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Disney Silly Symphonies - The Pied Piper

Updated on June 24, 2011

The Pied Piper of Hamlin

From Snow White to Beauty and the Beast, Disney is synonymous with fairy tales. But long before Disney started making full length animated films, the studio was borrowing from fairy tales to create Silly Symphony cartoons such as this one: The Pied Piper.

The town of Hamelin is overrun by rats, and the mayor promises a bag of gold to anyone who can get rid of the pesky rodents. A stranger lures the rats away by playing his pipe, but the mayor refuses to give him the promised gold. You probably know what comes next...

Disney Silly Symphony - The Pied Piper Video

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Disney Silly Symphonies

Walt Disney Treasures: More Silly Symphonies (1929-1938)
Walt Disney Treasures: More Silly Symphonies (1929-1938)

A collection of some of Disney's Silly Symphonies on DVD... including the Pied Piper.

 

Fun Facts about the Pied Piper of Hamelin Story

  • The abduction of the children of Hamelin supposedly took place on June 26th, 1284.
  • Hamelin is a real town in Germany.
  • It is said that 130 children in all were abducted.
  • Although it's very possible that the Pied Piper story is based on a true event, historians can't agree on what actually happened.
  • Most versions of the Pied Piper story say that the Piper led the rats to a river, where they were all drowned. Disney decided that transporting the rats on a magical piece of cheese to another dimension would be more humane.
  • Supposedly there is a street in Hamelin where singing, dancing, and playing music is forbidden out of respect for the victims spirited away that day.
  • Most versions of the story say that the Pied Piper led the children to a cave, and none of them were ever heard from again.
  • In the Disney retelling, a little lame boy is magically healed and joins the other children in a magical world. But in the original story, two children are left behind: The lame child who can't keep up, and the deaf child who only follows out of curiosity.
  • The Pied Piper of Hamelin could be an allegory for the Black Death. However, the dates don't correspond. The Black Death wouldn't sweep through Europe until the mid 1300s.
  • More sadistic and less traditional versions of the tale say that the children were drowned in a river just like the rats, or worse.
  • It's possible that the children of Hamelin weren't children at all, but were in fact a young generation who were either seduced by a cult leader or who migrated from Hamelin to establish their own villages. One version of the legend claims that the children of Hamelin founded Transylvania.

You can learn more facts and trivia about the Pied Piper of Hamelin at Wikipedia.

Words of Wisdom

Whether they pipe us free from rats or from mice,

If we've promised them aught, let us keep our promise.

Disney's Pied Piper Lyrics

Chorus/Townsfolk

In the town of Hamelin many years ago

The citizens were crying out a tearful tale of woe

Rats, rats, rats

They chased the dogs and killed the cats

Rats, rats, rats

They build their nests in our Sunday hats

The citizens of Hamelin were frantic with despair

They gnashed their teeth and stamped their feet and shouted to the mayor:

Rats, rats, rats

The people cried we gotta get rid of the rats

We gotta get rid of the rats in Hamelin town

Rats, rats, rats, rats, rats

We gotta get rid of the rats

Rats, rats

We gotta get rid of the rats

Rats, rats

We gotta get rid of the rats

Rats, rats

We gotta get rid of the rats

Rats, rats

We gotta get rid of the rats

Rats, rats

We gotta get rid of the rats

Rats, rats, rats

Mayor

As mayor of this city

I declare that it's a pity

Our community is overrun with rats

Townsfolk

As mayor of the city

He declares it is a pity

Our community is overrun with rats

Rats, we gotta get rid of the rats

Rats

Mayor

I'll give this bag of gold

This bag of shining gold

To anyone who rid us of the rats

Townsfolk

Rats

Who rid us of the rats

Who rid us of the rats

Who rid us of the rats

Rats

Pied Piper

Stop!

I'll rid your town of rats

I'll take the bag of gold

Mayor

You rid the town of rats

You get this bag of gold

(Piper plays music and leads the rats away)

Pied Piper

I've done my work as I was told

Now I'll take my bag of gold

Mayor

A bag of gold? Ha

You crazy loon

Why all you did was pipe tune

Townsfolk

All you did was pipe a tune

All you did was pipe a tune

All you did was pipe a tune

All you did was pipe a tune

Pied Piper

You're dishonest and ungrateful

And it really is a shame

that the children of this city should grow up to be the same

I'll save the children from such a fate

I'll pipe 'em away before it's too late

Mayor

You're only bluffing; do your worst

Blow your pipe until you burst

Townsfolk

Blow your pipe until you burst

Blow your pipe until you burst

(Pied Piper plays music and leads the children away)

Chorus

Joy Land, Joy Land

Happy girl and boy land

Laughing and playing from year to year

Trouble and care never enter here

Singing, dancing, on the sunny side

Happy forever and ever

Each childhood never end

What's your favorite Silly Symphony cartoon?

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      jacqueline 2 years ago

      i love this cartoon!, my favorite of/by silly symphony. i love the pied piper´s desgin really much and the rats are too adorable that i love!.