On The Steps Of The Palace
Phillipa Soo Lyrics


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He's a very smart Prince
He's a Prince who prepares
Knowing this time I'd run from him
He spread pitch on the stairs
I was caught unawares

And I thought, well, he cares
This is more than just malice
Better stop and take stock
While you're standing here stuck
On the steps of the palace

You think, what do you want?
You think, make a decision
Why not stay and be caught?
You think, well it's a thought
What would be his response?
But then what if he knew
Who you were when you know
That you're not what he thinks
That he wants?

And then what if you are
What a Prince would envision?
Although how can you know
Who you are 'til you know
What you want, which you don't?
So then which do you pick
Where you're safe out of sight
And yourself, but where everything's wrong?
Or where everything's right
And you know that you'll never belong?

And whichever you pick
Do it quick
'Cause you're starting to stick
To the steps of the palace

It's your first big decision
The choice isn't easy to make
To arrive at a Ball is exciting and all
Once you're there, though, it's scary
And it's fun to deceive
When you know you can leave
But you have to be wary
There's a lot that's at stake
But you've stalled long enough
'Cause you're still standing stuck
In the stuff on the steps

Better run along home
And avoid the collision
Even though they don't care
You'll be better off there
Where there's nothing to choose
So there's nothing to lose
So you pry up your shoes

Then from out of the blue
And without any guide
You know what your decision is
Which is not to decide

You'll just leave him a clue
For example, a shoe
And then see what he'll do

Now it's he and not you
Who is stuck with the shoe
In a stew
In the goo
And you've learned something, too




Something you never knew
On the steps of the Palace

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to "On the Steps of the Palace" from Phillipa Soo's song in the musical "Into the Woods" explore the internal conflicts and decision-making process of a character who finds herself in a complicated situation. The character is caught off guard by a smart prince who had planned for her to slip on pitch on the stairs. Despite the initial shock, she begins to question her own wants and desires versus what is expected of her.


She contemplates whether she should stay and face the consequences or run away. The song highlights the character's internal struggle between staying hidden and safe, but feeling like she doesn't belong, and being true to herself, even though it might not align with the prince's expectations. She realizes that she cannot make a decision until she truly understands herself and what she wants.


Eventually, she decides to leave the prince a clue, represented by a shoe, which will force him to make a choice. This decision empowers her, as she realizes she doesn't have to conform to societal expectations or compromise her own identity. The character goes through a transformative journey, learning more about herself and gaining agency in her own story.


Overall, "On the Steps of the Palace" explores themes of self-discovery, independence, and the importance of staying true to oneself, even in challenging circumstances.


Line by Line Meaning

He's a very smart Prince
He is an intelligent and cunning individual.


He's a Prince who prepares
He is a Prince who plans ahead and strategizes.


Knowing this time I'd run from him
Being aware that I would try to escape from him this time.


He spread pitch on the stairs
He deliberately made the stairs slippery and difficult to navigate by applying a sticky substance.


I was caught unawares
I was caught off guard and surprised by his actions.


And I thought, well, he cares
I briefly considered that he might actually have genuine concern for me.


This is more than just malice
His actions go beyond mere spite or ill will.


Better stop and take stock
I should pause and assess the situation.


While you're standing here stuck
As I find myself trapped in this predicament.


On the steps of the palace
In this situation, right here at the palace steps.


You think, what do you want?
You contemplate and question your desires.


You think, make a decision
You consider the need to come to a conclusion.


Why not stay and be caught?
You wonder if staying and facing the consequences might be a viable option.


You think, well it's a thought
You acknowledge that it's an idea worth considering.


What would be his response?
You ponder how he will react.


But then what if he knew
But what if he became aware


Who you were when you know
Of your true identity when you already knew


That you're not what he thinks
That you are not the person he perceives you to be


That he wants?
That he desires?


And then what if you are
And what if you actually are


What a Prince would envision?
What a Prince desires and imagines?


Although how can you know
Although how could you possibly determine


Who you are 'til you know
Your true identity until you know


What you want, which you don't?
What you truly desire, but you are uncertain about?


So then which do you pick
So which option do you choose


Where you're safe out of sight
Where you are secure and hidden


And yourself, but where everything's wrong?
And you can be true to yourself, but everything feels amiss?


Or where everything's right
Or where everything feels right


And you know that you'll never belong?
And you are aware that you will never truly fit in?


