Prologue: Into The Woods
‘Into The Woods’ 2022 Broadway Cast Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

Once upon a time
I wish
In a far off kingdom
More than anything
Lived a young maiden (more than mine)
A sad young lad (more than jewels)
I wish
And a childless baker
More than life
I wish
With his wife
More than anything
More than the moon
I wish
The King is giving a festival
More than life
I wish
I wish to go to the festival
More than riches
And the ball
I wish my cow would give us some milk
More than anything
I wish we had a child
I want a child (please cow, squeeze pal)
I wish to go to the festival
I wish you'd give us some milk or even cheese (I wish we might have a child)
I wish

You wish to go to the festival?
The poor girl's mother had died
You, Cinderella, the festival? (What you, Cinderella, the festival?)
You wish to go to the festival?
The festival?
The King's festival?
And her father had taken for his new wife
The festival
A woman with two daughters of her own
Look at your nails, look at your dress
People would laugh at you nevertheless
I still want to go to the festival
And dance before the Prince
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha
All three were beautiful of face, but vile and black of heart

Jack, on the other hand, had no father, and his mother

I wish
Well, she was not quite beautiful
I wish my son were not a fool
I wish my house was not a mess
I wish the cow was full of milk
I wish the walls were full of gold
I wish a lot of things
Oh, you foolish child
What in Heaven's name are you doing with the cow inside the house?
A warm environment might be just what Milky White needs to produce his milk
It's a she, how many times must I tell you?
Only "she"s can give milk

Why, come in, little girl
I wish
It's not for me
It's for my Granny in the woods
A loaf of bread, please
To bring my poor old hungry granny in the woods
Just a loaf of bread, please

Cinderella's Stepmother had a surprise for her
I have emptied a pot of lentils into the ashes for you
If you have picked them out again in two hours' time
You shall go to the ball with us

And perhaps a sticky bun?
Or four?
Birds in the sky
Birds in the eaves, in the leaves, in the fields
In the castles and ponds
And a few of those pies please
Come, little birds
Down from the eaves and the leaves
Over fields out of castles and ponds

No, squeeze, pal (ah)

Quick, little birds, flick through the ashes
Pick and peck, but swiftly sift through the ashes into the pot

Listen well, son, Milky White must be taken to market
But, mother, no, he's the best cow
Was, was, she's been dry for a week
We've no food, nor money, and no choice but to sell her
While she can still command a price
But Milky-White is my best friend in the whole world
But look at her
There are bugs on her dugs
There are flies in her eyes
There's a lump on her rump
Big enough to be a hump
But (Son)
We've no time to sit and dither
While her wither's wither with her
And no one keeps a cow for a friend
Sometimes I fear your touched

Into the woods, it's time to go
I hate to leave, I have to, though
Into the woods, it's time, and so
I must begin my journey
Into the woods and through the trees
To where I am expected ma'am
Into the woods, to Grandmother's house
Into the woods, to Grandmother's house
You're certain of your way?
The way is clear
The light is good
I have no fear
Nor no one should
The woods are just trees
The trees are just wood
I sort of hate to ask it
But do you have a basket?
Don't stray and be late
And save some of those sweets for Granny

Into the woods and down the dell
The path is straight, I know it well
Into the woods and who can tell
What's waiting on the journey?
Into the woods to bring some bread
To Granny who is sick in bed
Never can tell what lies ahead
For all that I know she's already dead
But into the woods
Into the woods
Into the woods, to Grandmother's house
And home before dark

Fly, birds
Back to the sky
Back to the eaves and the leaves
And the fields and the
Hurry up and do my hair, Cinderella
Are you really wearing that?
Here, I found a little tear, Cinderella
Can't you hide it with a hat?
You look beautiful
I know
She means me
Put it in a twist
Who will be there?
Mother said be good, father said be nice
That was always their advice
So be nice, Cinderella
Good, Cinderella
Nice, good, good, nice (tighter)
What's the good of being good if everyone is blind
And you're always left behind?
Never mind, Cinderella, kind Cinderella
Nice, good, nice, kind, good, nice
Ow, not that tight
Sorry
Clod

Because the Baker had lost his mother and father in a baking accident
Well, at least that's what he believed, he was eager to have a family of his own
And was concerned that all efforts until now had failed

Who might that be?
We have sold our last loaf of bread
It's the witch from next door
We have no bread
Of course you have no bread
What do you wish?
It's not what I wish, it's what you wish
Nothing cooking in there now, is there?

