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You wished that she could have a chance for a happy ending. And now, with everyone's song in her heart, she will.
—The Blue Fairy to Snow White and Prince Charming

"The Song in Your Heart" is the twentieth episode of Season Six of ABC's Once Upon a Time. It was written by David H. Goodman & Andrew Chambliss, and directed by Ron Underwood. It is the one hundred and thirty-first episode of the series overall, and premiered on May 7, 2017.

This is the only musical episode of the series. The songs were written by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner.


In flashback, Snow and Charming make a special wish that Emma will be protected. The result of their wish has the whole kingdom bursting into song which infuriates the Evil Queen. Meanwhile, in Storybrooke, the Black Fairy announces her plans to unleash another curse on the town while Emma and Hook prepare for their wedding.[2]


This section is a detailed recap of this episode. There are major spoilers. Click to expand.

At a children's group home in Minnesota 1991, a young Emma hums a tune while recording it, only to be interrupted y a fellow orphan who tells her that she will realize that she is alone like the rest of the orphans. 

In the Storybrooke, Emma struggles to decide on a wedding dress, only to find out from Snow that Gold found Snow's old wedding dress in his shop. 

In the Enchanted Forest, after meeting with Rumple about the dark curse, Snow wishes for her unborn daughter to have a happy ending. She and David go to bed, and the next morning, they awake, only to find that they are "speaking" in song. Snow realizes that this is a result of her wish, and David and Snow sing about the magic of song. ("Powerful Magic")

In the Storybrooke, Snow returns with her dress, only to have it turned black by the Black Fairy, a surprise since they believed Gold had killed her. The Black Fairy throws down and says that they’re going to battle, and that Emma is nothing more than the same orphan girl she once was. The Black Fairy sends the heroes to the clock tower to reveal enough Black Fairy dust to curse the town twice over, to be released at 6 O’clock — the same time as Emma’s wedding. Regina and Zelena leave to see what they're dealing with. 

In the Enchanted Forest, Regina is unhappy with the singing spell she is under ("The Queen Sings") and then sings about how Snow and David's love is in no way powerful compared to her dark deeds. ("Love Doesn't Stand a Chance")

In Storybrooke, Emma goes to find Hook to break the news that she still has to fight that final battle. She tells him that she has to do this alone, and he’s heartbroken because he knows that she’s come to say goodbye. All she says is that she loves him.

Returning to another Enchanted Forest flashback, Snow and David seek passage to the Queen's castle on the Jolly Roger, and at first assume that the captain is Smee, only to be interrupted by Hook. They offer him all of the money he could ever ask for, but, through song, he explains that his revenge on Rumplestiltskin is worth more than any jewel. Snow and David, having Rumple jailed, agree to let Captain Hook to his worst if he makes a stop at the Queen's castle on the Jolly Roger. ("Revenge is Gonna Be Mine")

In present day, Hook has another obstacle — helping Emma defeat the Black Fairy. He goes to address things with Rumple, who is not apologizing for lying about the Black Fairy. So, Hook shoots him with Dreamshade from Neverland. But as he makes his move, the Black Fairy appears, and it seems like our boy might be in trouble. Mind you, while all this is happening, Henry shows up to give his mom his seal of approval at the police station. In the process, he finds her orphan music, but Emma shuts it down quickly.

While Regina and Zelena work together to shut down that dark fairy dust, Zelena jogs Regina’s memory. If Regina can isolate the part of the potion that once stopped time, she can buy them more time to break the spell. 

In yet another Enchanted Forest flashback, Regina goes to Rumple for answers on how to stop the singing spell. Music queues, and Rumple breathes in to sing, only to tell Regina that "The Dark One doesn't sing!" and chuckles. He tells her that if he chose the right student, she will be able to counteract the singing spell. The scene zooms out to reveal that Zelena has been watching from Oz, where she sings about her envy and how Rumple will see that her wickedness is superior to Regina's evil. ("Wicked Always Wins"). She then sends the reversal spell to Regina to take credit for the win. 

