Did ‘Hocus Pocus’ Steal Iconic Song From Edgar Allan Poe?

in Entertainment, Movies

Hocus Pocus (L-R) Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler, and Sarah Jessica Parker

Credit: Disney

If you have ever seen Kenny Ortega’s iconic Halloween movie Hocus Pocus, there may be a specific song that gets stuck in your head even after the movie finishes.

Hocus pocus
Credit: Disney

When Winifred Sanderson, along with sisters Mary and Sarah, need to bring all of the children back to their home to suck the life from them, sister Sarah uses an enchantment spell through a song. The song is titled “Come Little Children” and has an incredibly eerie feel to it. Actress Sarah Jessica Parker did a fantastic job with it, using a soft tone throughout, which felt more menacing than anything intense. The song truly works as a terrifying lullaby. But was it stolen?

Hocus Pocus
Credit: Disney

Recently, fans have theorized that the song sung by Sarah Sanderson was actually derived and stolen from Edgar Allan Poe. The song was created by James Horner with lyrics by Brock Walsh but had a similar feeling to a particular Poe poem. Poe has an alleged poem titled “Come Little Children”; however, it is unpublished and has never proven to be true. It was said that the Hocus Pocus song had an extended version of the song, which matched Poe’s poem.

The Hocus Pocus version we know and love reads:

Come little children, I’ll take thee away,
Into a land of enchantment.

Come little children, the time’s come to play,
Here in my garden of magic.

Hocus Pocus
Credit: Disney

Related: ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ Coming to Disney+ Fall 2022

The alleged Edgar Allan Poe version: (Also known as “Garden of Shadows”)

Come little children, I’ll take thee away,
Into a land of enchantment.
Come little children, The time’s come to play,
Here in my garden of shadows.

Follow sweet children, I’ll show thee the way,
Through all the pain and the sorrows.
Weep not poor children, For life is this way,
Murdering beauty and passions.

Hush now dear children, It must be this way,
To weary of life and deceptions.
Rest now my children, For soon we’ll away,
Into the calm and the quiet.

Come little children, I’ll take thee away,
Into a land of enchantment.
Come little children, The time’s come to play,

Here in my garden of shadows.

hocus pocus
Credit: Variety

The extended version of the Hocus Pocus song that many fans have claimed true is:

Come little children, I’ll take thee away,
Into a land of enchantment.
Come little children, the time’s come to play,
Here in my garden of magic.

Come little children, the time’s drawing near,
Halloween night is waning.
Come little children, ride with me tonight,
It’s not a night for abstaining.

Come little children, now follow me home,
Not a one of you need worry.
Come little children, the time’s come to roam,
Come follow me now please hurry.

Come little children, there’s magic to see,
Here in my garden of mystery.
Come little children, in to my abode,
Tomorrow you all will be history.

hocus pocus 2
Credit: Disney

The issue here is that we have no proof of Poe writing his poem, as it has just been theorized at this point. At the moment, there is no confirmed author of the poem, which does give it a little more of a spooky feel to it. Plus, Poe’s poetic style is quite different from what was written above, which makes it even more unlikely that the author wrote it.

Interestingly enough, William Butler Yeats wrote a poem titled “The Stolen Child,” which has more of a connection to the song but still differs significantly.

With Hocus Pocus 2 coming out next year, it will be interesting to see if the iconic song returns!

What do you think about this theory? Let us know in the comments below.

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