The old enchantress went on to tell the couple
That she had placed a spell on their house

What spell?
In the past when you were no more then a babe
Your father brought his young wife and you to this cottage
They were a handsome couple, but not handsome neighbors
You see, your mother was with child and she had developed an unusual appetite
She took one look at my beautiful garden and told your father that what she wanted
More than anything in the world was
Greens, greens and nothing but greens
Parsley, peppers, cabbages and celery
Asparagus and watercress and fiddleferns and lettuce
He said, "Alright", but it wasn't, quite
'Cause I caught him in the autumn in my garden one night
He was robbing me
Raping me
Rooting through my rutabaga
Raiding my arugula and
Ripping up my rampion
My champion, my favorite
I should have laid a spell on him right there
Could've turned him into stone or a dog or a chair
Or a
But I let him have the rampion, I'd lots to spare
In return, however, I said, "Fair is fair
You can let me have the baby that your wife will bear
And we'll call it square"
I had a brother?
No, but you had a sister

But the witch refused to tell him anymore of his sister
Not even that her name was "Rapunzel"
She went on

I thought I had been more than reasonable
And that we all might live happily ever after
Well, how was I to know what your father had also hidden in his pocket?
You see, when I had inherited that garden
My mother had warned me I would be punished if I were ever to lose any of the
Beans (beans?) The special beans
I let him go, I didn't know he'd stolen my beans
I was watching him crawl back over the wall
And then bang, crash, and the lightning flash
And well, that's another story, never mind
Anyway, at last the big day came
I made my claim
"Oh, don't take away the baby", they shrieked and screeched
But I did and I hid her where she'll never be reached
Your father cried and your mother died
When for extra measure I admit it was a pleasure
I said, "Sorry, I'm still not mollified"
And I laid a little spell on them
You, too, son
That your family tree would always be a barren one
So there's no more fuss and there's no more scenes
And my garden thrives, you should see my nectarines
But I'm telling you the same I tell kings and queens
Don't ever never ever mess around with my greens"
Especially the beans

Now listen to me, Jack
Lead Milky White to market and fetch the best price you can
Take no less than five pounds
Are you listening to me?
Yes
Now how much are you to ask?
No more than five pounds
Less, than five
Less than five
Jack, Jack, Jack
Head in a sack
The house is getting colder
This is not the time for dreaming
Chimney stack
Starting to crack
The mice are getting bolder
The floor's gone slack
Your mother's getting older
Your father's not back
And you can't just sit here dreaming pretty dreams
To wish and wait from day to day
Will never keep the wolves away
So into the woods, the time is now
We have to live, I don't care how
Into the woods to sell the cow
You must begin the journey
Straight through the woods and don't delay
We have to face the marketplace
Into the woods to journey's end
Into the woods to sell a friend
Oh, someday you'll have a real pet, Jack
A piggy?