Back in Storybrooke, Regina and Zelena have isolated the freezing portion of the spell. But Rumple was saved by Black Fairy, and he appears in front of Emma’s family, snags that potion, and uses it on them right as Emma goes to confront the Black Fairy. Emma attempts to stop her, but she makes Emma remember what it’s like to be alone by playing that song she once recorded on her tape recorder. Henry, being the most logical adult on this show, gives Emma a pep talk. She maybe takes it the wrong direction by concluding that she needs to just give in and turn her heart over to the Black Fairy to protect Henry and her family. 

Back in the Enchanted Forest, the Queen faces off against Snow and David with a little bit of fire but mostly song. The Queen uses Zelena's spell to counteract the singing spell, and Snow and David can no longer sing without trying. ("Charmings vs. Evil Queen")

Regina sends them home. Devastated, Blue appears to Snow and David and explains that unfortunately, the power of song was never used to defeat the Evil Queen. It’s meant to be placed in Emma’s heart because the power of song will help her win a major battle, supposedly the Final Battle. 

In Storybrooke, Henry discovers a surprise page in the storybook that reveals the moment Blue placed all that song inside of Emma’s heart. It might just be too late though, because Emma goes to the Black Fairy to tell her family goodbye and offer her heart to the Black Fairy. She rips it out, but she can’t kill her. Henry rushes in to reveal to Emma what he’s discovered, and as her heart hits the ground, young Emma’s song begins to play, and thus, grown Emma sings. ("The Song Inside of Me")

Emma realizes her power mid-song, discovering how strong she can be while also realizing that she’s not alone. Henry picks up her heart and shoves it back into her chest, but the Black Fairy isn’t done. That curse is still coming. Even so, it’s time for the wedding. With Archie officiating, Emma is walked down the aisle to Hook with Snow and David on hand. They spend their first dance singing their own song, and eventually the group joins in. It’s a nice number about how this isn’t a Happy Ending but a Happy Beginning. ("Happy Beginning") As the song ends, the Black Fairy's curse blasts through the town. Emma says, “Wherever we end up, we’re going to win,” and the whole screen fades to black. 

Deleted Scenes

Hook on the Phone

A scene with Hook looking concerned as he walks fast down the street outside the pawnshop while talking to someone on his mobile phone. He then stops and kind of looks up.[3]



Guest Starring



  • Marcus Aurelio as Pirate[4]
  • Jeff Dimitriou as Pirate[5]
  • Jim Hubbard as Pirate[5]
  • Keilani Rose as Tavern Customer[6]
  • Unknown baby as Prince Neal
  • Unknown baby as Robin Hood


The episode features a total of eight songs:

Number Name Singer(s)
1 "Powerful Magic" Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White)
Josh Dallas (Prince Charming)
2 "The Queen Sings" Lana Parrilla (Evil Queen)
Giancarlo Esposito (Magic Mirror)
Lee Arenberg (Grumpy)
Tony Amendola (Geppetto)
Beverley Elliott (Granny)
Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White)
Josh Dallas (Prince Charming)
3 "Love Doesn't Stand a Chance" Lana Parrilla (Evil Queen)
4 "Revenge Is Gonna Be Mine" Colin O'Donoghue (Hook)
Chorus (Pirates)
5 "Wicked Always Wins" Rebecca Mader (Zelena)
6 "Charmings vs. Evil Queen" Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White)
Josh Dallas (Prince Charming)
Lana Parrilla (Evil Queen)
7 "Emma's Theme" Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan)
8 "A Happy Beginning" Jennifer Morrison (Emma Swan)
Colin O'Donoghue (Hook)
Ginnifer Goodwin (Mary Margaret Blanchard)
Josh Dallas (David Nolan)
Lana Parrilla (Regina Mills)
Rebecca Mader (Zelena)
Jared S. Gilmore (Henry Mills)



  • The title card features an orchestra.[7]
    • This was the second title card not to be accompanied by the usual opening music, the first being "A Land Without Magic".
  • The title of this episode was revealed by Adam Horowitz via his Twitter account on February 21, 2017.[8]
    • The episode was also referred to as "The Musical Episode", as it was revealed by choreographer Paul Becker via his Instagram account on February 9, 2017.[9]

