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Why The Sound of Music’s “I Have Confidence” Is Perfect Pandemic Music

In this household, you’ll find that our common favourite film is the beloved The Sound of Music. Beautiful scenery, impeccable choreography, talented cast members, and a tremendous score all contribute to the success of this masterpiece.

As I was rewatching the movie last night, a thought struck me. Julie Andrews, playing Maria, had been sent out into the world, away from the Abbey to be a governess for Captain von Trapp’s seven children. Maria didn’t really ask for this new adventure, nor did she think she wanted it. What she wanted, up until this point, was to be a nun in the Abbey.

I think many can relate to thinking their lives are projected in a certain direction, only to be redirected. Hello coronavirus. Despite the fact that Maria is going out into the world and we’re required to stay in, there is a significant shift in either case.

Maria agrees to go, obeying what she’s told is God’s will, and sings the song “I Have Confidence”, starting with the following lyrics, solemn and increasingly anxious for the day ahead of her:

“What will this day be like?
I wonder
What will my future be?
I wonder

It could be so exciting
To be out in the world, to be free
My heart should be wildly rejoicing
Oh, what’s the matter with me?

I’ve always longed for adventure
To do the things I’ve never dared
Now here I’m facing adventure
Then why am I so scared?”

Maria is curious about this new adventure, but she predominantly is scared. She deals with this fear by chastising herself, the instrumental picking up in vigour:

“Oh, I must stop these doubts, all these worries
If I don’t, I just know, I’ll turn back
I must dream of the things I am seeking
I am seeking the courage I lack”

Have you ever been scared? It’s scary every time people turn on the news. I appreciate Maria’s transparency of lacking courage, and being scared.

What is so powerful about this song? I don’t think it’s just the music. I would argue that it’s because it isn’t a song about merely having confidence. It’s a song about the opposite—about admitting that she’s scared, but is choosing to step into confidence, as if its a new dress that will become her (which, as we know, it does).

To finish, she sings the following verses:

“I have confidence in sunshine
I have confidence in rain
I have confidence that spring will come again
Besides which you see, I have confidence in me

Strength doesn’t lie in numbers
Strength doesn’t lie in wealth
Strength lies in nights of peaceful slumbers
When you wake up, wake up

It tells me all I trust I lead my heart to
All I trust becomes my own
I have confidence in confidence alone, oh help
I have confidence in confidence alone
Besides which you see, I have confidence in me”

Maria knows where her strength lies. To have confidence in herself is to have confidence in God, because God made her. To have confidence in sunshine, rain, and the coming of spring is to have confidence in God’s provision. So sleep easy. Rest up. Let God fill you with the vigour and fortitude you need right now.

Because, my friends, God will provide.

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