Meanwhile, the Witch, for purposes of her own
Explained how the Baker might lift the spell

You wish to have the curse reversed?
I'll need a certain potion first
Go to the wood and bring me back
One, the cow as white as milk
Two, the cape as red as blood
Three, the hair as yellow as corn
Four, the slipper as pure as gold
Bring me these before the chime of midnight
In three day's time
And you shall have, I guarantee
A child as perfect as child can be
Go to the wood

Ladies
Our carriage waits
Now may I go to the festival?
The festival
Darling, those nails, darling, those clothes
Lentils are one thing but, darling, with those
You'd make us the fools of the festival
And mortify the Prince
(Your carriage is waiting) we must be gone

Goodnight, Father
I wish

Look what I found in father's hunting jacket
Six beans
I wonder if they are (the witches beans)
We'll take them with us
No, you are not coming
We know you are fearful of the woods at night
The spell is on my house
Only I can lift the spell
The spell is on my house (no, no, the spell is on our house)
We must lift the spell
No, you are not to come and that is final
Now what am I to return with?
You don't remember?
The cow as white as milk
The cape as red as blood
The hair as yellow as corn
The slipper as pure as gold
Cow as white as milk
Cape as red as blood (and so the Baker, reluctantly, set off)
(To meet the enchantresses demands)
As for Cinderella

I still wish to go to the festival (the cow as white as milk)
But how am I ever to get to the Festival? (The cape as red as blood)
(Hair as yellow as corn) I know, I'll visit Mother's grave (the what?) (The slipper)
The grave at the hazel tree (the slipper as pure as gold)
And tell her I just want to go to the King's festival
Into the woods, it's time to go
It may be all in vain, I know
Into the woods but even so
I have to take the journey
Into the woods, the path is straight
I know it well but who can tell
Into the woods to lift the spell
Into the woods to visit Mother
Into the woods to fetch the things
To make the potion
To go to the festival
Into the woods without regret
The choice is made, the task is set
Into the woods but not forgetting why I'm on the journey
Into the woods to get my wish
I don't care how the time is now
Into the woods to sell the cow
Into the woods to get the money
Into the woods to lift the spell
To make the potion
To go to the Festival
Into the woods to Grandmother's house
Into the woods to Grandmother's house

The way is clear
The light is good
I have no fear
Nor no one should
The woods are just trees
The trees are just wood
No need to be afraid there
There's something in the glade there

Into the woods without delay
But careful not to lose the way
Into the woods who knows what may be lurking on the journey?
Into the woods to get the thing that makes it worth the journeying
Into the woods to see the King
To sell the cow
To make the potion
To see, to sell, to get, to bring, to make, to lift, to go to the festival
Into the woods
Into the woods




Into the woods then out of the woods
And home before dark

Overall Meaning

The song "Prologue: Into The Woods" from the 2022 Broadway cast of "Into The Woods" is the opening number of the musical, and it sets the stage for what's to come. The song introduces the different characters, their wishes, and their motivations that will soon intertwine in the woods. The lyrics are filled with the characters' desires, frustrations, and fears, as well as elements of suspense and foreboding. The song highlights the themes of the show, including the quest for fulfillment, the dangers of temptation, the consequences of actions, and the power of choices.


The song starts with the singer wishing Upon a Time before introducing the different characters, including a young maiden, a sad young lad, and a childless baker with his wife. Each character expresses their deepest wishes, revealing their motivations and desires. The king's festival is coming up, and everyone wants to be there, but not everyone can go. Meanwhile, Jack must sell his cow, and the witch next door has a spell to break. Cinderella is stuck with her stepmother and stepsisters, and everyone is trying to make their dreams come true. As the song progresses, the characters realize that they must take risks and venture into the woods to achieve their goals.


Line by Line Meaning

Once upon a time
In a distant past


I wish
I desire


In a far off kingdom
In a distant land


More than anything
Above all else


Lived a young maiden (more than mine)
There was a young girl who wished for more than what she had


A sad young lad (more than jewels)
There was a young boy who wished for more than material possessions


And a childless baker
And a baker who was unable to have children


With his wife
With his spouse


More than the moon
More than anything in the sky


The King is giving a festival
The King is hosting a grand celebration


And the ball
And a fancy dance


I want a child (please cow, squeeze pal)
I desire to have a child (please cow, produce milk)


You wish to go to the festival?
You desire to attend the festival?


