"The Song in Your Heart" is the twentieth episode of Season Six of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by David H. Goodman & Andrew Chambliss, and directed by Ron Underwood. It is the one hundred and thirty-first episode of the series overall, and premiered on May 7, 2017.
This is the only musical episode of the series. The songs were written by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner.
In flashback, Snow and Charming make a special wish that Emma will be protected. The result of their wish has the whole kingdom bursting into song which infuriates the Evil Queen. Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, the Black Fairy announces her plans to unleash another curse on the town while Emma and Hook prepare for their wedding.
At a children's group home in Minnesota 1991, a young Emma hums a tune while recording it, only to be interrupted by a fellow orphan who tells her that she will realize that she is alone like the rest of the orphans.
In the Storybrooke, Emma struggles to decide on a wedding dress, only to find out from Snow that Gold found Snow's old wedding dress in his shop.
In the Enchanted Forest, after meeting with Rumple about the dark curse, Snow wishes for her unborn daughter to have a happy ending. She and David go to bed, and the next morning, they awake, only to find that they are "speaking" in song. Snow realizes that this is a result of her wish, and David and Snow sing about the magic of song. ("Powerful Magic")
In the Storybrooke, Snow returns with her dress, only to have it turned black by the Black Fairy, a surprise since they believed Gold had killed her. The Black Fairy throws down and says that they're going to battle, and that Emma is nothing more than the same orphan girl she once was. The Black Fairy sends the heroes to the clock tower to reveal enough Black Fairy dust to curse the town twice over, to be released at 6 O’clock — the same time as Emma's wedding. Regina and Zelena leave to see what they're dealing with.
In the Enchanted Forest, Regina is unhappy with the singing spell she is under ("The Queen Sings") and then sings about how Snow and David's love is in no way powerful compared to her dark deeds. ("Love Doesn't Stand a Chance")
In Storybrooke, Emma goes to find Hook to break the news that she still has to fight that final battle. She tells him that she has to do this alone, and he's heartbroken because he knows that she's come to say goodbye. All she says is that she loves him.
Returning to another Enchanted Forest flashback, Snow and David seek passage to the Queen's castle on the Jolly Roger, and at first assume that the captain is Smee, only to be interrupted by Hook. They offer him all of the money he could ever ask for, but, through song, he explains that his revenge on Rumplestiltskin is worth more than any jewel. Snow and David, having Rumple jailed, agree to let Captain Hook to his worst if he makes a stop at the Queen's castle on the Jolly Roger. ("Revenge is Gonna Be Mine")
In present day, Hook has another obstacle — helping Emma defeat the Black Fairy. He goes to address things with Rumple, who is not apologizing for lying about the Black Fairy. So, Hook shoots him with Dreamshade from Neverland. But as he makes his move, the Black Fairy appears, and it seems like our boy might be in trouble. Mind you, while all this is happening, Henry shows up to give his mom his seal of approval at the police station. In the process, he finds her orphan music, but Emma shuts it down quickly.
While Regina and Zelena work together to shut down that dark fairy dust, Zelena jogs Regina's memory. If Regina can isolate the part of the potion that once stopped time, she can buy them more time to break the spell.
In yet another Enchanted Forest flashback, Regina goes to Rumple for answers on how to stop the singing spell. Music queues, and Rumple breathes in to sing, only to tell Regina that "The Dark One doesn't sing!" and chuckles. He tells her that if he chose the right student, she will be able to counteract the singing spell. The scene zooms out to reveal that Zelena has been watching from Oz, where she sings about her envy and how Rumple will see that her wickedness is superior to Regina's evil. ("Wicked Always Wins"). She then sends the reversal spell to Regina to take credit for the win.
Back in Storybrooke, Regina and Zelena have isolated the freezing portion of the spell. But Rumple was saved by Black Fairy, and he appears in front of Emma's family, snags that potion, and uses it on them right as Emma goes to confront the Black Fairy. Emma attempts to stop her, but she makes Emma remember what it's like to be alone by playing that song she once recorded on her tape recorder. Henry, being the most logical adult on this show, gives Emma a pep talk. She maybe takes it the wrong direction by concluding that she needs to just give in and turn her heart over to the Black Fairy to protect Henry and her family.
