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Latest Update: September 1, 2015

The Music of Snow White - Page 1
The KenNetti Snow White Database

The Very First
Soundtrack Album

The music of Disney’s 1937 masterpiece Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is from the Golden Era of Hollywood. They don't write movie music like this anymore! The Snow White score features not only song classics, but also an incredible amount of themes and melodies. Some are just "incidental" snippets put together, but each of them is very important in telling the story. Therefore it is quite surprising that the Oscar-nominated background score of Snow White has rarely been considered as a "serious" achievement – even among film music fans. Even Disney historians usually praise the movie's (non-Oscar-nominated) songs but leave the instrumental score mostly unmentioned! Thus, on this page, KenNetti analyzes the entire score of Snow White as thoroughly as possible without any official music sheets (let alone the access to Disney's music vaults).

Most often it's is claimed that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs contains eight songs. This amount does not include the reprises of the songs, and puts two significantly different songs together (in Heigh-Ho). If all the songs are listed separately, the total amount is sixteen:

(Overture: One Song & Some Day
My Prince Will Come
– Instrumentals)
1. I’m Wishing
2. One Song
3. One Song (Snow White’s Version)
4. With a Smile and a Song
5. Whistle While You Work
6. Dig Dig Dig (or Dig-a-Dig-Dig)
7. Heigh-Ho (The Dwarfs’ Marching Song)
8. Heigh-Ho (Variations 1)
9. Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum (The Washing Song)
10. The Silly Song (The Dwarfs’ Yodel Song)
11. Some Day My Prince Will Come
12. Heigh-Ho (Variations 2)
13. Some Day My Prince Will Come (Making Pies)
14. Heigh-Ho (Variations 3)
15. One Song (Finale Version)
16. Finale: Some Day My Prince Will Come
(Choir Reprises & Variations)

The celebrated songs were originally issued on a three-record set in 1938 by RCA Victor Records (in the United States) and in Great Britain by His Master’s Voice. This was one of the first occassions when songs from a feature-length motion picture presented on an album were the very same recordings as heard in the movie. (It was, however, the album release of Walt Disney’s Pinocchio that coined the term “Original Sound Track"). The 1938 three-record set of Snow White contained eight of the movie's nine major songs – omitting Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum completely. Neither the Overture nor the Finale were included, but the record set did contain something extra special: Heigh-Ho featured a "Whistlin Interlude" that was removed from the final song and replaced into the movie's climax where the animals alert the Dwarfs; and The Silly Song was an alternate earlier version without the chorus vocals and the final dance, but it included an original vocal solo for Sneezy which was cut from the final version. This 1938 three-record set was just the beginning of several different soundtrack album releases of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. (The major releases and re-releases can be found on the following page!).

Frank Churchill, who composed all the songs in Snow White, is one of the very first Disney music legends. Churchill was responsible of such Disney evergreens as Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf (1933), Casey Junior, Baby Mine, Love is a Song, and Never Smile at a Crocodile (written before the composer's untimely death in 1942). Churchill’s talent in composing evocative melodies is evident on each song in Snow White, and also on such instrumental score gems as Pleasant Dreams (in the scene where the Dwarfs persuade the princess to sleep upstairs in their bedroom) and in the Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum washing sequence (in which Churchill manages to mix several different melodies smoothly together). The song Some Day My Prince Will Come was composed by Churchill as early as in November or December 1934. The philosophic With a Smile and a Song may have been an independent work (from the summer of 1935) before it ended up into the score of Snow White. I'm Wishing was one of the last songs composed for the movie. All lyrics of the final song versions were credited to writer Larry Morey, although several other people – including voice actor Pinto Colvig – contributed to the development of the songs (particularly in the case of The Silly Song, which was created during the summer of 1937).

As a movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the result of ruthless editing of work that had been done with blood, sweat and tears during the years 1934-1937. An endless amount of ideas, scenes and songs came and went because the man named Walt Disney, the movie's producer, wasn't happy with the result. The principles of the project must have frustrated several of the Disney Studio workers. Frank Churchill was among these casualties; in addition to composing background music, he served also as an arranger and a conductor on the Snow White score, but eventually the musical supervision ended up in Leigh Harline's hands. Known as Disney's 'Symphonist' (because of his splendid orchestral scores to the Silly Symphonies series), Leigh Harline had become the head of the Disney Studio's music department. By the mid-August of 1937 Frank Churchill had left the studio because of nervous strain, and he didn't return until the next year. Thus it became Harline's and Paul J. Smith's daunting task to complete the unfinished Snow White score. (Though previously Frank Churchill has been credited as the sole conductor of the score, new evidence provided by J. B. Kaufman in his 2012 book The Fairest One Of All points to the direction of Leigh Harline conducting the majority of the score). Harline started recording the score in late August of 1937 and used an orchestra of "36 to 40 pieces" in the score's most demanding passages.