The poor girl's mother had died
The girl's mother had passed away


You, Cinderella, the festival? (What you, Cinderella, the festival?)
You, Cinderella, want to attend the festival? (You, Cinderella, at the festival?)


The festival?
The event?


The King's festival?
The festival held by the King?


And her father had taken for his new wife
And her father had married a new woman


A woman with two daughters of her own
A woman who had two daughters


Look at your nails, look at your dress
Examine your nails, observe your attire


People would laugh at you nevertheless
Others would still laugh at you


And dance before the Prince
And perform in front of the Prince


All three were beautiful of face, but vile and black of heart
All three girls were physically attractive, but morally corrupt


I wish my son were not a fool
I wish my son were not foolish


I wish my house was not a mess
I wish my house was not cluttered


I wish the walls were full of gold
I wish the walls were covered in gold


I wish a lot of things
I desire many things


What in Heaven's name are you doing with the cow inside the house?
Why on Earth is the cow in the house?


A warm environment might be just what Milky White needs to produce his milk
A warm environment could help the cow produce milk


It's a she, how many times must I tell you?
The cow is female, how many times do I have to remind you?


Only 'she's can give milk
Only female cows can produce milk


It's not for me
I am not the one who needs it


It's for my Granny in the woods
It's for my Grandmother who lives in the woods


A loaf of bread, please
Please give me a loaf of bread


To bring my poor old hungry granny in the woods
To bring food to my elderly grandmother who is hungry and lives in the woods


Cinderella's Stepmother had a surprise for her
Cinderella's stepmother had a surprise in store for her


I have emptied a pot of lentils into the ashes for you
I have poured lentils into the ashes for you to pick out


If you have picked them out again in two hours' time
If you have removed them in two hours' time


You shall go to the ball with us
You may attend the ball with us


Or four?
Perhaps four?


Birds in the sky
Birds flying overhead


Birds in the eaves, in the leaves, in the fields
Birds in the eaves, in the trees, in the fields


Come, little birds
Come here, little birds


Down from the eaves and the leaves
Fly down from the trees and the leaves


Over fields out of castles and ponds
Across fields and away from castles and ponds


Quick, little birds, flick through the ashes
Hurry, little birds, search through the ashes


Pick and peck, but swiftly sift through the ashes into the pot
Pick and peck at the ashes, but quickly put them into the pot


Listen well, son, Milky White must be taken to market
Listen carefully, son, you must take Milky White to the market


But, mother, no, he's the best cow
But, mother, no, she is our best cow


But Milky-White is my best friend in the whole world
But Milky White is my closest companion


There are bugs on her dugs
There are insects on her udders


There are flies in her eyes
There are flies around her eyes


There's a lump on her rump
There is a bump on her rear


Big enough to be a hump
Large enough to resemble a hump


We've no time to sit and dither
We do not have time to hesitate


While her wither's wither with her
While her milk production continues to decline


And no one keeps a cow for a friend
No one keeps a cow purely as a companion


Sometimes I fear you're touched
Sometimes I think you are strange


I hate to leave, I have to, though
I dislike leaving, but I must


I have to take the journey
I must embark on the journey


And who can tell what's waiting on the journey?
And who knows what awaits on the journey?


To where I am expected ma'am
To the place where I am supposed to be, ma'am


To bring some bread
To bring a loaf of bread


To Granny who is sick in bed
To my grandmother who is ill and lying in bed


Never can tell what lies ahead
We never know what awaits us


For all that I know she's already dead
She may have already passed away


And home before dark
And return home before it gets dark


Fly, birds
Fly away, birds


Back to the sky
Return to the sky


Hurry up and do my hair, Cinderella
Hurry and style my hair, Cinderella


Are you really wearing that?
Are you actually wearing that?


Can't you hide it with a hat?
Can't you cover it with a hat?


