Forget for a moment the unlikelihood of a family learning solfege in 1930s Austria. Maybe Sister Maria had an Italian or French music teacher, for all I know.
Forget about Si replaced with Ti as the leading tone – maybe she had a British nanny.
What I want to know is why Hammerstein couldn’t come up with a rhyme for “Sol, the Bottom of My Shoe,” or “Sol, a Slice of Fish Filet.” Instead, what do we get? “Sol, a Needle Pulling Thread.” That’s just lousy diction.
But wait a minute: maybe Hammerstein was making fun of amateur music-teachers. Or singers who can’t produce clear consonants, for whom there is no functional difference between sol and sew.
But I suppose that may be a little fa-fetched.