Also Paul J. Smith may have conducted some music of the Snow White score, since he did it also on the following Pinocchio (1940) score – which won a famous Oscar for him and Harline. Smith composed many Disney scores simply as Paul Smith (including the 1954 live action classic 20,00 Leagues Under the Sea). His most famous contributions to the Snow White score are the beautiful Prayer At Evening melody (underscoring the Dwarfs' snoring sequence), the playful Turtle Theme, and the nightmarish Montage music for the "Dark Forest" sequence composed with (or based on) Frank Churchill.

Though Churchill is credited as the sole composer of Snow White's Overture and Finale, the breathtakingly epic arrangements and orchestrations may be Harline's and Smith's work. The heavenly choir in these segments was conducted by Max Terr, who worked as the vocal music director at Paramount Pictures. As some other movies of the time (like Gone with the Wind, 1939), Snow White had an instrumental suite of "Exit Music". This was cut from later re-release versions and never released on commercial recordings.

Contrary to popular belief, the Snow White score is definitely not just "kids music" – but more of a magnificent mixture of horror and fantasy – filled with some of the most chilling and powerful orchestral compositions in any movie before or since. There are wailing clarinets, immense cold strings and menacing melodies that haunt the listener's mind forever. Despite of having three different composers, the score forms a seamless whole with thematic and dramatic development – thanks to Leigh Harline's and Paul J. Smith's meticulous work. Too many Disney historians (J. B. Kaufman included) claim that there are very little Wagnerian leitmotifs in the Snow White score, but such a claim is mostly rubbish. Every important character in the movie is supported by a distinct musical sound, and in addition to several recurring musical themes also some of the songs can be considered as proper leitmotifs!

Leigh Harline provided most of Snow White’s dramatic orchestral scoring. Harline's music actually dominates the third, final act of the movie. In the beginning the Evil Queen has no musical theme (despite of Churchill's low-key Queen Theme for the scene where the vile woman orders the Huntsman to take Snow White far into the forest). The eerie, chilling melody in the movie's opening scene belongs to the Magic Mirror, not the Queen! However, when the Queen transforms herself into the peddler woman (generally known as the Witch), she gets a distinct leitmotif, Theme Sinister, that is a truly ominous creation by Leigh Harline. This throbbing melody – based on, or at least inspired by, the final passage in Churchill's and Smith's ("Dark Forest") Montage music – can actually be counted among the first great Hollywood horror themes. Theme Sinister somewhat resembles Franz Waxman's theme for The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), but manages to be more macabre and versatile; Harline introduces a clever variation of the theme in the “Transformation” music – and it is this variation of Theme Sinister that later develops into the ferocious “Climax Chase” at the end of the movie.

Also the character of Snow White has a leitmotif. It is used sparingly, but very effectively. Introduced during the sequence Let's See What's Upstairs, the Churchill theme Wondering develops into beautiful melody during the later bedroom sequence where Snow White starts guessing the Dwarfs' names. The warm pastoral quality of this theme reaches its heights in Harline's arrangement Morning in the Country, as Snow White kisses the Dwarfs off to work.

Even the ever-criticized Prince gets an astonishing cameo within one of the most dramatic moments in the Snow White score. As the Witch tells to Snow White that the apple has the power to fulfill wishes, Leigh Harline's underscore (Have a Bite) makes some very effective passes at the Prince's theme, One Song – as if almost mocking the serenade, as the disguised Queen lies to her gullible stepdaughter. It is a witty remark from Harline to use One Song and not Some Day My Prince Will Come in this scene, since the latter song is purely Snow White's own fantasy and therefore more her theme than the Prince's. It is noteworthy that One Song is used in a similar vein in the movie as the shark's theme in John Williams' Jaws (1975) – to keep the Prince's presence strong in the movie, although he is actually seen only for a few minutes. One Song starts the movie as the grand instrumental overture, and is reprised in the first forest scene as sung by Snow White, and is reprised fully again in the movie's finale, in a very poignant rendition for a choir and a solo tenor.