Back in the Enchanted Forest, the Queen faces off against Snow and David with a little bit of fire but mostly song. The Queen uses Zelena's spell to counteract the singing spell, and Snow and David can no longer sing without trying. ("Charmings vs. Evil Queen")
Regina sends them home. Devastated, Blue appears to Snow and David and explains that unfortunately, the power of song was never used to defeat the Evil Queen. It's meant to be placed in Emma's heart because the power of song will help her win a major battle, supposedly the Final Battle.
In Storybrooke, Henry discovers a surprise page in the storybook that reveals the moment Blue placed all that song inside of Emma's heart. It might just be too late though, because Emma goes to the Black Fairy to tell her family goodbye and offer her heart to the Black Fairy. She rips it out, but she can't kill her. Henry rushes in to reveal to Emma what he's discovered, and as her heart hits the ground, young Emma's song begins to play, and thus, grown Emma sings. ("The Song Inside of Me")
Emma realizes her power mid-song, discovering how strong she can be while also realizing that she's not alone. Henry picks up her heart and shoves it back into her chest, but the Black Fairy isn't done. That curse is still coming. Even so, it's time for the wedding. With Archie officiating, Emma is walked down the aisle to Hook with Snow and David on hand. They spend their first dance singing their own song, and eventually the group joins in. It's a nice number about how this isn't a Happy Ending but a Happy Beginning. ("Happy Beginning") As the song ends, the Black Fairy's curse blasts through the town. Emma says, "Wherever we end up, we're going to win," and the whole screen fades to black.
Hook on the Phone
The episode features a total of eight songs:
|1||"Powerful Magic"||Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White)|
Josh Dallas (Prince Charming)
|2||"The Queen Sings"||Lana Parrilla (Evil Queen)|
Giancarlo Esposito (Magic Mirror)
Lee Arenberg (Grumpy)
Tony Amendola (Geppetto)
Beverley Elliott (Granny)
Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White)
Josh Dallas (Prince Charming)
|3||"Love Doesn't Stand a Chance"||Lana Parrilla (Evil Queen)|
|4||"Revenge Is Gonna Be Mine"||Colin O'Donoghue (Hook)|
|5||"Wicked Always Wins"||Rebecca Mader (Zelena)|
|6||"Charmings vs. Evil Queen"||Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White)|
Josh Dallas (Prince Charming)
Lana Parrilla (Evil Queen)
|7||"Emma's Theme"||Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan)|
|8||"A Happy Beginning"||Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan)|
Colin O'Donoghue (Hook)
Ginnifer Goodwin (Mary Margaret Blanchard)
Josh Dallas (David Nolan)
Lana Parrilla (Regina Mills)
Rebecca Mader (Zelena)
Jared S. Gilmore (Henry Mills)
- The title card features an orchestra.
- This was the second title card not to be accompanied by the usual opening music, the first being "A Land Without Magic".
- The title of this episode was revealed by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on February 21, 2017.
- ABANDONED IDEAS: According to Jane Espenson, a musical special feature was already considered back in 2014, but it did not happen because it was too expensive.
- This episode has been in the works since Summer 2016.
- PRESS RELEASE: Sidney Glass' name is misspelled as "Sydney" on the press release of this episode.
- According to Adam Horowitz, it was hard to figure out how to meld the "voice" of the show with a musical.
- A special screening of the episode, followed by a Q&A session with executive producers and available cast, happened on May 2, 2017 at the Frank G. Wells Theater on the Walt Disney Studio Lot at Burbank, CA.
- During the beginning 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.
- CAST NOTES: By the time of this episode, Jakob Davies had become too old to play Pinocchio, so instead the role was played by Jakob's younger brother Jack, who looks very much like him. Jack had never wanted to act but did this as a service to his brother, "to keep Pinocchio in the family".
- While filming the part where Hook jumps on the chair during his song, Colin O'Donoghue fractured his foot during a fall in an effort to save his face and a camera. He then kept filming with a broken foot. This happened on the last day of filming.
