As we arrive at the castle, King Stefan and his Queen are just receiving King Hubert and his son Prince Philip (the latter is pictured above). The court is next joined by the three Good Fairies: Flora, Fauna and Merriweather. All three have come to bestow gifts on the princess. Flora and Fauna give their gifts first; the gifts of Beauty and Song, respectively and they are explained in the form of song, as seen in the lyrics below:
One gift, beauty rare,
Gold of sunshine in her hair,
Lips that shame the red, red rose,
She’ll walk in springtime wherever she goes!
One gift, the gift of song,
Melody your whole life long!
The nightingale her troubadour,
Bringing his sweet serenade to her door
According to the original fairy tale, Merriweather’s gift was supposed to be the gift of happiness, but before she can grant it, an unexpected guest arrives (and based on the horrified looks on the fairies, it can’t be anyone good! The unexpected arrival is none other than Maleficent, one of the most iconic villains Disney ever created (and incidentally, voiced by the same actress who played Lady Tremaine in Cinderella). Maleficent is miffed that she was not invited to the christening of Princess Aurora and things are only made worse when Merriweather snaps that Maleficent was “not wanted.” However, the dark fairy appears willing to make amends by bestowing a “gift” of her own:
“Listen well, all of you!
The Princess shall indeed, grow in grace and beauty
Beloved by all who know her
But…before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday,
She shall prick her finger, on the spindle of a spinning wheel, and DIE!”
The damage done, Maleficent departs. However Merriweather still has her gift to give, so she casts her spell, saying that Aurora will not die, but only fall into a deep sleep, and she can be awakened by true love’s kiss “for true love conquers all.”
I love these songs, it’s a beautiful way to show what each gift grants (and you’ll note in “The Gift of Beauty” that there’s a glimpse of 16 year old Aurora) and I just enjoy all of it, and I hope you do too. It’s a shame, however, that we never get to hear Merriweather’s original gift. Let me know what you think of “The Gifts of Beauty and Song” in the comments below and have a great day!
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