Of the dwarfs, both Dopey and Grumpy get their own themes, but the signature theme of the seven little men is, of course, their marching song Heigh-Ho. The song is reprised in many forms after its first appearance, both in vocal and instrumental variations. The song Dig Dig Dig (or "Dig-a-Dig-Dig") has been an unnamed first part of Heigh-Ho since, at least, from the first proper soundtrack release of Snow White in 1956. (But because the song title "Dig-a-Dig-Dig" is found on the 1938 three-record set by RCA/HMV, KenNetti holds to that title). Only few of the Dwarfs speaking voices sang in the movie; most of their singing voices were provided by an army of additional voices, including Freeman High.

Not so commonly known is that almost all the songs of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs included lyrics and passages that were omitted from the final movie versions. For example, the Dwarfs had originally much more to sing on their way home than "heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's home from work we go":

"--Just keep on singing all day long
Heigh-ho, heigh-ho
--For if you're feeling low
You positively can't go wrong with
[a] Heigh-ho, heigh-ho"

Morey's lyrics also included several introductory lead-in verses that have been rarely heard. Disneyland Records producer Salvador "Tutti" Camarata was one of the people who restored the lead-in verses to new recordings of these old songs. The most recorded of these verses might be the one for Some Day My Prince Will Come that has been included on interpretations by Linda Ronstadt (on a 1987 television special) and Barbra Streisand (for the 2001 DVD). This verse, with its totally different and somewhat more enchanting melody, sounds much more intimate and emotional than the whining about a Prince who comes someday:

"Somewhere waiting for me
There is someone I'm longing to see
Someone I simply can't help but adore
Someone who'll thrill me forever"

Also, the song I'm Wishing includes an original, enchanting passage that was only hummed in the final movie version of 1937:

"Tell me, wishing well,
will my wish come true?
With your magic spell,
won`t you tell my loved one what to do?"

While the modern soundtrack releases of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs have been fulfilled dreams, we still hope that Walt Disney Records would someday produce a complete soundtrack album to do justice to the full original Snow White music score as created by Churchill, Morey, Smith and Harline.

- Kenneth Sundberg -

E x l u s i v e - L i s t i n g

The Music Credits &
Individual Music Cues

in the original score

Snow White and the
Seven Dwarfs

Songs composed by
Frank Churchill

Lyrics by
Larry Morey

Score composed and arranged by
Frank Churchill
Leigh Harline
Paul J. Smith

Orchestra conducted by
Leigh Harline
Paul J. Smith
(Frank Churchill)

Choir conducted by
Max Terr

Score recording started
in August 1937

Song Vocals by
Adriana Caselotti (Snow White)
Harry Stockwell
(The Prince)
Roy Atwell
(Doc, Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum)
Scotty Mattraw
Pinto Colvig
Otis Harlan

Supplemental Voices for Snow White:
Esther Campbell
Thelma Hubbard
Virginia Davis

The Dwarf Chorus:
Freeman High
Harry Stanton
Sonny Dawson
Bill Cowles

Dwarf Yodelers:
Zeke Clements
Sonny Dawson
Jad Dees
Wes Tuttle
Les Miller

Additional Dwarf Voices:
Jim Macdonald
Clarence Nash
Lem Wright
Hal Rees

Bird Voices:
Esther Campbell
Anne Darlington
Marion Darlington
Clarence Nash
Louise Meyers
Peggy Downey
Ruth Magden
Ruby Ray

The Listing of
Individual Music Cues

may not be absolutely complete.
The listing is based on the
music cue listing
published with
the 1993 soundtrack abum
produced by Randy Thornton
and Michael Leon

Titles in quotation marks are
not official. The listing was researched,
revised and created by Kenneth Sundberg

for KenNetti

Fanfare (Churchill)
One Song (Churchill)
"The Book Opens" – Some Day My Prince
Will Come

Magic Mirror
Magic Mirror (Harline)
"Through Wind and Darkness" (Harline)
Magic Mirror (Harline)
"Shock for the Queen" (Harline)

"Washing the Stairs"
"Washing the Stairs" (composer unknown)
"To the Wishing Well" (Churchill)

Im Wishing
"Intro – Want to Know a Secret?" (Churchill / Morey)
I'm Wishing (Churchill / Morey)
"Tell Me Wishing Well" (Churchill)
(Morey's l
yrics were not sung)

I'm Wishing (Churchill / Morey)

One Song
"Scurry" – Interlude (Harline)
"Intro – Now That I've Found You" (Churchill / Morey)

One Song (Churchill / Morey)

"Throne Room of the Evil Queen"
Queen Theme (Churchill)