- HIDDEN DETAILS: In the Enchanted Forest flashback, after Hook says, "We've got a date with destiny", Snow White can be seen touching her belly, a subtle nod to the fact that her unborn daughter is Hook's future wife.
- Also, the way Hook walks through the arch of swords raised by his fellow pirates is very similar to a tradition commonly used in military weddings.
- ABANDONED IDEAS: A number of different locations were considered for Emma and Hook's wedding, even Granny's Diner. In the end, they settled on a brand new location on top of a roof, with Storybrooke itself as a backdrop.
- During the filming of "A Happy Beginning", an entire take had to be filmed again due to Lana Parrilla and Rebecca Mader dancing in a risque fashion after thinking they were off camera.
- ABANDONED IDEAS: During filming, Henry says, "Grandma made a wish, that made everyone sing. So you're always reminded that you are not alone." This line is not in the final episode.
- ABANDONED IDEAS: At the origin, the episode was supposed to feature seven songs, but one track ended up being split in two songs: "The Queen Sings" and "Love Doesn't Stand a Chance".
- Songs were recorded in advance, and then played back on set as the actors choreographed.
- About the songs, Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis say:
- The inspiration for "A Happy Beginning" is that they wanted the wedding to be about all Storybrooke, and not just Emma and Hook. The song is about "how everyone is facing this together and how this family has come together", so they wanted to "start with [Emma and Hook singing], but then stretch out to everybody because that is the core of the show".
- "Wicked Always Wins" is "Zelena's moment to shine" as "Rebecca does a phenomenal job with that song". They added, "it's all sort of pertaining to the stuff that is happening".
- "Powerful Magic" has a "very pilot feel to it in a sense". They explain that Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas "were so excited to do the musical that when you watch them do their duet [...] their enthusiasm is like you can feel it", before adding "it's the Snow and Charming you love the most".
- In order to calm Goodwin's nerves about singing, the producers allowed her to prerecord her songs in a blacked-out booth so no one could watch her.
- "Love Doesn't Stand a Chance" is "very much a Regina song" as they "wanted the songs to reflect the people who are singing them". The tone is said to be a "kind of David Bowie meets Rocky Horror".
- "Emma's Theme" is "a super emotional song that really [...] kind of expresses essence of the character and, in may ways, sums up her journey thus far". They describe Jennifer Morrison as "amazing".
- "Charmings vs. Evil Queen" has been described as "a grand (and royally entertaining) sing-off".
- According to Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner:
- The bird whistling at the beginning of "Powerful Magic" is a homage to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Mary Poppins.
- Hook's song is inspired by Queen's "Somebody to Love".
- They jokingly referred to "Wicked Always Wins" as "Total Eclipse of the Witch", as the song is inspired by Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart".
- When the Evil Queen is taking the song of Snow White and Prince Charming, a minor of "Powerful Magic" can be heard.
- Adapting the main theme of the show, made by Mark Isham, as the song in Emma's heart was their first idea.
- The chorus of "A Happy Beginning" is composed of them, their wives and other singers.
- The wedding song was supposed to be a complete different one, titled "Once Upon a Time". However, they thought it needed to be more romantic and inspiring, so they made "A Happy Beginning" instead of it.
- A line from this version is: "Every fairy tale has a timeless trend/On the final page there's a happy end...".
- There was a brief second where they talked about writing a song for Belle, but it never happened.
- According to Lana Parrilla, she couldn't use her own singing voice for the Evil Queen. She had to learn what the Evil Queen's singing voice would sound like.
- The Land Without Magic flashback takes place in 1991, the year after "Tougher Than the Rest" and 2 years before "Awake". (For more details, see the Land Without Magic timeline)
- The Enchanted Forest flashbacks take place after Snow White and Prince Charming visit Rumplestiltskin in his cell in "Pilot", and before the crisis meeting in "Pilot" and "The Stranger". (For more details, see the Enchanted Forest timeline)
- The Oz flashbacks take place a couple of years after "Heart of Gold" and before Oz is frozen in time by the Dark Curse. (For more details, see the Oz timeline)
- In the episode's opening scene, Snow White and Prince Charming has just returned from a conversation with Rumplestiltskin in his cell. This conversation took place in "Pilot".
