The message Cinderella gets at the end of “Sing Sweet Nightingale” is the one announcing a royal ball where “every eligible maiden is to attend” so that the Prince may select a bride. This does include Cinderella and Lady Tremaine knows that perfectly well. However, as she herself says, “IF Cinderella can finish all the chores, get her sisters ready AND have a suitable dress to wear, THEN she may indeed come with them.” The key word in that entire sentence, is IF (as a kid it took me years to understand that Lady Tremaine never intended for Cinderella to come with them at all).
The mice and birds, hearing the stepsisters and Lady Tremaine keeping Cinderella busy by running all over the house, are furious and decide to work on her mother’s dress so that she can go to the ball in spite of her stepfamily. This leads to “The Work Song.” I personally love this song, especially the opening part where Jaq is imitating the nagging voices of the family.
“Poor Cinderelly. Every time she find a minute, that’s the time that they begin it! Cinderelly! Cinderelly!”
“CINDERELLLLLLA!!!” (Jaq kicks the door shut in disgust)
Night and day it’s Cinderelly
Make the fire!
Fix the breakfast!
Wash the dishes!
Do the mopping!
And the sweeping and the dusting!
They always keep her hopping!
She go around in circles till she very, very dizzy
Still they holler…
keep-a busy Cinderelly!
“Yeah, keep-a busy. You know what? Cinderelly’s not goin to the ball.”
“What did you say?”
“You see. They fix her. Work, work, work. She’ll never get her dress done.”
“Hey! We can do it!”
We can do it, we can do it,
We can help-a Cinderelly
We can make a dress so pretty
There’s nothing to it really.
We’ll tie a sash around it
Pull a ribbon through it
When dancing at the ball
She’ll be more beautiful than all
In the lovely dress we’ll make for Cinderelly
Hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry
Gotta help-a Cinderelly
Got no time to dilly dally
We gotta get-a going
I’ll cut it with these scissors
And I can do the sewing
Leave the sewing to the women
You go get some trimming
And we’ll make a lovely dress for Cinderelly
Yes, we’ll make a lovely dress for Cinderelly!
Of course, to finish the dress on time, the mice end up…borrowing…a few things that Anastasia and Drizella threw away (particularly a necklace and a sash (the ribbon that ties around the waist). You can’t blame the mice for taking them since the two sisters clearly don’t want these items (deriding them as “worthless” and “trash.”) However, you also have to know that incorporating some of her stepsister’s belongings into the dress practically guarantees that this isn’t going to end well for Cinderella (even though she knows nothing about it). Despite knowing the fate of this dress, it’s still fun to watch the mice and birds come together to make a nice dress for Cinderella.
Let me know what you think about “The Work Song/Cinderelly, Cinderelly” in the comments below and have a great day!
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