You look beautiful
You appear beautiful


Put it in a twist
Put the hair up in a twist


Mother said be good, father said be nice
Mother told me to be good, father told me to be kind


That was always their advice
That was their constant guidance


So be nice, Cinderella
So be kind, Cinderella


Nice, good, good, nice
Kind, good, good, kind


Let's be kind to one another
Let's treat each other with kindness


Because the Baker had lost his mother and father in a baking accident
Because the Baker's parents had died in a baking accident


Who might that be?
Who could that person be?


We have no bread
We do not have any bread


Of course you have no bread
Obviously, you have no bread


What do you wish?
What do you desire?


Nothing cooking in there now, is there?
There's nothing being prepared in there at the moment, is there?


What spell?
What kind of magic?


In the past when you were no more than a babe
When you were just a baby in the past


Your father brought his young wife and you to this cottage
Your father brought you and your mother, his new wife, to this cottage


You see, your mother was with child
Your mother was pregnant


And she had developed an unusual appetite
And she had developed a unique craving


She took one look at my beautiful garden
She saw my beautiful garden


And told your father that what she wanted
And she told your father that what she desired


More than anything in the world was greens, greens and nothing but greens
She desired nothing more than greens, specifically greens


And I caught him in the autumn in my garden one night
I discovered him in my garden one night in the autumn


He was robbing me
He was stealing from me


Raping me
Destroying my garden


Rooting through my rutabaga
Digging through my rutabagas


Raiding my arugula and
Stealing my arugula and


Ripping up my rampion
Tearing up my rampion


My champion, my favorite
My prized possession, my favorite plant


I should have laid a spell on him right there
I should have immediately cast a spell on him


Could've turned him into stone or a dog or a chair
I could have transformed him into stone, a dog, or a chair


But I let him have the rampion, I'd lots to spare
But I decided to let him have the rampion, as I had an abundance of it


In return, however, I said, 'Fair is fair'
In return, I said, 'It's only fair'


You can let me have the baby that your wife will bear
You can give me the baby that your wife will soon have


And we'll call it square
And that will settle the score


No, but you had a sister
No, but you had a sister


Not even that her name was 'Rapunzel'
She did not even reveal her name, which was 'Rapunzel'


I thought I had been more than reasonable
I believed I had been fair


And that we all might live happily ever after
And that we could all live happily ever after


But how was I to know what your father had also hidden in his pocket?
But how could I have known that your father had something hidden in his pocket?


You see, when I had inherited that garden
When I had inherited the garden from my mother


My mother had warned me I would be punished if I were ever to lose any of the beans (beans?)
My mother had warned me that I would face consequences if I were to lose any of the beans (beans?)


I let him go, I didn't know he'd stolen my beans
I released him, unaware that he had stolen my beans


I was watching him crawl back over the wall
I observed him crawling back over the wall


And then bang, crash, and the lightning flash
And then there was a sudden noise, a crash, and a flash of lightning


And well, that's another story, never mind
That's a story for another time, forget about it


I made my claim
I asserted my right


Oh, don't take away the baby
Oh, don't take the baby away


They shrieked and screeched
They screamed and yelled


But I did and I hid her where she'll never be reached
But I took the baby and hid her where she can never be found


Your father cried and your mother died
Your father wept and your mother passed away


When for extra measure I admit it was a pleasure
And for extra satisfaction, I confess it was quite enjoyable for me


I said, 'Sorry, I'm still not mollified'
I said, 'I am still not satisfied'


And I laid a little spell on them
And I cast a small spell on them


You, too, son
You, too, my son


That your family tree would always be a barren one
That your family would always be unable to conceive children


So there's no more fuss and there's no more scenes
So there will be no more arguments and no more conflicts


And my garden thrives, you should see my nectarines
And my garden flourishes, especially my nectarines


But I'm telling you the same I tell kings and queens
But I am telling you the same thing I tell rulers and royalty


Don't ever never ever mess around with my greens
Never, under any circumstances, tamper with my vegetables


Now listen to me, Jack
Now pay attention to me, Jack


But Milky-White is my best friend in the whole world
But Milky White is my closest companion


You wish to have the curse reversed?
You desire for the spell to be lifted?