- This is the second time Grumpy's pick ax is broken. The first time was when he accidentally broke it when he was chipping diamonds in "Dreamy".
- Mary Margaret finds the wedding dress that she wore for her own wedding in "Pilot", "The Thing You Love Most" and "The New Neverland".
- Emma's family finds the clock tower full of dark fairy dust, the same substance used to transform the bridge trolls into cockroaches in "Snow Falls" and Snow White into a ladybug in "Snow Drifts".
- Regina recalls how she ruined Snow White and Prince Charming's wedding, an event that took place in "Pilot", "The Thing You Love Most" and "The New Neverland".
- Pinocchio can be seen carving a whale, the same figurine he is seen working on in "Pilot" and "The Stranger".
- The Evil Queen sings that Snow White stole her shot at one true love, referring to what happened to Daniel in "The Stable Boy".
- After Prince Charming asks William Smee if he is the captain of the Jolly Roger, Smee says he is not, but he always thought he exuded authority. In the Wish Realm created by the Serum Evil Queen's wish, Smee finally becomes the captain of the Jolly Roger by Hook's order, which happens in "Eloise Gardener".
- Hook sings that a crocodile took his hand and adds that he did more than that, referring to how Rumplestiltskin killed Milah and cut off Hook's hand in "The Crocodile".
- Snow White and Prince Charming say that they have Rumplestiltskin in their dungeon. How he ended up there is explained in "The Price of Gold".
- Hook knocks Mr. Gold out with a dart from a blowgun, just like Tiger Lily did to Hook in "Awake".
- Hook mentions how Dreamshade almost killed Mr. Gold once, referring to what happened in "The Queen Is Dead".
- The reason why Dreamshade does not kill Mr. Gold this time is because he found a cure for that by the time of "The New Neverland".
- After Hook knocks out Mr. Gold, he says that he is going to "skin himself a crocodile", the same words that he used when he met up with Cora at the end of "The Crocodile".
- Emma's box of keepsakes first appears when she unpacks her things in "The Price of Gold". It is the same box that she showed to Hook in "Breaking Glass". In "Tougher Than the Rest", she is seen opening the same box to show August a set of pages from "The Ugly Duckling" fairytale.
- Zelena makes a reference to how Rumplestiltskin chose Regina to cast the Dark Curse instead of her, which happened in "It's Not Easy Being Green".
- Zelena sings, "Evil may be powerful, but wicked always wins", mirroring her line in the final scene from "New York City Serenade", where she says, "The queen may be evil, but I'm wicked, and wicked always wins".
- Zelena sings about how her Cora made Regina queen, an event that took place in "The Stable Boy".
- Emma tells Henry that she should have been brave enough to keep him, referring to how she gave him up in "The Heart of the Truest Believer".
- The reason why the Evil Queen's fireballs do no harm to Snow White and Prince Charming is that Rumplestiltskin cast a protection spell on them in "The Cricket Game".
- When fighting Snow White and Prince Charming, the Evil Queen tries to create a fireball by pulling it out of the fireplace, just like she did during her fight with Maleficent in "The Thing You Love Most". Unfortunately, it doesn't work this time.
- Archie officiates Emma and Hook's wedding, just like he did with Mr. Gold and Belle in "There's No Place Like Home".
- While saying his wedding vows, Hook makes a reference to when he first met Emma, referring to events from "The Doctor".
- Emma mentions how Henry found her and brought her to Storybrooke, an event that took place in "Pilot".
- When seeing the Dark Curse, Leroy shouts, "It's here!", just like he did in "Pilot" and "The New Neverland".
- The Black Fairy's curse is broken in "The Final Battle Part 2".
- The lyrics "With a heigh heigh heigh / And a ho ho ho" sung by Grumpy are a reference to the song "Heigh-Ho" from the film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
- The lyric "He's got no strings" sung by Geppetto is a reference to the song "I've Got No Strings" from the film Pinocchio.
