You know when you get a song stuck in your head? Or maybe you don’t know the whole song, so just one line repeats itself over and over in your head? That happened for me last week with the song, “I think I’m gonna like it here,” from the 1982 movie musical, Annie. It’s the song that the house staff sing with Annie when she first arrives at Daddy Warbucks’ mansion on some sort of orphan loaner program.
The line that kept going through my head was the one that the two old men say when they turn to each other and energetically shout, “WE’VE NEVER HAD A LITTLE GIRL WE’VE NEVER HAD A LITTLE GIRL!” Over and over in my head. “WE’VE NEVER HAD A LITTLE GIRL WE’VE NEVER HAD A LITTLE GIRL!”
It’s a wonder I can butter bread some days.
So I decided to go back and watch the song on ye olde Youtube, and — as with most of my favorite things from when I was a kid — I discovered a lot to be concerned about when re-watching this song as an adult.
Here’s the song from the movie:
And here are the lyrics. Let’s go through it together.
GRACE: Cecille will pick out all your clothes.
That’s some bullshit. I haven’t been able to pick out clothes for my daughter since she was 18 months old. I can’t even get her to wear a coat in the snow.
CECILLE: Blue is her best color, no red I think.
How about saying something like, “Hey Annie, welcome to our home. What’s your favorite color?” You know, to be welcoming and all.
GRACE: Your bath is drawn by Mrs. Greer.
GREER: Soap…no, bubbles, I think.
What the hell, Greer? Well Annie, looks like you found the captain of the S.S. Fun Police.
GRACE: Annette comes in to make your bed.
ANNETTE: The silk, no the satin sheets, I think.
Of course it’s satin. Only a fool would put a small child in the silk sheets. Come on Annette, get your head out of your ass.
ANNIE: I think I’m gonna like it here!
Yeah, no duh kiddo. By the way, how many people work in this house? Why so much sweeping, dusting, and polishing? And why all in one room? Spread out, folks! You’re never going to have time to cut Annie’s meat if you don’t split up and get your work done.
GRACE: The swimming pool is down the stairs.
I think the chance that Annie knows how to swim is slim to none. You’re gonna want to head to the nearest Babies R’ Us and pick up some floaties, Grace.
ANNIE: Inside the house? Oh boy!
Stay away from the pool, Annie.
GRACE: The tennis court is in the rear.
Ha. “In the rear.”
ANNIE: I never even picked up a racket.
Do you see the horror on Grace’s face?! HORROR. She’s seen the alcoholic-driven work camp this kid comes from, and she’s shocked by no tennis?
GRACE: Have an instructor here at noon. Oh, and get that Don Budge fellow if he’s available.
Fact: Don Budge was a real tennis player, and the first American to win all four titles of the Grand Slam in a single year. So there you go. A little known fact for your next game of Trivial Pursuit.
ANNIE: I think I’m gonna like it here.
MRS. PUGH: When you wake Ring for Drake, Drake will bring your tray
DRAKE: When you’re through Mrs. Pugh comes and takes it away.
Drake of Warbucks Manor is SO the Mr. Carson of Downton Abby. Am I right? Come on. Those two could sit in a room together and shake their heads in distaste for hours.
Then we have Annie slipping and sliding down this menacingly over-polished floor in her shoes, which is not easy to do. They’re going to need to put down a layer of kitty litter if they don’t want a lawsuit.
GRACE AND SERVANTS: No need to pick up any toys.
ANNIE: That’s okay, I haven’t got any anyway!
No reaction to this. Nothing. Not one person stops and says, “You don’t have a single toy? Holy hell! You poor little girl!” Is there a plan to get her any? This might be a good time to bring that up. But nope, Grace doesn’t even raise an eyebrow — I mean, it’s not like Annie said she’s never played tennis before or something.
GRACE: No finger will you lift my dear.
Excellent standards you’re setting for her. Best of luck when she turns fifteen.
ALL: We have but one request, please put us to the test!
Yes. That’s the first desire of any household servant who is suddenly taking care of an eleven-year-old. I wonder if maybe there wasn’t just a little bit of sarcasm there. As in, “No really, Annie. Test us. Please. That’d be just super.”
ANNIE: I know I’m gonna like it here.
So, why does it take seven women to make her bed including a supervisor? Is this some kind of remedial housekeeping program? I think I’m beginning to understand why these folks do everything in groups.
ANNIE: Used to room in a tomb, where I’d sit and freeze.
Get me now, holy cow!
Could someone pinch me please?
Good lord, can someone please give this kid a hug?! All the grinning and giggling is great and all, but for crying out loud…
GRACE: We’ve never had a little girl
ALL: We’ve never had a little girl
There they are! My guys. You are in my head always, boys.
ANNIE: I’m very very very glad to volunteer
GRACE: I’m glad she’s glad to volunteer
Did you catch the eyes on Grace there? Now THAT, my friends, is sarcasm.
GRACE AND SERVANTS: We hope you understand, your wish is our command!
ANNIE: I know I’m gonna like it here
SERVANTS AND GRACE: We know you’re gonna like It here
Well, I think after that song it is safe to assume that this living arrangement is going to be a disaster. And don’t forget that scene at the end of the movie where she’s being chased and ends up hanging off a bridge. So what Daddy Warbucks is going to end up with here is a former orphan with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder who won’t go over bridges.
Good luck with that.