I'll need a certain potion first
First, I will need a specific potion


One, the cow as white as milk
First, bring me a cow as white as milk


Two, the cape as red as blood
Second, bring me a cape as red as blood


Three, the hair as yellow as corn
Third, bring me hair as yellow as corn


Four, the slipper as pure as gold
Fourth, bring me a slipper as pure as gold


Bring me these before the chime of midnight
Bring me these items before midnight


In three day's time
Within the next three days


And you shall have, I guarantee
And if you bring them, I promise


A child as perfect as child can be
You will have a perfect child


Ladies
Women


Our carriage waits
Our carriage is ready


Darling, those nails, darling, those clothes
My dear, look at your nails, my dear, look at your clothes


Lentils are one thing but, darling, with those
Lentils are acceptable, my dear, but those clothes...


You'd make us the fools of the festival
You would make us the laughingstock of the festival


And mortify the Prince
And embarrass the Prince


Goodnight, Father
Goodnight, Father


Look what I found in father's hunting jacket
Look what I found in my father's hunting jacket


Six beans
Six beans


We'll take them with us
We will bring them along


No, you are not coming
No, you are not joining us


We know you are fearful of the woods at night
We are aware that you are afraid of the woods at night


The spell is on my house
The spell is affecting my house


Only I can lift the spell
Only I can remove the spell


The spell is on my house (no, no, the spell is on our house)
The spell is affecting my house (no, no, it is affecting our house)


We must lift the spell
We must remove the spell


No, you are not to come and that is final
No, you are not allowed to come, and that is the end of it


Now what am I to return with?
Now what am I supposed to bring back?


You don't remember?
You don't recall?


The cow as white as milk
The cow that is as white as milk


The cape as red as blood
The cape that is as red as blood


The hair as yellow as corn
The hair that is as yellow as corn


The slipper as pure as gold
The slipper that is as pure as gold


How much are you to ask?
How much are you going to request?


No more than five pounds
Not more than five pounds


Less than five
Lower than five


Head in a sack
Head in a bag


The house is getting colder
The house is becoming colder


This is not the time for dreaming
Now is not the time for daydreaming


Starting to crack
Beginning to break


The mice are getting bolder
The mice are becoming braver


The floor's gone slack
The floor has become loose


Your mother's getting older
Your mother is growing older


Your father's not back
Your father has not returned


And you can't just sit here dreaming pretty dreams
And you cannot just sit here and daydream


To wish and wait from day to day
To hope and wait each day


Will never keep the wolves away
Will never keep the wolves from coming


We have to live, I don't care how
We have to survive, no matter what


We have to face the marketplace
We have to go to the market


Into the woods to journey's end
Into the woods until we reach our destination


Into the woods to sell a friend
Into the woods to sell a companion


Oh, someday you'll have a real pet, Jack
Someday you will have a real animal companion, Jack


Meanwhile, the Witch, for purposes of her own
Meanwhile, the Witch, for her own reasons


Explained how the Baker might lift the spell
Explained how the Baker could break the spell


Into the woods without delay
Into the woods without wasting time


But careful not to lose the way
But be cautious not to get lost


Into the woods who knows what may be lurking on the journey?
Into the woods, who knows what dangers may be waiting?


Into the woods to get the thing that makes it worth the journeying
Into the woods to obtain the item that makes the journey worthwhile


Into the woods to see the King
Into the woods to meet the King


Into the woods to see the King
Into the woods to meet the King


To make the potion
To create the potion


To go to the festival
To attend the festival


Into the woods to visit Mother
Into the woods to visit my deceased mother


Into the woods to fetch the things
Into the woods to retrieve the items


Into the woods then out of the woods
Into the woods and then out of the woods


And home before dark
And return home before it gets dark




Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: Stephen Sondheim

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
To comment on or correct specific content, highlight it

Genre not found
Artist not found
Album not found
Song not found

More Versions