Fairytales and Folklore
- This episode features the ugly duckling from the titular fairytale, Snow White, the prince, the evil queen, the magic mirror and the dwarves from the "Snow White" fairytale, the wicked fairy from the Villeneuve version of the "Beauty and the Beast" fairytale (who is also the Beast's mother from the same story), Captain Hook and Smee from the Peter Pan story, Rumplestiltskin from the "Rumplestiltskin" fairytale, Pinocchio, Geppetto, the talking cricket, and the Fairy with turquoise hair from The Adventures of Pinocchio story, the grandmother from the "Little Red Riding Hood" fairytale, and the Wicked Witch of the West and Munchkins from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz story.
- This episode features Fairy dust, a substance originating in the Peter Pan story.
- The Evil Queen sings, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, I'm tortured by some spell / Mirror, mirror, on the wall, please save me from this hell", a spin on the queen's classic line from the "Snow White" fairytale, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who in this land is fairest of all?".
- STORYBOOK CONTENT: An excerpt from the fairytale of "The Golden Bird" can be seen in Henry's storybook.
- The same excerpt appears in dozens of episodes; read the trivia section in the article for Henry's storybook for more information and a transcript.
- PAUSE AND READ: An excerpt from the fairytale of "The Ugly Duckling" can be glimpsed in the book lying among Emma's box of keepsakes. The excerpt can be seen in its entirety in "Tougher Than the Rest"; read the trivia section for this episode for a complete transcript.
- PAUSE AND READ: The poster that young Emma is reading while living in a group home in Minnesota says:
IT IS YOUR
- Happy's dwarf nose and ears were later put up for auction on eBay by the charity organization Bullies Keep Out.
- USE IT AGAIN: The floor mirror that the Evil Queen interacts with during her solo number is the mirror that Cora comes out of in the Season Five episode "Souls of the Departed". It also happens to be the same mirror that Regina sent her through in the Season Two episode "We Are Both".
- HIDDEN DETAILS: The music box that Zelena conjures has the same green/gold color scheme as the throne room of the Emerald Castle. The lid is emblazoned with a star motif, just like the floor in the throne room.
- ABANDONED IDEAS: An unseen storybook page auctioned off on eBay in May 2020 reads:
ny overlooking their beloved kingdom. "The wish should
have worked," she lamented as she looked up at the starry
night sky in despair. The song they had sung was full of
resounding love and strength. It should have been power-
ful enough to stop the Evil Queen. Snow White rested a
hand on the curve of her pregnant belly. Now they would
never be able to stop her from casting her curse and rip-
ping away their precious newborn child. But suddenly,
Prince Charming pointed to a star in the sky as it began
to descend from above, growing and glowing a bright
beautiful blue. It was not a star at all, but the Blue Fairy!
The Blue Fairy smiled at the distraught parents-to-be.
"Do not despair. Hope is not lost." But Prince Charm-
ing only stared back at the Blue Fairy in misery. "It
didn't work," he told her. "The Evil Queen took the
song from us." The Blue Fairy shook her head. No one
could take that away from them. The song was still inside
of them. It was inside everyone! The blue Fairy held up
her wand as it began to glow brightly with the magic of
their song. Snow White and Prince Charming held each
other tightly, their hope returning at this wondrous sight.
Perhaps the Evil Queen hadn't won the day after all. But
the Blue Fairy looked at their expectant faces and gently
said, "I'm afraid it was never meant for you to use
against the Evil Queen," Snow White and Prince
Charming looked at the Blue Fairy in confusion. Then
who was this magic for? The Blue Fairy lowered her
wand onto Snow White's belly. "Emma. You wished
she could have a chance at a happy ending. With every-
one's song in her heart she will." Snow White stared
in awe as her pregnant belly began to glow with the
powerful magic. But how would it help their daughter?
The Blue Fairy gave Snow White a sad, knowing smile.
