In the musical the lyrics to the song are a reference to things Maria loves such as 'raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens'. These are the things she selects to fill her mind with when times are bad.
The original Broadway musical places this song in the Mother Abbess's office, just before she sends Maria to serve Captain von Trapp's family as governess to his seven children. However, Ernest Lehman, the screenwriter for the film adaptation, repositioned this song so that Maria would sing it with the children during the thunderstorm scene in her bedroom, replacing "The Lonely Goatherd", which had originally been sung at this point. Many stage productions also make this change, shifting "The Lonely Goatherd" to another scene.
The wintertime imagery of some of the lyrics has made "My Favorite Things" a popular song during the Christmas season, and it often appears on holiday-themed albums and compilations, although in the show and movie it is sung during a summer thunderstorm.
The first section of the melody has the distinctive property of using only the notes 1, 2, and 5 (Do, Re, and Sol) of the scale. Rodgers then harmonized this same section of the melody differently in different stanzas, using a series of minor triads one time and major ...