And whichever you pick
And regardless of which option you select


Do it quick
Act swiftly


'Cause you're starting to stick
Because you are becoming stuck


To the steps of the palace
To the palace steps


It's your first big decision
This is your major decision


The choice isn't easy to make
The decision is not simple or straightforward


To arrive at a Ball is exciting and all
Attending a ball is thrilling and has its allure


Once you're there, though, it's scary
However, once you have arrived, it becomes frightening


And it's fun to deceive
Deceiving others can be enjoyable


When you know you can leave
When you are aware that you can escape


But you have to be wary
Yet you must also be cautious


There's a lot that's at stake
There are considerable risks involved


But you've stalled long enough
But you have hesitated for too long


'Cause you're still standing stuck
Because you are still standing, trapped


In the stuff on the steps
In the sticky substance on the steps


Better run along home
It would be wise to hurry back home


And avoid the collision
To avoid a potential conflict or clash


Even though they don't care
Even if they do not express concern or interest


You'll be better off there
You will be in a better situation by returning home


Where there's nothing to choose
Where there are no decisions to be made


So there's nothing to lose
So there are no potential losses


So you pry up your shoes
Therefore, you lift your shoes


Then from out of the blue
Unexpectedly


And without any guide
And without guidance or direction


You know what your decision is
You are confident in your decision


Which is not to decide
Which is to refrain from making a choice


You'll just leave him a clue
Instead, you will leave him a hint


For example, a shoe
Such as a shoe


And then see what he'll do
And observe his actions


Now it's he and not you
Now he is the one, not you


Who is stuck with the shoe
Who is trapped with the shoe


In a stew
In a difficult situation


In the goo
In a sticky mess


And you've learned something, too
And you have also gained knowledge


Something you never knew
Something you were previously unaware of


On the steps of the Palace
At the palace steps




Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: Stephen Sondheim

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comments from YouTube:

M & O Producciones

He's a very smart Prince
He's a Prince who prepares
Knowing this time I'd run from him
He spread pitch on the stairs
I was caught unawares

And I thought, well, he cares
This is more than just malice
Better stop and take stock
While you're standing here stuck
On the steps of the palace

You think, what do you want?
You think, make a decision
Why not stay and be caught?
You think, well it's a thought
What would be his response?
But then what if he knew
Who you were when you know
That you're not what he thinks
That he wants?

And then what if you are
What a Prince would envision?
Although how can you know
Who you are 'til you know
What you want, which you don't?
So then which do you pick
Where you're safe out of sight
And yourself, but where everything's wrong?
Or where everything's right
And you know that you'll never belong?

And whichever you pick
Do it quick
'Cause you're starting to stick
To the steps of the palace

It's your first big decision
The choice isn't easy to make
To arrive at a Ball is exciting and all
Once you're there, though, it's scary
And it's fun to deceive
When you know you can leave
But you have to be wary
There's a lot that's at stake
But you've stalled long enough
'Cause you're still standing stuck
In the stuff on the steps

Better run along home
And avoid the collision
Even though they don't care
You'll be better off there
Where there's nothing to choose
So there's nothing to lose
So you pry up your shoes

Then from out of the blue
And without any guide
You know what your decision is
Which is not to decide

You'll just leave him a clue
For example, a shoe
And then see what he'll do

Now it's he and not you
Who is stuck with the shoe
In a stew
In the goo
And you've learned something, too
Something you never knew
On the steps of the Palace



Hernan Ladera

On the Steps of the Palace

He's a very smart Prince
He's a Prince who prepares
Knowing this time I'd run from him
He spread pitch on the stairs
And I'm caught unawares
Well it means that, he cares

This is more than just malice
Better stop and take stock
While you're standing here stuck
On the steps of the palace

All right, what do you want?
Have to make a decision
Why not stay and be caught?
Should I give that a thought
What would be his response?

But then what if he knew
Who I am when I know
That I'm not what he thinks
That he wants?
Or, then, what if I am?

What a Prince would envision?
But then how can you know
Who you are 'til you know
What you want? Which I don't
So then which do you pick
Where you're safe, out of sight
And yourself, but where everything's wrong?

Or where everything's right
But you know that you'll never belong?
And whichever you pick
Do it quick
'Cause you're starting to stick
To the steps of the palace

It's my first big decision
The choice isn't easy to make
To arrive at a ball
Is exciting and all
Once you're there, though, it's scary

And it's fun to deceive
When you know you can leave
But you have to be wary
There's a lot that's at stake
But I've stalled long enough
'Cause I'm still standing stuck
In the stuff on the steps
Better run along home

And avoid the collision
Though at home they don't care
I'll be better off there
Where there's nothing to choose
So there's nothing to lose
So I'll pry up my shoes

Wait, though thinking it through
Things don't have to collide
I know what my decision is
Which is not to decide
I'll just leave him a clue
For example, a shoe

And then see what he'll do
Now it's he and not you
Who'll be stuck with a shoe
In a stew, in the goo
And I've learned something, too
Something I never knew
On the steps of the palace