"A Secluded Glade"
One Song"Snow White's Version"
(Churchill / Morey)
"The Little Bird"
Hello There (Churchill)
"The Huntsman Strikes" – Dramatic Music (Smith)

"Dark Forest Montage"Montage
(Churchill / Smith)

Animal Friends
"Sobbing" (Churchill / Harline)
Animal Friends (Churchill / Harline)

With a Smile and a Song
"Intro – The Little Bird" (Churchill)
With a Smile and a Song (Churchill / Morey)

"Journey to the Cottage"
"A Place to Sleep at Night" (Churchill)
With a Smile and a Song – Instrumental

Just Like a Dolls House
Discovery (Churchill)
Exploration (Smith)
In the Cottage (Churchill)

Whistle While You Work
"Intro – And I Will Use the Broom" (Churchill)
"The Birds' Fanfare" (Churchill)
Whistle While You Work (Churchill / Morey)

"Song Part 1" (Churchill / Morey)
"Instrumental Variations" (Churchill)
"Song Part 2" (Churchill / Morey)

(The Dwarfs' Marching Song)
Dig-a-Dig-Dig (Churchill / Morey)
Dig-a-Dig-Dig – Instrumental (Churchill)
The Clock (Churchill)
Heigh-Ho (The Dwarfs' Marching Song)
(Churchill / Morey)

"Bedroom of the Seven Dwarfs"
Wondering (Churchill)
Turtle Theme (Smith)
Wondering (Churchill)
Lullaby – "Prayer at Evening Theme"
(Smith / Churchill)

"The Dwarfs Return Home"
(Theres Trouble a-Brewin
"Turtle on the Stairs" (composer unknown)
Heigh-Ho – "Variations" (Churchill)
Interlude (Churchill / Harline)
Sneak (Harline)
Incidental # 1 (Harline)
Dopey's Theme (Churchill)
Incidental # 2 (Harline)
("Sneezy Blows")
"The Bird Scare")
("Dopey Investigates")
("The Pots-and-Pans-Monster")

"The Dwarfs Meet Snow White"
(Its a Girl)

Incidental # 3 (Harline)
Perplexity (Churchill)
Incidental # 2 (Harline)
Incidental # 4 (Harline / Churchill)
Hurry (Harline)
Incidental # 5 (Churchill)
("Snow White Theme")
Interrogation (Harline)
Happy Man (Churchill)
Incidental # 6 (Churchill / Harline)
("Grumpy's Warning")

"Supper Time"
(Hooray! She Stays)
In the Kitchen (Churchill)
Food! (Churchill)
("Snow White Theme")
Bad News (Churchill)
("Show Your Hands")
Dopey's Theme
March (Churchill)
Defiance (Churchill)
issy Stuff (Churchill)
(Grumpy's Theme)
(Churchill / Harline)

(The Washing Song)
(The Washing Song) –
"Part 1"
(Churchill / Morey)

"Instrumental Variations" (Churchill)
Conspiracy (Churchill)
Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum – "Whistling" (Churchill)
Fight – "Grumpy Gets Cleaned" (Churchill)
Dopey's Theme –
"Soap Fun 1"
Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum "Part 2"
(Churchill / Morey)
Dopey's Theme – "Soap Fun 2" (Churchill)
Bluddle-Uddle-Um-Dum "Part 3"

"At the Castle of the Evil Queen"
(I've Been Tricked)

Magic Mirror (Harline)
Steps Going Down (Harline)
Transfiguration Music (Harline)
("The Magic Formula")
"Now Begin Thy Magic Spell")
"The Transformation"
Theme Sinister (Harline)
"A Special Sort of Death"
Theme Sinister

The Silly Song
(The Dwarfs' Yodel Song)
Dwarfs' Yodel Song (A Silly Song) [sic]
(Churchill / Morey)
"Yodeling – Part 1" (Churchill)
"Happy's Solo" (Churchill / Morey)
"Bashful's Solo" (Churchill / Morey)
"Yodeling – Part 2" (Churchill)
"The Musical Adventures of a Fly"
"Dopey's Drum Solo" (composer unknown)
"Grumpy's Pipe Organ" (Churchill)
"Animals at the Window" (Churchill)
"Sneezy and Dopey" (Churchill)
"The Dance" (Churchill)
"The Big Sneeze"

Some Day My Prince Will Come
"Intro – Tell Us a Story" (Churchill / Morey)
"Making Themselves Comfortable" (Churchill)
Some Day My Prince Will Come
(Churchill / Morey)

Pleasant Dreams
The Frog Clock
composer unknown)

