How Can Love Survive?

Rodgers & HammersteinThe Sound of Music

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How Can Love Survive?

Lyrics By Oscar Hammerstein II  Music By Richard Rodgers

Max and Elsa, friends of Captain von Trapp, are guests at his villa. Assuming that Elsa will eventually marry the Captain, Max asks why she hasn’t secured the Captain’s hand in marriage. He suggests that the problem may be money, since Elsa and the Captain are both rich! Teasingly, Max sings, “In all the famous love affairs, the lovers have to struggle.” The ensuing charm song foreshadows the couple’s fate; the Captain later decides he can’t marry Elsa, due to her support for capitulation to the Nazis – not for any financial reasons.

“How Can Love Survive?” does not appear in the movie. Both of Elsa and Max’s songs were cut from the film, reinforcing their distance from the musicality of the von Trapp family.


How Can Love Survive? Covers Spotify Playlist


How Can Love Survive

Original handwritten score for “How Can Love Survive?”



“How Can Love Survive?” LYRICS

In all the famous love affairs
The lovers have to struggle.
In garret rooms away upstairs
The lovers starve and snuggle.
They’re famous for misfortune which
They seem to have no fear of,
While lovers who are very rich
You very seldom hear of.

No little shack do you share with me,
We do not flee from a mortgagee,
Nary a care in the world have we—

How can love survive?

You’re fond of bonds and you own a lot,
I have a plane and a diesel yacht—

Plenty of nothing you haven’t got!

How can love survive?

No rides for us
On the top of a bus
In the face of the freezing breezes.

You reach your goals
In your comfy old Rolls
Or in one of your Mercedeses!

Far, very far off the beam are we,
Quaint and bizarre as a team are we,
Two millionaires with a dream are we,
We’re keeping romance alive.
Two millionaires with a dream are we—
We’ll make our love survive.

No little cold-water flat have we,
Warmed by the glow of insolvency—

Up to your necks in security,
How can love survive?

How can I show what I feel for you?
I cannot go out and steal for you,
I cannot die like Camille for you—
How can love survive?

You millionaires
With financial affairs
Are too busy for simple pleasure.
When you are poor
It is toujours l’amour—
For l’amour all the poor have leisure!

Caught in our gold-plated chains are we,
Lost in our wealthy domains are we,
Trapped by our capital gains are we,
But we’ll keep romance alive—

Trapped by your capital gains are we—

We’ll make our love survive!