Production Notes

  • According to Jane Espenson, a musical special feature was already considered back in 2014, but it did not happen because it was too expensive.[10]
  • This episode has been in the works since Summer 2016.[11]
  • Sidney Glass' name is misspelled as "Sydney" on the press release of this episode.[2]
  • According to Adam Horowitz, it was hard to figure out how to meld the "voice" of the show with a musical.[12]
  • A special screening of the episode, followed by a Q&A session with executive producers and available cast, happened on May 2, 2017 at the Frank G. Wells Theater on the Walt Disney Studio Lot at Burbank, CA.[13]
  • During the beginning scene with a young Emma, Mckenna Grace had headphones in and listened to a version of "Emma's Theme" on piano in order to hum it.[14]
  • By the time of this episode, Jakob Davies had become too old to play Pinocchio, so instead the role was played by Jakob's younger brother Jack, who looks very much like him. Jack had never wanted to act but did this as a service to his brother, "to keep Pinocchio in the family".[15]
  • Jiminy Cricket appears in this episode, but Raphael Sbarge is not voicing him.
  • While filming the part where Hook jumps on the chair during his song, Colin O'Donoghue fractured his foot during a fall in an effort to save his face and a camera.[16] He then kept filming with a broken foot.[17] This happened on the last day of filming.[18]
  • In the Enchanted Forest flashback, after Hook says, "We've got a date with destiny", Snow White can be seen touching her belly,[19] a subtle nod to the fact that her unborn daughter is Hook's future wife.
    • Also, the way Hook walks through the arch of swords raised by his fellow pirates is very similar to a tradition commonly used in military weddings.
  • A number of different locations were considered for Emma and Hook's wedding, even Granny's Diner. In the end, they settled on a brand new location on top of a roof, with Storybrooke itself as a backdrop.[20]
  • During the filming of "A Happy Beginning", an entire take had to be filmed again due to Lana Parrilla and Rebecca Mader dancing in a risque fashion after thinking they were off camera.[21]
  • During filming, Henry says, "Grandma made a wish, that made everyone sing. So you're always reminded that you are not alone." This line is not in the final episode.[22]

Song Notes

  • At the origin, the episode was supposed to feature seven songs,[23] but one track ended up being split in two songs: "The Queen Sings" and "Love Doesn't Stand a Chance".[24]
  • Songs were recorded in advance, and then played back on set as the actors choreographed.[25]
  • About the songs, Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis say:
    • The inspiration for "A Happy Beginning" is that they wanted the wedding to be about all Storybrooke, and not just Emma and Hook. The song is about "how everyone is facing this together and how this family has come together", so they wanted to "start with [Emma and Hook singing], but then stretch out to everybody because that is the core of the show".[26]
    • "Wicked Always Wins" is "Zelena's moment to shine" as "Rebecca does a phenomenal job with that song". They added, "it's all sort of pertaining to the stuff that is happening".[26]
    • "Powerful Magic" has a "very pilot feel to it in a sense". They explain that Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas "were so excited to do the musical that when you watch them do their duet [...] their enthusiasm is like you can feel it", before adding "it's the Snow and Charming you love the most".[26]
      • In order to calm Goodwin's nerves about singing, the producers allowed her to prerecord her songs in a blacked-out booth so no one could watch her.[27]
    • "Love Doesn't Stand a Chance" is "very much a Regina song" as they "wanted the songs to reflect the people who are singing them". The tone is said to be a "kind of David Bowie meets Rocky Horror".[26]
      • Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner added that the song was also inspired by Blondie.[28]
    • "Emma's Theme" is "a super emotional song that really [...] kind of expresses essence of the character and, in may ways, sums up her journey thus far". They describe Jennifer Morrison as "amazing".[26]
  • "Charmings vs. Evil Queen" has been described as "a grand (and royally entertaining) sing-off".[29]
  • According to Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner:
    • The bird whistling at the beginning of "Powerful Magic" is a homage to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Mary Poppins.[30]
    • Hook's song is inspired by Queen's "Somebody to Love".[31]
    • They jokingly referred to "Wicked Always Wins" as "Total Eclipse of the Witch",[32] as the song is inspired by Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart".
    • When the Evil Queen is taking the song of Snow White and Prince Charming, a minor of "Powerful Magic" can be heard.[33]
    • Adapting the main theme of the show, made by Mark Isham, as the song in Emma's heart was their first idea.[34]
    • The chorus of "A Happy Beginning" is composed of them, their wives and other singers.[35]
    • The wedding song was supposed to be a complete different one, titled "Once Upon a Time". However, they thought it needed to be more romantic and inspiring, so they made "A Happy Beginning" instead of it.[36]
      • A line from this version is: "Every fairy tale has a timeless trend/On the final page there's a happy end...".[37]
    • There was a brief second where they talked about writing a song for Belle, but it never happened.[38]
      • In addition, Emilie de Ravin didn't want to sing in the musical because someone in her life always used to tell her she couldn't sing; therefore, she doesn't like it.[39]
  • According to Lana Parrilla, she couldn't use her own singing voice for the Evil Queen. She had to learn what the Evil Queen's singing voice would sound like.[40]