Off to Bed
Pleasant Dreams (Churchill)
"The Pillow Fight" (composer unknown)
Dopey's Theme (Churchill)

Prayer at Evening
"Snow White's Prayer" (Smith)
Prayer at Evening ("Snoring Montage")

"Poisoning the Apple"
Theme Sinister (Harline)
"Apple Innocence" (Harline)
Theme Sinister – "Variations" (Harline)
("Want a Bite?" / "The Antidote")
"Down to the Dungeons")

"The Night Journey"
Theme Sinister (Harline)

"Off To Work"
"Grumpy Gets Kissed")
Morning in the Country (Churchill / Harline)
("Snow White Theme")
Dopey's Theme (Churchill)
Heigh-Ho (Churchill / Morey)
Grumpy's Theme (Churchill / Harline)
Heigh-Ho – "Variations" (Churchill)

"Harmless Old Peddler Woman"
"Approaching" – Theme Sinister (Harline)
"Making Pies" – Some Day My Prince
Will Come (Reprise)
(Churchill / Morey)
"Offering the Apple" – Theme Sinister (Harline)
"Bird Attack" – Hurry # 1 (Harline)
Theme Sinister (Harline)

"Animal Alert"
"Animal Alert" (composer unknown)
Heigh-Ho (Churchill / Morey)
"Whistlin' Interlude – Heigh-Ho" (Churchill)
"Animal Alert" (composer unknown)
"A Magic Wishing Apple" (Harline)
"Animal Alert" (composer unknown)
"Dash to the Cottage" # 1
(Heigh-Ho & Dwarfs to the Rescue)
(Harline / unknown)

"A Magic Wishing Apple" (Harline)
"Dash to the Cottage" # 2
(composer unknown)

"Make a Wish and Have a Bite"
Theme Sinister (Harline)
One Song (slight excerpts)
(Churchill / Harline)
Dwarfs to the Rescue (Harline)

"Breath Will Still, Blood Congeal"
– Theme Sinister

"Climax Chase"
"The Thunderstorm" (Harline)
(Dwarfs to the Rescue &
Theme Sinister)


Chorale for Snow White
"The Quiet Forest")
Chorale for Snow White (Churchill)

"A Coffin of Glass and Gold"
Transitional Music
(Churchill / Harline)
One Song – "Finale Version" (Churchill / Morey)

Loves First Kiss & Finale
"The Kiss"
Transitional Music (Harline)
"Awakening"Some Day My Prince Will Come
(Choir Reprise &
(Churchill / Morey)
"Dance of Joy & Saying Goodbye" (Churchill)
"Castle in the Clouds" Some Day My Prince
Will Come
(Churchill / Morey)
"The Book Closes"

About the Snow White
soundtrack releases

The Music of Snow White – Page 2

The Snow White
Read-Alongs & Storytellers

The Music of Snow White – Page 3

The Finest (and Poorest)
Snow White re-recordings

The Music of Snow White – Page 4

More about the music of
Snow White's Scary Adventures

The Scary Adventures Main Page


The Home for All Things Scary and Beautiful
The Snow White Database Front Page

Details research, image processing
and text written by Kenneth Sundberg

Special Thanks
Sampo Haahti
William Moore
Randy Thornton
Robert Lughai

Principal sources:
Richard Holliss & Brian Sibley:
Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven
Dwarfs & the Making of the Classic Film
(Hyperion, 1987 / 1994)

Filmic Light: A Snow White Sanctum
Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
– Exclusive Recordings from the Actual Sound Film,
a three-record set (RCA Victor Records, 1938 /
His Master’s Voice, 1938)

J. B. Kaufman: The Fairest One of All
– The Making of Walt Disney's Snow White
and the Seven Dwarfs (Aurum Press /
The Walt Disney Family Foundation Press, 2012)
J. B. Kaufman: Snow White and the
Seven Dwarfs – The Creation of a Classic
(The Walt Disney Family Foundation Press, 2012)

David Tietyen: The Musical World of Walt Disney
(Hal Leonard Publishing Corp, 1990)
Tim Hollis & Greg Ehrbar: Mouse Tracks
– The Story of Walt Disney Records
(The University Press of Mississippi, 2006)

The Complete Story of Walt Disney's Snow White
and the Seven Dwarfs (Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
New York, Times Mirror Books, 1987)
Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
– Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD
(The Walt Disney Records 1993 / 1997 / 2001)

Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
– The Collector's Edition 2-Disc DVD
(Disney DVD, 2001)
and Kenneth Sundberg

All original artwork © Disney

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