Cinderella At The Grave
David Patrick Kelly Lyrics


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Cinderella had planted a branch at the grave of her mother
And she visited there so often and wept so much
That her tears watered it until it had become a handsome tree

I've been good and I've been kind, Mother
Doing only what I learned from you
Why, then, am I left behind, Mother
Is there something more that I should do?
What is wrong with me, Mother?
Something must be wrong
I wish

What, child? Specify
Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor
And good fortune, like bad, can befall when least expected

I wish

Do you know what you wish?
Are you certain what you wish
Is what you want?
If you know what you want
Then make a wish
Ask the tree
And you shall have your wish

Shiver and quiver, little tree




Silver and gold throw down on me
I'm off to get my wish

Overall Meaning

The song "Cinderella at the Grave" by David Patrick Kelly tells the story of a girl who visits her mother's grave and has a conversation with her spirit. The song depicts Cinderella as a hardworking and good-hearted person who is confused about why she hasn't achieved more in life despite following her mother's teachings. The lyrics suggest that Cinderella is feeling lost and uncertain of what is wrong with her. She expresses her wish to her mother but is unsure of what she truly desires. Her mother cryptically responds that "opportunity is not a lengthy visitor" and that good or bad fortune can happen when least expected. She then advises Cinderella to ask the tree for her wish.


The imagery of Cinderella planting a branch at her mother's grave and watering it with her tears until it became a handsome tree is a metaphor for growth and resilience. The tree symbolizes the connection between Cinderella and her mother, and the love that remains even after death. The lyrics also suggest that Cinderella is looking for guidance and a sign from her mother, who is no longer physically present in her life.


Overall, "Cinderella at the Grave" is a poignant and moving song that explores themes of loss, love, and self-discovery.


Line by Line Meaning

Cinderella had planted a branch at the grave of her mother
Cinderella, having lost her mother, planted a branch at her grave to honor her memory.


And she visited there so often and wept so much
Cinderella made frequent visits to her mother's grave and would cry for her loss.


That her tears watered it until it had become a handsome tree
Her tears poured onto the branch and helped it grow into a beautiful tree.


I've been good and I've been kind, Mother
Cinderella was addressing her deceased mother, telling her she has been a good and kind person, much like how her mother had taught her to be.


Doing only what I learned from you
Cinderella lived her life based on the teachings she received from her mother.


Why, then, am I left behind, Mother
Notwithstanding all her efforts to be good, Cinderella is feeling downhearted and is questioning why she still remains behind.


Is there something more that I should do?
Cinderella is asking her mother if there is anything else she should be doing to achieve her desired success.


What is wrong with me, Mother?
Cinderella is feeling lost and inexperienced to identify her flaws and mistakes by herself.


Something must be wrong
Cinderella is convinced that something must be amiss as things are not going her way.


I wish
Cinderella is driven to desperation; hence she can't articulate anything specific.


Do you know what you wish?
The tree asks Cinderella if she knows what she wishes for, and if what she thinks she wants is what she actually desires.


Are you certain what you wish Is what you want?
The tree advises Cinderella to be sure of what she wants so she doesn't end up getting what she doesn't want.


If you know what you want Then make a wish
The tree validates If Cinderella is entirely sure of what she wants, she can then make a wish.


Ask the tree
The tree can grant Cinderella's wish through its magical powers.


And you shall have your wish
The tree promises Cinderella that her wish will soon be fulfilled.


Shiver and quiver, little tree
Cinderella is ordering the tree to shiver and quiver by releasing a rain of silver and gold, showing the tree that Cinderella is confident in the tree's ability to grant her wish.


Silver and gold throw down on me
Cinderella is asking the tree to grant her wish by raining down silver and gold upon her.


I'm off to get my wish
Cinderella is heading out to acquire her wish, certain that the tree has given her the remedy to her problems with its magical powers.




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

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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