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Topsy Turvy (song) facts for kids

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"Topsy Turvy"
Song by Paul Kandel
from the album The Hunchback of Notre Dame: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack
Length 5:37
Label Walt Disney
Producer(s) Alan Menken
Stephen Schwartz

"Topsy Turvy" is a song from Disney's 1996 animated feature The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The song is 5:37 minutes long and is performed by Clopin.


The song is sung by the film's gypsy narrator Clopin. It is performed as he introduces the Feast of Fools, and continues up until they crown Quasimodo as the King of Fools.

Christian Answers recounts the scene thus: "During the celebration, he is crowned “King of the Fools” and finds himself falling instantly in love with the Gypsy dancer Esmeralda. Joy turns quickly to sorrow as the crowd cruelly mocks and rejects him for his misshapen appearance, failing to see the charm which lies below his odd looks."

Composition and context

The Hunchblog writes "'Topsy Turvy' follows in the path of the big show stopping music numbers of Disney. Other songs like this included (but not limited to) 'Under the Sea' (The Little Mermaid), 'Be Our Guest' (Beauty and the Beast) and 'A Friend Like Me' (Aladdin). Unlike these, 'Topsy Turvy' is not a show stopper, it doesn’t stop the movie for the sake of a spectacle, but instead 'Topsy Turvy' propels the plot forward." The site adds "This visually also give Quasimodo something to react to and since he is seeing all this craziness for the first time, Quasimodo acts as the audience in this song. There is a cast of thousand." There are some lyrical references to Victor Hugo's novel. For example, Clopin mentions the date a being January 6, which is the day the Feast of Fools took place on. Also, Esmeralda is referenced to with the article “La”, which is often done in the novel. When Clopin sings the line “shock the priest”, he is holding a Frollo puppet, which is a subtle reference to the fact that Frollo was intended to be a priest.

This song and "A Guy Like You" use "the Broadway line-dancing technique of stopping the song and then progressing its bloated performance from a standstill to proper tempo."

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