What do Brigitta and Louisa mean by their lines in "So Long, Farewell"?
July 29, 2012 6:55 AM   Subscribe

In the song "So Long, Farewell" from The Sound of Music, why does Brigitta sing "I'm glad to go, I cannot tell a lie" (i.e. is she tired? is she bored by the grown-ups?), and why does Louisa sing "I flit, I float, I fleetly flee, I fly" (does she, too, want to get out of there? is she half-asleep?)? Are their lines meant to be interpreted as somehow related, since they do a little dance together immediately afterwards? Yes, this is settle-an-argument filter, so I'm looking for canonical or otherwise authoritative info, not just casual speculation.
posted by No-sword to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'm not sure if there are canonical sources on this; mods, feel free to delete if this is just "casual speculation".

Brigitta's line has to do with her character; she is very bookish and introverted (at the beginning she is late for the whistle because she is reading and shows up actually with the book, and she's intellectual and observant enough that Maria describes her later by saying "she notices everything") so it's logical that she would prefer not to be at a party. Louisa is less clearly defined ("Louisa I don't know about yet") but her line is less character-focused and more generically musical with the alliteration.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:13 AM on July 29, 2012 [12 favorites]

Brigitta: She's sleepy.
Louisa: It's a song.
posted by mochapickle at 7:13 AM on July 29, 2012 [17 favorites]

Brigitta's voice also slows down for these words... and she droops a little.
posted by infini at 7:44 AM on July 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I think that the two girls are lumped in together purely to save time, as they are two of the less developed characters among the children. If you imagined both their lines combined, being sung by ONE child, it would make perfect sense: "I'm glad to go, I cannot tell a lie; I flit, I float, I fleetly flee, I fly." And then they both scram together. Their delivery of the lines at least sets them apart a bit, probably intentionally: one is sleepy and heavy, the other cheerful and light.
posted by hermitosis at 8:08 AM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: When I was a child I interpreted Louisa's line to indicate that she was trying to set up an excuse to show off moves from ballet lessons.

Brigitta is a little girl who would rather be sleeping or reading than at a cocktail party.

The movie is in many ways a complete butchery of the actual characters of the real-life Von Trapp family (the number of kids is wrong, it was actually Maria who was a dour taskmaster, etc.;) I'm not sure there's any such thing as "canon" beyond what little you see on screen. It's a movie musical.
posted by SMPA at 8:35 AM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Brigitta's inability to lie is set up from the beginning. When introduced to Maria, she says "I think your dress is the ugliest I ever saw." Just before that she was unable to carry out a joke instigated by Louisa which is intended to confuse Maria about their names.
posted by carmicha at 9:33 AM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This may not be authoritative enough, but also keep in mind they're kids performing for adults at a party. From a character writing/acting POV, two things little girls might know to be adorable in the eyes of watching grown-ups are: 1, Being a typical kid in an adult situation (sleepy/bored at a late-night party) and 2, Reciting a little alliterative poem (accompanied, IIRC from watching the movie a lot and being in this show a long time ago) by a flitty little dance. I think hermitosis is right too, and that lumping them together just before the end also reinforces how cute and little and alone on stage Gretel is when she sings the last line after B and L are done.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 10:08 AM on July 29, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks, folks! Very helpful.
posted by No-sword at 5:29 PM on July 29, 2012

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