Julie Andrews' Parody AARP Version of "My Favorite Things"

Julie Andrews at an Awards - Reception
Carlo Allegri / Getty Images

In early 2005, viral postings, emails, and even articles started circulating claiming that famed singer and actress Julie Andrews had sung a parody of one of most beloved songs, "My Favorite Things," at an AARP event. The postings even included the full lyrics of the alleged parody, reading like something right out of "Mad" magazine.

My Favorite Parody

For example, one email that started to make the rounds in 2005 read:

Fwd: Favorite Things
To commemorate her 69th birthday on October 1, actress/vocalist Julie Andrews made a special appearance at Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall for the benefit of the AARP. One of the musical numbers she performed was "My Favourite Things" from the legendary movie "Sound Of Music." However, the lyrics of the song were deliberately changed for the entertainment of her "blue hair" audience....
Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting, Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings, Bundles of magazines tied up in string, These are a few of my favourite things.
Cadillacs and cataracts and hearing aids and glasses, Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses, Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings, These are a few of my favourite things.
When the pipes leak, When the bones creak, When the knees go bad, I simply remember my favourite things, And then I don't feel so bad.
Hot tea and crumpets, and corn pads for bunions, No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions, Bathrobes and heat pads and hot meals they bring, These are a few of my favourite things.
Back pains, confused brains, and no fear of sinnin', Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin', And we won't mention our short shrunken frames, When we remember our favorite things.
When the joints ache, when the hips break, When the eyes grow dim, Then I remember the great life I've had, And then I don't feel so bad.
Ms. Andrews received a standing ovation from the crowd that lasted over four minutes and repeated encores.

Analysis: It Never Happened

This parody of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "My Favorite Things" from the Broadway musical and screen adaptation of "The Sound of Music" was never sung by Julie Andrews — indeed, it is quite possible she is not even aware of its existence. The actress/singer did, indeed, turn 69 on Oct.1, 2004, but she did not perform at Radio City Music Hall that year, nor at any publicized benefit for AARP.

Composed anonymously, the parody itself dates to 2001 (at least), when variants popped up on the internet, prefaced with statements like "Imagine hearing Julie Andrews singing this."

Dear Abby Too?

The parody even appeared in a Dear Abby column dated March 10, 2002, accompanied by the claim that Andrews had altered the lyrics herself and sang them at a concert for AARP, though the column predated the alleged 69th birthday performance by two years. "The rewritten lyrics are a hoot," replied Abby, "but I doubt that Julie Andrews ever warbled them."

More to the point, Andrews lost her singing voice after undergoing throat surgery in 1997 and has sung in public only rarely ever since.