Friday, September 20, 2013
Come little children, I'll take thee away...
One of the most memorable scenes in the movie is simultaneously beautiful and disquieting: Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), the youngest and prettiest of the three Sanderson sisters, takes to the skies on her broom and lures children from their homes with her haunting siren song. She is usually leaping about with irrepressible high spirits, flirting, and uttering inanities that try the patience of her eldest sister, Winifred (Bette Midler), but the dramatic change in tone gives this scene added impact. With her cape billowing about her, Sarah is no longer the vapid fool, but eerily graceful and beguiling as she ushers the children to their deaths.
To the best of my knowledge, the Come Little Children lyrics were written by Brock Walsh (music composed by James Horner), although mysterious extra verses have appeared online and are, to my surprise, being credited to Edgar Allan Poe. After a little research however, I have discovered a few Poe scholars who rigorously dispute this claim.