Sixteen Going on Seventeen

rnhfanThe Sound of Music

«     »

Sixteen Going on Seventeen

Lyrics By Oscar Hammerstein II  Music By Richard Rodgers

Oldest child Liesl, who tells Maria “I don’t need a governess,” is “Sixteen Going On Seventeen.” Enchanted by a local boy named Rolf, who is a year older, Liesl plays along as he boasts about his relative experience and maturity. A classic Rodgers & Hammerstein “almost love song,” “Sixteen Going On Seventeen” provides a moment of lightness and naïvete for the teens, who will later be forced to grow up. Their relationship eventually darkens as Rolf gets caught up in the Nazi encroachment and tries to warn Liesl about the pending Anschluss.

“Sixteen Going On Seventeen” was the final musical number filmed for the movie, and on the first day of shooting the dance sequence, Charmian Carr (Liesl) slipped through the gazebo’s plate-glass windows and sprained her ankle. In earlier editions of the movie, the bandage was still visible. One interesting change made in the movie: in the stage production, Rolf lets the von Trapp family escape, putting his feelings for them above his newfound responsibilities as a Nazi soldier. In the film, he calls them out.

COVERS & POP CULTURE
WATCH

Sixteen Going On Seventeen Covers YouTube Playlist

LISTEN

Sixteen Going On Seventeen Covers Spotify Playlist

ARCHIVE

Sixteen Going On Seventeen

Original handwritten notes for “Sixteen Going On Seventeen”

WATCH

Watch more Rodgers & Hammerstein Videos on YouTube
LISTEN



“Sixteen Going on Seventeen” LYRICS

Rolf:
You wait, little girl, on an empty stage
For fate to turn the light on.
Your life, little girl, is an empty page
That men will want to write on.

Liesl:
To write on.

Rolf:
You are sixteen going on seventeen,
Baby, it’s time to think.
Better beware,
Be canny and careful,
Baby, you’re on the brink.

You are sixteen going on seventeen,
Fellows will fall in line,
Eager young lads
And roués and cads
Will offer you food and wine.

Totally unprepared are you
To face a world of men.
Timid and shy and scared are you
Of things beyond your ken.

You need someone older and wiser
Telling you what to do…
I am seventeen going on eighteen,
I’ll take care of you.

Liesl:
I am sixteen going on seventeen,
I know that I’m naïve.
Fellows I meet
May tell me I’m sweet
And willingly I’ll believe.

I am sixteen going on seventeen,
Innocent as a rose.
Bachelor dandies,
Drinkers of brandies—
What do I know of those?

Totally unprepared am I
To face a world of men,
Timid and shy and scared am I
Of things beyond my ken.

I need someone older and wiser
Telling me what to do…
You are seventeen going on eighteen,
I’ll depend on you.