The hills are alive

by | 9 July 2023 | Notice, Retford

Hugh Grant recently revealed that his favourite movie of all time is… The Sound of Music! And it seems he is far from being alone – the iconic movie also topped a 2023 Mother’s Day poll as the ‘most-loved film’. So what makes Sound of Music so special?

Retford’s Rev Bryony Wood, who grew up loving the film and its unforgettable songs, believes the Christian themes should not be overlooked and in her new book The Sound of Musings, she explores the role that faith plays as she deftly traces Maria’s journey from flibbertigibbet nun to mother and wife.

Prompted by the story, songs and other characters of the film, each short chapter looks at different aspects of life, love and faith, and what they might mean for us.

Bryony said: “This all started after a special holiday in Salzburg when I realised I was definitely not alone in loving this iconic film. As a vicar, I wanted to write something accessible, enjoyable and enacouraging, something that would help those in and outside the Church understand God’s love for them. Watching the film afresh – with pen in one hand and remote control in the other – I realised how full it is with these kind of insights.”

Over the years, Bryony Wood has worked as a professional radio presenter and magazine writer, and is now an ordained Anglican priest.

Out now, The Sound of Musings by Bryony Wood (ISBN: 9781912726714) is published by Instant Apostle and is available from bookshops and online retailers, and costs £10.99. You can also get your copy, as well as read and hear Bryony’s other musings on

Excerpt from The Sound of Musings

The hills are alive with the sound of music, is a phrase that introduces one of the most beloved musicals of all time. As any Sound of Music fan knows, it’s almost impossible to say those words without mentally or actually humming the tune!

You may remember how the film opens with swooping scenes of mountains and meadows, valleys and villages. And those Austrian hills were, and still are, literally alive with the sound of music. Cowbells jingle, birds sing, the breeze whispers through trees, as streams trickle through flower-filled meadows. All sounds of nature’s music…making music out of nature’s sounds. No wonder Maria sings that her heart wants to sing every song it hears.

Watching these opening credits with all its glorious geology and ecology on show, we’re invited to revel in God’s awesome handiwork. Then from those big opening scenes, the camera zooms onto one person, Maria. She is twirling and dancing over those hills, the star of our film. Yet in swapping those soaring mountains for the face of one young woman we are reminded that in our world, our universe, it’s people who matter.

For like every good story, this film is about people. One particular nun and a wealthy but struggling family. Like every good film, there’s a drama unfolding with a beginning and an ending, a problem and a resolution. And as I watch this I’m reminded how it’s not just Maria, but all of us who are living our own unique story. Billions of us! And I, like other Christians, believe that each one of us is not only known by God and an integral part of his creation but that he loves us too – as if we were the only one.

It’s quite remarkable to think that never before did anyone, never again will anyone, share the same genes and gifts, stories and skills, experiences and foibles that makes us who we are. Like Maria on that hill; like you and like me, we’re all truly, totally unique and utterly loved by God. No wonder Maria’s heart wants to sing; I might just join in…

The Sound of Musings book up for grabs!

We’ve teamed up with Bryony to offer two lucky readers a free copy of The Sound of Musings and accompanying picture postcards.

To be in with a chance of winning, enter with your contact details on our website at or post your name and phone number to The Sound of Musings competition, Retford Life, Unit 2 Quantum Business Park, Infield Lane, North Leverton DN22 0AL. Closing date: Friday 14th July 2023.