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"Emma's Theme"
Song Information
Written by Alan Zachary &
Michael Weiner (Lyrics)
Mark Isham (Music)
Duration 2:28
Release date May 5, 2017
Show Information
Appears in "The Song in Your Heart"
Song Chronology
Previous Song "Charmings vs. Evil Queen"
Next Song "A Happy Beginning"
Blue Fairy: One day, she will face a battle like no one has ever faced before. And I'm afraid she will have to face it alone.
Snow White: But she won't be alone. She'll have the voices of the people who love her inside of her heart.
—The Blue Fairy and Snow White src

"Emma's Theme" is a song featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. The lyrics were written by Alan Zachary & Michael Weiner, while the music was written by Mark Isham. It débuts in the twentieth episode of the sixth season.

This song was released on May 5, 2017, as part of Once Upon a Time: The Musical Episode.


Before First Curse
Fearful of what will happen to her daughter, Snow White makes a wish to have the power she needs to protect her. This wish is granted by the Blue Fairy with a singing spell. Although Snow and Prince Charming believe that this gives them the power to defeat the Evil Queen, they are easily defeated by the Evil Queen's own Singing Spell, which takes the song away. The Blue Fairy pays them a visit, putting the kingdom's songs in the unborn child's heart and telling Snow and Charming that it will save her in the future and give her a happy ending then. She then erases everyone's memories of the Singing Spells to protect the songs from the Evil Queen. ("The Song in Your Heart")
During First Curse
As a young girl, Emma Swan learns about a talent show and decides to enter it by singing, humming a tune and recording it. However, she is told by an older girl at her foster home that she will never amount to anything and should give up. Now doubting herself, Emma follows the older girl's advice. ("The Song in Your Heart")
After Third Curse
Emma keeps the recording device, finding it as she looks at her belongings to remind herself what she's fighting for as she goes to battle the Black Fairy. When she hears the song, she begins to panic, quickly shutting it off and putting it away, much to her son Henry Mills's confusion. However, when she prepares to hand her heart over to the Black Fairy, Henry finds a page in his storybook showing the Blue Fairy putting the songs in Emma's heart and takes the recording device to the fight just as the Black Fairy fails to crush Emma's heart due to its power. He reveals that the reason the song makes Emma uncomfortable isn't because it's her weakness--it's her strength. He returns her heart to her as she begins to sing, reminiscing over her childhood where she felt alone but realizing she never was. This power is strong enough to break the Black Fairy's spell on Snow White, David, Regina, Zelena, and Hook. Enraged, the Black Fairy flees, assuring Emma that her curse will separate her from her family anyway. Realizing that her parents were with her all along, Emma thanks them for putting the song in her heart, though they are left confused as they do not remember the singing spell. ("The Song in Your Heart")



Emma Swan
Once I lived in darkness
Out there on my own
Left to brave the world alone
Everything seemed hopeless
No chance to break free
Couldn't hear the song inside of me
Once upon a time
A song inspired them: be brave
They gave me up because my fate 
Was as the one who'd save
The world from your dark magic
And the wicked things you do
They placed a song inside my heart
More powerful than you
All the years of running
No, not anymore
I know what I'm living for
I'm no longer searching
Turns out all along
The answer was inside me
With a song


Song Notes

  • About the song, Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis say it is "a super emotional song that really [...] kind of expresses essence of the character and, in many ways, sums up her journey thus far". They describe Jennifer Morrison as "amazing".[1]
  • This song is adapted from one of Mark Isham's music themes from the series, which was first heard when Prince Charming approached Snow White's glass coffin in the "Pilot". A variation of this theme is used as the end credits theme at the end of each episode.
    • According to Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner, adapting the main theme of the show as the song in Emma's heart was their first idea.[2]
  • During the scene with a young Emma, Mckenna Grace had headphones in and listened to a version of Emma's Theme on piano in order to hum it.[3]


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


  1. Aguilera, Leanne (May 1, 2017). EXCLUSIVE: 'Once Upon a Time' Bosses Break Down Our 5 Most Anticipated Songs from the Musical Episode!. Entertainment Tonight. “"Emma’s Theme": "Emma has a big solo," Horowitz dishes before adding that Jennifer Morrison sounds "amazing" on the track. "It is a super emotional song that really -- we hope -- kind of expresses essence of the character and, in may ways, sums up her journey thus far."”
  2. TwitterLogo @zacharynweiner (Zachary and Weiner) on Twitter (May 8, 2017). "The first idea we had was to adapt @markisham's stunning main theme as the song in Emma's heart." (screenshot)
  3. Once Upon A Time Season 6 Episode 20 Review w/ McKenna Grace | AfterBuzz TV. YouTube (May 7, 2017).

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