"Because one day she'll face a battle like no one has
ever faced before. And I'm afraid she'll have to f[obscured]
alone." And then it dawned on Snow White, [obscured]
breaking like sun through clouds. Emma wo[obscured]
alone. Not with the voices of the people w[obscured]
in her heart. The Blue Fairy nodded. I[obscured]
everyone across the land would forget [obscured]
sung anything at all. But the magic [obscured]
Emma's heart and with a little h[obscured]
resurface one day when Emma [obscured]
- COPIED FROM PHOTO: The Polaroid of Emma and Henry in Emma's box of keepsakes is an edited version of the photograph that Emma shows to Hook in the Season Three episode "New York City Serenade". The cups of hot cocoa with cinnamon and the way they hold them are the same, as is the table, the background and Henry's clothes; however, the food in front of them, and Henry's face, have been replaced, and a different version of Emma has been edited in.
- HIDDEN DETAILS: Geppetto's home is filled with marionettes, a nod to his son and The Adventures of Pinocchio.
- HIDDEN DETAILS: The tavern where Snow White and Prince Charming meet Captain Hook is filled with maritime decorations, such as glass floats, ship rudders, fishing nets, seashells and a ship in a bottle.
- BRAND INFO: During the events leading up to the wedding, Zelena is wearing a dress from the American company GUESS.
- Emma's wedding dress is strongly inspired by the one worn by Grace Kelly during her wedding with Rainier III of Monaco. Jennifer Morrison and Colin O'Donoghue both felt that the dress should be something very vintage, so Jennifer and costume designer Eduardo Castro looked at several designs and Jennifer immediately responded to Grace Kelly's wedding dress, which was originally designed by Helen Rose in 1956. Grace Kelly's dress addressed all the concerns that Jennifer had and they decided to replicate it.
- ABANDONED IDEAS: Originally, the wedding was to be shot outside, therefore considerations of warmth needed to be addressed when the gown was made. The dress is an intricate Alençon lace and ivory peau de soie gown with a matching silk tulle veil, and both were constructed in the Once Upon a Time workrooms over the course of just two weeks. The costume designer's assistant only had a few days to construct the headpiece.
- USE IT AGAIN: The earrings that Emma wears for her wedding are the same earrings that she wore for her first date with Hook in the Season Four episode "The Apprentice".
- Emma's and Hook's wedding rings were designed by the Vancouver-based jewelry designer Bloodline Design, the same company that designed Hook's pirate necklace.
- Emma's wedding band was approved by Colin O'Donoghue, because the show creators felt that no one knew the character of Hook better than him. The costume department showed him the wedding band, "And I was like, 'Yeah, that'll do.'"
- Hook wears a black velvet jacket for the wedding, which was Edward Kitsis' idea. Originally, costume designer Eduardo Castro had an ivory gabardine suit made. At the very last moment, they threw it out and went for a black velvet Burberry jacket instead, as Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz thought that Hook needed to have a tuxedo that reflected his personality and had a little edge to it. The velvet felt like "the Hook-version of fancy". Colin O'Donoghue "wanted everything to feel like one of those old black-and-white musicals", and the wedding outfit is a combination of this idea and the velvet.
- BRAND INFO: Regina's wedding outfit is a Ted Baker Color-Blocked Silk-Bodice Dress (no longer available).
- The dress was also worn by the character Mary Jane Paul on the Being Mary Jane episode "Feeling Lost" and by Penelope Blossom on the Riverdale episode "Chapter Fourteen: A Kiss Before Dying".
- A black and white version of the dress was also worn by the character Emily Rhodes on the Designated Survivor episode "Two Ships" and by Amy Robach on the July 14, 2017 episode of the morning television show Good Morning America .
- BRAND INFO: Zelena's wedding outfit is an Aidan by Aidan Mattox Women's V Neck Long Crinkle Lurex Gown.
- The scene where a singing Zelena terrorizes the Munchkins was filmed on a blue-screen set in a studio. The scene where she creates the music box was filmed on a blue-screen set at The Bridge Studios.
- Emma and Hook's wedding on top of the roof in Storybrooke was filmed against a blue-screen at The Bridge Studios. Storybrooke itself was inserted as a background plate during post-production.
|French||"Mélodie d'Amour"||"Melody of Love"|
|German||"Das Lied in deinem Herzen"||"The Song in Your Heart"|
|Italian||"La canzone del tuo cuore"||"The Song of Your Heart"|
|Portuguese||"A Música em Seu Coração"||"The Song in Your Heart"|