 movie version of the show, but was part of the original musical.
A lonely house

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"Shall we then say goodnight and mean goodbye - or per chance, when the..."
Final chapter's coming nigh
Moonlight leaves your eye
Mood strikes us, by and by
Last little star has left the sky
The story for The King and I was based on the novel "Anna and the King of Siam" by Margaret Landon.

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"And up in the nursery, an absurd little bird is..."
Flying around the room
Is trapped inside the window
Popping up to say cuckoo​!
The Sound of Music was quite successful on Broadway, wining five Tony Awards. It was made into a popular film in 1965. These lyrics are from "So Long, Farewell" - a lovely little send-off that marked a pivotal plot point. "Good-bye! Good-byyyye! GOOD-BYYYYYYYYYYYYYYE...."
Is circling the room

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