On the Steps of the Palace
/
Lyrics
He's a very smart Prince
He's a Prince who prepares
Knowing this time I'd run from him
He spread pitch on the stairs
And I'm caught unawares
Well it means that, he cares
This is more than just malice
Better stop and take stock
While you're standing here stuck
On the steps of the palace
All right, what do you want?
Have to make a decision
Why not stay and be caught?
Should I give that a thought
What would be his response?
But then what if he knew
Who I am when I know
That I'm not what he thinks
That he wants?
Or, then, what if I am?
What a Prince would envision?
But then how can you know
Who you are 'til you know
What you want? Which I don't
So then which do you pick
Where you're safe, out of sight
And yourself, but where everything's wrong?
Or where everything's right
But you know that you'll never belong?
And whichever you pick
Do it quick
'Cause you're starting to stick
To the steps of the palace
It's my first big decision
The choice isn't easy to make
To arrive at a ball
Is exciting and all
Once you're there, though, it's scary
And it's fun to deceive
When you know you can leave
But you have to be wary
There's a lot that's at stake
But I've stalled long enough
'Cause I'm still standing stuck
In the stuff on the steps
Better run along home
And avoid the collision
Though at home they don't care
I'll be better off there
Where there's nothing to choose
So there's nothing to lose
So I'll pry up my shoes
Wait, though thinking it through
Things don't have to collide
I know what my decision is
Which is not to decide
I'll just leave him a clue
For example, a shoe
And then see what he'll do
Now it's he and not you
Who'll be stuck with a shoe
In a stew, in the goo
And I've learned something, too
Something I never knew
On the steps of the palace



Hera Robianes

He's a very smart Prince
He's a Prince who prepares
Knowing this time I'd run from him
He spread pitch on the stairs
And I'm caught unawares
Well it means that, he cares
This is more than just malice
Better stop and take stock
While you're standing here stuck
On the steps of the palace
All right, what do you want?
Have to make a decision
Why not stay and be caught?
Should I give that a thought
What would be his response?
But then what if he knew
Who I am when I know
That I'm not what he thinks
That he wants?
Or, then, what if I am?
What a Prince would envision?
But then how can you know
Who you are 'til you know
What you want? Which I don't
So then which do you pick
Where you're safe, out of sight
And yourself, but where everything's wrong?
Or where everything's right
But you know that you'll never belong?
And whichever you pick
Do it quick
'Cause you're starting to stick
To the steps of the palace
It's my first big decision
The choice isn't easy to make
To arrive at a ball
Is exciting and all
Once you're there, though, it's scary
And it's fun to deceive
When you know you can leave
But you have to be wary
There's a lot that's at stake
But I've stalled long enough
'Cause I'm still standing stuck
In the stuff on the steps
Better run along home
And avoid the collision
Though at home they don't care
I'll be better off there
Where there's nothing to choose
So there's nothing to lose
So I'll pry up my shoes
Wait, though thinking it through
Things don't have to collide
I know what my decision is
Which is not to decide
I'll just leave him a clue
For example, a shoe
And then see what he'll do
Now it's he and not you
Who'll be stuck with a shoe
In a stew, in the goo
And I've learned something, too
Something I never knew
On the steps of the palace



All comments from YouTube:

TinyTorah

Jeez. Like EVERY vocal choice she made is perfection.

Lia Goodvach

Totally gotta love Philipa Soo

Max Wonder

I don’t see that she’s made any artistic decisions that are any different from any other Cinderella in any number of productions of this musical. She sings this very well, but has not distinguished herself from any of the others that have performed it.

Ayyzan

@Max Wonder who would you say is the best so far?

Max Wonder

@Ayyzan - I really don’t compare, or rate artists against each other. I also don’t necessarily have a favorite. Like I said, I think she did very well, but she didn’t do it any differently than anyone else I’ve seen perform the role. She did not make it her own. So she really doesn’t deserve credit for making “artistic choices.” I’ve seen about six different Cinderella’s in (Into The Woods) in total.

TinyTorah

@Max Wonder, well, for one example, the way she colors her phrases differently and adds a conversational feel to the song without sacrificing any of the notes or rhythms. I can confidently say not all Cinderella’s do this, and the ones that do I have not heard them do it quite so well.

8 More Replies...

Keira Roberts

My God, thank you to Lin Manuel Miranda for giving this woman her big break so that people know her name and how incredible she is. She is flourishing beyond Hamilton in fantastic roles like this and this recording is just pristine, the resonance, the articulation, the phrasing, the accuracy of the notes given it’s a Sondheim… I could listen to this all day!

moonriver inc

She emotes so effortlessly and never overacts I love her

Miigwech

Phillipa Soo is brilliant.

erınıdum

She makes it sound like this song is easy or something. Incredible!

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