Tag Archives: What’s This

The Nightmare Before Christmas “Town Meeting Song” (1993)

“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…

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

A bow?
But why?
How ugly!
What’s in it? What’s in it?

That’s the point of the thing, not to know!

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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!

See also:

The Nightmare Before Christmas “This is Halloween” (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas “What’s This?” (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas “Jack’s Obsession” (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas “Kidnap the Sandy Claws” (1993)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

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The Nightmare Before Christmas “What’s This?” (1993)

As my exploration of The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack continues, I next came to the song “What’s This?” which is the only other song from this film I know about, even though I hadn’t seen it in full until just a few moments ago. A little context in case you didn’t know: Jack Skellington has been rather down as of late since he’s always doing the same thing every year. The day after Halloween, he stumbled upon a group of doors that serve as portals to other realms similar to Halloween Town, but devoted to different holidays. Curious, Jack opens the door that takes him to Christmas Town, “What’s This” is his reaction to everything he finds there:

What’s this? What’s this?
There’s color everywhere
What’s this?
There’s white things in the air
What’s this?
I can’t believe my eyes
I must be dreaming. Wake up, Jack! This isn’t fair! What’s this?

What’s this? What’s this?
There’s something very wrong
What’s this?
There’s people singing songs
What’s this?
The streets are lined with little creatures laughing
Everybody seems so happy. Have I possibly gone daffy? What is this?
What’s this?

There’s children throwing snowballs instead of throwing heads
They’re busy building toys. And absolutely, no one’s dead!

There’s frost on every window. Oh, I can’t believe my eyes
And in my bones, I feel the warmth that’s coming from inside…

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Oh, look!
What’s this?
They’re hanging mistletoe
They kiss… Why, that looks so unique.
Inspired, they’re gathering around to hear a story, roasting chestnuts on a fire. What’s this?

What’s this in here?
They’ve got a little tree
How queer! And who would ever think?
And why?
They’re covering it with tiny little things
They’ve got electric lights on strings. And there’s a smile on everyone. So, now, correct me if I’m wrong!
This looks like fun this looks like fun.
Oh, could it be I got my wish?
What’s this?

Oh my, what now?
The children are asleep
But look, there’s nothing underneath
No ghouls, no witches here to scream and scare them
Or ensnare them, only little cozy things secure inside their dreamland…
What’s this?

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The monsters are all missing and the nightmares can’t be found
And in their place, there seems to be good feeling all around
Instead of screams, I swear
I can hear music in the air
The smell of cakes and pies are absolutely everywhere…

The sights, the sounds
They’re eveywhere and all around
I’ve never felt so good before
This empty place inside of me is filling up
I simply cannot get enough

Oh, I want it. Oh, I want it
Oh, I want it for my own
I’ve got to know, I’ve got to know.
What is this place that I have found?
What is this?

Christmas Town?

I didn’t think it was possible, but I think I like “What’s This” even more than “This is Halloween.” Jack’s reaction to everything Christmas is absolutely adorable and so innocent…seriously, once he’s there, Jack has this overwhelming curiosity about everything he’s seeing. It makes sense, since Jack has been in Halloween Town since, well, forever. There’s also something completely incongruous about seeing a walking, talking skeleton in Christmas Town that I love watching also. And also, I have to say, the stop-motion animation in this sequence is simply amazing, it’s so hard for me to believe that this was made in 1993 (and yet it was!)

I’m definitely going to have to see this movie in the near future. Let me know what you think about “What’s This?” in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

The Nightmare Before Christmas “This is Halloween” (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas “Town Meeting Song” (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas “Jack’s Obsession” (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas “Kidnap the Sandy Claws” (1993)

Disney/Dreamworks/Pixar/etc. Soundtracks A-Z

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook