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Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” Samples “My Favorite Things” From “The Sound of Music”

Ariana Grande recently shared a new single from her upcoming album thank you, next, set for release on February 8, 2019. The track titled “7 rings” explores her process of healing and self-empowerment after a myriad of trials and tragedies that struck her one after another.

She explained the inspiration behind the song in an interview with Billboard in December 2018: “It was a… challenging fall day in New York. Me and my friends went to Tiffany’s together, just because we needed some retail therapy. You know how when you’re waiting at Tiffany’s, they give you lots of champagne? They got us very tipsy, so we bought seven engagement rings, and when I got back to the studio I gave everybody a friendship ring. That’s why we have these, and that’s where the song idea came from.”

According to Billboard, “7 rings” is projected to reach No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart next week and become the most-streamed and most-sold song of the week. But Ariana could not have done all of this without acknowledging a classic song from one of Hollywood’s famous musicals.

Not even 15 seconds into “7 rings,” we already hear a melody that’s all too familiar. It’s the tune of “My Favorite Things” from the acclaimed musical The Sound of Music. Ariana sampled this famous song, sped up the tempo of the melody slightly and put her own lyrics on top to create a new piece of art, while still paying tribute to the genius of the original creators.

However, many people don’t understand the beauty of sampling music and assume that it is a form of theft or plagiarism, but this is not the case. When an artist samples a song, he or she takes (usually with payment involved) a portion of a pre-existing song (such as the melody, rhythm, beat, or lyrics) and integrates it into a new song, while still giving credit to the original creator(s).

Ariana did exactly this with her “7 rings” and even parodied some of the lyrics. Where Julie Andrews lists experiences and non-materialistic things that make her happy, Ariana flaunts her excessive wealth and claims that (contrary to the popular saying) money can indeed buy happiness if you have enough of it. The entire song is overflowing with lyrics of her showing off her excessive wealth: “Lashes and diamonds, ATM machines / Buy myself all of my favorite things.”

Ultimately, “7 rings” is a post-breakup song all about moving on, finding happiness, and living your best life, and Ariana Grande is the epitome of that. Who needs a man when you can buy yourself (and all of your besties) all of your favorite things?

Kristin is a fourth year MCDB major and Film minor who loves to create art and bring a smile to people's faces. You can probably find her at the beach or in bed. Oh, and she is in love with cookies and cartoons.
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