Event Chronology

Episode Connections


Fairytales and Folklore

Popular Culture

  • When the Older Girl catches Emma singing, she snidely asks if Emma thinks she's going to be the next Madonna.

Props Notes

  • The poster that young Emma is reading says:[51]




  • Happy's dwarf nose and ears were later put up for auction on E-Bay by the charity organization Bullies Keep Out.[53]
  • The floor mirror that the Evil Queen interacts with during her solo number[54] is the mirror that Cora comes out of in "Souls of the Departed".[55] It also happens to be the same mirror that Regina sent her through in "We Are Both".[56]
  • The music box that Zelena conjures has the same green/gold color scheme as the throne room of the Emerald Castle. The lid is emblazoned with a star motif, just like the floor in the throne room.[57]
  • An excerpt from the fairytale of "The Yellow Bird" can be seen in Henry's storybook.[58]
    • The page that falls out of the book says: "Do not despair. Hope is not lost." The Blue Fairy held up her wand as it began to glow brightly with the magic of their song. "You wished she could have a chance at a happy ending. With everyone's song in her heart, she will." Then it dawned on Snow White, realization breaking like the sun through clouds. Emma would never be alone. Not with the voices of the people who loved her in her heart. And with a little hope, their songs would resurface when Emma needed it the most."[59]

Set Dressing

Costume Notes

  • Emma is wearing[61] a Veda Jayne Suede Jacket (no longer available).[62] She wears the same garment during the end sequence[63] of "The Final Battle Part 2" and in the Season Seven episode, "A Pirate's Life".[64]
  • Emma's wedding dress is strongly inspired by the one worn by Grace Kelly during her wedding with Rainier III of Monaco.[65][66] Jennifer Morrison and Colin O'Donoghue both felt that the dress should be something very vintage, so Jennifer and costume designer Eduardo Castro looked at several designs and Jennifer immediately responded to Grace Kelly's wedding dress, which was originally designed by Helen Rose in 1956. Grace Kelly's dress addressed all the concerns that Jennifer had and they decided to replicate it.[20]
    • Jennifer Morrison explained that the dress "represents the elegance and simplicity of classic timeless strength mixed with the delicacy of femininity and vulnerability".[65][66] It is supposed to look classic and a little bit timeless.[20]
    • Originally, the wedding was to be shot outside, therefore considerations of warmth needed to be addressed when the gown was made. The dress is an intricate Alençon lace and ivory peau de soie gown with a matching silk tulle veil, and both were constructed in the Once Upon a Time workrooms over the course of just two weeks. The costume designer's assistant only had a few days to construct the headpiece.[20]
  • The earrings that Emma wears for her wedding[67] are the same earrings that she wore for her first date with Hook in the Season Four episode "The Apprentice".[68]
  • Emma's and Hook's wedding rings were designed by the Vancouver-based jewelry designer Bloodline Design,[69] the same company that designed Hook's pirate necklace.[70]
    • Emma's wedding band was approved by Colin O'Donoghue, because the show creators felt that no one knew the character of Hook better than him. The costume department showed him the wedding band, "And I was like, 'Yeah, that'll do.'"[20]
  • Hook wears a black velvet jacket for the wedding, which was Edward Kitsis' idea.[71] Originally, costume designer Eduardo Castro had an ivory gabardine suit made.[20] At the very last moment, they threw it out and went for a black velvet Burberry jacket instead,[20] as Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz thought that Hook needed to have a tuxedo that reflected his personality and had a little edge to it. The velvet felt like "the Hook-version of fancy".[71] Colin O'Donoghue "wanted everything to feel like one of those old black-and-white musicals", and the wedding outfit is a combination of this idea and the velvet.[66]
  • Regina's wedding outfit[72] is a Ted Baker Color-Blocked Silk-Bodice Dress (no longer available).[73]
  • Zelena's wedding outfit[72] is a Sleeveless Metallic Gown from Aidan Mattox.[77]

