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. In the summer of 1960 the great musical star Mary Martin was playing the lead role of Maria von Trapp in Rogers and Hammerstein’s musical THE SOUND OF MUSIC on Broadway. Lyrist Oscar Hammerstein, II was on his death bed. “One evening just before Mary went on stage, a note was handed to her. It was from Oscar Hammerstein, and it said:


Dear Mary,

A bell is not a bell until you ring it.

A song is not a song until you sing it.

Love in your heart is not put there to stay.

Love isn’t love till you give it away.


After her performance that evening a number of people rushed backstage, exclaiming, ‘Mary, what happened to you out there tonight? We have never heard anything like that performance! You sang with more power than you’ve ever sung!’

“Blinking back the tears, Mary read them the note from Oscar Hammerstein. Then she said, ‘Tonight, I gave my love away!’”

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