“Town Meeting Song” comes after Jack Skellington returns to Halloween Town, full to bursting with what he’s seen in Christmas Town (and echoes of “What’s This?” in the background as he returns). Eager to share what he’s seen, he has the Mayor call a town meeting, and the song follows Jack’s attempts to share what he has seen, though it doesn’t exactly go over well with the residents of Halloween Town, at least not until Jack resignedly puts a Halloween-spin on his description of Santa Claus:
There were objects so peculiar
They were not to be believed
All around, things to tantalize my brain
It’s a world unlike anything I’ve ever seen
And as hard as I try, I can’t seem to describe
Like a most improbable dream
But you must believe when I tell you this: it’s as real as my skull and it does exist…
(spoken) Here, let me show you!
This is a thing called a present – the whole thing starts with a box…
Is it steel?
Are there locks?
Is it filled with a pox?
A pox. How delightful, a pox..,
(spoken) If you please…
Just a box with bright-colored paper – and the whole thing’s topped with a bow
What’s in it? What’s in it?
That’s the point of the thing, not to know!
It’s a bat!
Will it bend?
It’s a rat!
Will it break?
Perhaps, it’s the head that I found in the lake…
Listen now, you don’t understand. That’s not the point of Christmas Land!
(spoken) Now, pay attention.
We pick up an over-sized sock, and hang it like this on the wall
Oh, yes! Does it still have a foot?
Let me see, let me look!
Is it rotted and covered with gook?
(spoken) Um, let me explain.
There’s no foot inside, but there’s candy. Or sometimes, it’s filled with small toys,,,
Small toys? Do they bite?
Do they snap?
Or explode in a sack?
Or perhaps they just spring out and scare girls and boys!
What a splendid idea – this Christmas sounds fun
Why, I fully endorse it, let’s try it at once!
Everyone, please now, not so fast!
There’s something here that you don’t quite grasp
(spoken) Well, I may as well give them what they want.
And the best, I must confess
I have saved for the last for the ruler of this Christmas Land
Is a fearsome king with a deep mighty voice
Least, that’s what I’ve come to understand…
And I’ve also heard it told that he’s something to behold
Like a lobster, huge and red…
And he sets out to slay with his rain gear on
Carting bulging sacks with his big great arms
That is, so I’ve heard it said
And on a dark, cold night under full moonlight
He flies into a fog like a vulture in the sky…
And they call him “Sandy Claws”…!
Poor Jack…he wants to much for everyone to understand what he likes about Christmas Town, but as he himself said, he’s not very good at describing what he saw, and since all anyone knows in Halloween Town is all things spooky and scary, everything Jack shows them, no matter how innocent (like presents), is warped through that lens. I think it would’ve been easier if Jack had just taken everyone to Christmas Town and shown them in person, but then the ensuing story likely wouldn’t have developed. Still, even knowing that, it’s just so sad to see Jack try so hard and the others just don’t understand (except for Sally, I think she got it, because she looked sad when Jack got all scary at the end).
Let me know what you think about “Town Meeting Song” in the comments below and have a great day!
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