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Cynthia Erivo's Magnetic "Edelweiss" Cover Is Julie Andrews-Approved

The Wicked movie star did Andrews justice.

By Elizabeth Logan

Cynthia Erivo performed a famous Sound of Music song for Julie Andrews herself, and got a nod of approval from the living legend. At the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award for Julie Andrews, the Wicked star sang "Edelweiss," even dressing in a gown reminiscent of the fuzzy white bloom.

In an interstitial video, Andrews explained her love for the tune. "My actual favorite song, even apart from 'My Favorite Things,' is a song that isn’t mine in the movie, and it’s 'Edelweiss.' What I love about it, and you can imagine, it speaks to everyone’s homeland. It’s so classically simple that it lasts forever," she said. That beautiful simplicity really comes through in Erivo's performance, which is heartfelt and frill-free. Check it out, below.

About "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music

Though a very nice song, "Edelweiss" is not, as some mistakenly believe, the Austrian national anthem. That would be "Land der Berge, Land am Strome." Like the rest of the songs in The Sound of Music, "Edelweiss" was written by the legendary duo of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II for the Broadway musical, which was later made into a movie. This particular song is especially poignant because it is the last song Oscar Hammerstein II wrote before he died.

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The edelweiss grows in many countries, including Austria, on the Alps, and is therefore symbolic of the region. Throughout The Sound of Music, Captain Von Trapp, a patriot, objects to his beloved homeland being taken over by the Nazis. In order to avoid being enlisted into the Nazi Army, the Captain makes the difficult decision to take his family out of Austria, and he sings "Edelweiss" to say goodbye before they all hike across the border into Switzerland.

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