Filming Locations

International Titles





  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2
  5. 5.0 5.1
  7. File:620Title.png
  15. Hood, Amy (May 3, 2017). Pinocchios All Around! Brothers Jakob and Jack Davies Sharing the Classic Role for Once!. Once Upon a Fan. Archived from the original on October 13, 2017. Retrieved on August 29, 2018.
  19. File:620HooksFinalChorusBegins.png
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 20.6
  22. File:6x20 - The Song in Your Heart - Featurette
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4
  41. This is proven by the fact that "Heart of Gold" takes place before the birth of Roland, an event that took place after "Lacey". Roland is four years old in the present day events of "Quite a Common Fairy" (minus the 28 years with the Dark Curse), which takes place less than a year after time started moving again in "Pilot" (this is proven in "The Tower", where David states that it's been almost 30 years since Emma was born; since "The Tower" takes place one year after the first half of Season Three (as seen in "Going Home"), this means that less than a year passes between "Pilot" (where Emma turns 28) and the second half of Season Three), meaning that Roland was born a few years before the casting of the Dark Curse.
  42. File:101Pinocchio.PNG
  43. File:620OpeningBox.png
  44. File:104WhatDoYouMean.png
  45. File:405Box.png
  46. File:611EmmaBox.png
  47. File:410Ring.png
  48. File:405Ring.png
  49. File:405Polaroid.png
  50. 50.0 50.1 File:620IWasJust.png
  51. File:620Poster.png
  52. Murray Avenue Elementary School. Retrieved on July 27, 2018.
  54. File:620MirrorMirror.png
  55. File:512ThroughTheLookingGlass.png
  56. File:202Push.PNG
  57. Music box:
    Emerald Castle:
  58. File:620LookingAtStorybook.png
  59. File:620NewPage.png
  60. File:620EnactMyCurse.png
  61. File:620BeBrave.png
  63. File:622SendingHenryOffToSchool.png
  64. File:702LeavingForStorybrooke.png
  65. 65.0 65.1
  66. 66.0 66.1 66.2
  67. File:620Kissing.png
  68. File:404Kiss2.png
  71. 71.0 71.1
  72. 72.0 72.1 72.2 72.3 File:620WeCanFall.png
  78. 78.0 78.1 File:620EvenBetter.png
  79. File:620AHappyBeginning.png
  80. File:622Promo26.jpg

Start a Discussion Discussions about The Song in Your Heart

  • "The Song in Your Heart" Episode Discussion and Thoughts

    69 messages
    • Killian Jones wrote:Blue said everyone will forget about the songs so that they would be safely kept within Emma's heart CoolDudeAl wro...
    • I'm not sure what happened... when I watch that episode my voice automatically started vocaling the music from Halo: Combat Evolved... ...
  • Musical episode is happening! Will air in Spring!

    114 messages
    • The Black Fairy is shown to not be MIA for the episode from featurettes they have posted. I would have wished for Rumple to kill her in her ti...
    • wrote: The Black Fairy is shown to not be MIA for the episode from featurettes they have posted. I would have wished for Rumple...