Setting Introduction Song

The song usually near the beginning of a musical that describes the main locale of the work. If the song doesn't occur near the beginning of the show, it'll most likely be when a a new setting is introduced or when a character is introduced to a new place. The song's purpose is to describe and introduce the setting to the viewer, if it occurs a long time after the start of the story, or a long time after the setting has already been established, then the song isn't this trope. "Under The Sea" from The Little Mermaid and "Oklahoma" from the musical Oklahoma! are songs about how great those places are. The song may overlap with a Welcoming Song.


  • Spamalot opens with a big song about Finland, where none of the action in the show takes place.
  • In the concert version of Chess, the second song of Act I is "Merano", which describes Merano, Italy. In Act II, the first song is "One Night in Bangkok", which describes Bangkok, Thailand.
  • In Carmen, in Act I, "Sur la place" is the soldiers singing about watching the people of Seville; and in Act III, "Écoute, Écoute, compagnons" is the smugglers singing about the mountains.
  • Little Shop of Horrors has its first two songs be setting intro songs. The song "Little Shop of Horrors" is a upbeat song performed by the Greek Chorus; it forewarns of the evils that await inside of Mushnik's flower shop. Then "(Downtown) Skid Row" is a depressing Crowd Song sung by the denizens of Skid Row deploring their lives. It gives a good amount of backstory to Seymour and Audrey's lives.
  • The second song in The Music Man is "Iowa Stubborn", which introduces the audience to the small town of River City, Iowa and the attitude of its citizens.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street starts its main action with "There's No Place Like London", which contrasts both the idealistic Anthony's and the cynical Sweeney's views of the title city.
  • In Wonderful Town, the first song is "Christopher Street", which describes the street in Greenwich Village.
  • The lyrical version of "The Coney Island Waltz" in Love Never Dies describes Coney Island.
  • It happens about halfway through the first act, but Another Hundred People from Company otherwise fits, as it describes the city of New York and the busy lives of the people in it.
  • In Shrek The Musical, "Big Bright Beautiful World" introduces Shrek and Fiona (and their parents), and explains the role of an Ogre in this fairy-tale world.

Animated Films
  • Disney's Aladdin and its first sequel, The Return of Jafar, open with "Arabian Nights". Aladdin and the King of Thieves starts with its own intro song, "There's a Party Down in Agrabah", which describes the preparations and emotions leading up to Aladdin and Jasmine's wedding.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame opens with "The Bells of Notre Dame", which does double-duty both as a introduction to the setting of the movie, but also as an introduction to the movie's main characters, particularly its villain.
  • Oliver & Company opens with "Once Upon a Time in New York City".
  • Beauty and the Beast begins with Belle singing about what a small, provincial town she lives in and how it hasn't changed in all the time she's lived there and the townsfolk singing about how unusual Belle is. All this is interspersed with the bustle of townsfolk in the outdoor marketplace.
  • "Mountain Town" in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, describing the whitebread Colorado town in which the boys live. Reprised at the end of the movie by the whole town.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas starts with "This is Halloween".

Live-Action Television
  • The first full song in "My Musical", the Musical Episode of Scrubs, is a song that describes Sacred Heart hospital and welcomes the patient inside to be treated.
  • The Doctor Who story "The Gunfighters" has a song called "Ballad of the Last Chance Saloon" that functions as a Greek Chorus. The version performed diagetically by the characters is this, as well as the non-diagetic version performed when we first arrive in Tombstone.


  • Queen of the Wave opens with "Queenswave", which establishes the setting in time: the Golden Age "before the ocean won". The first song of act 2, "Temple of Unfed Fire", establishes the place, by describing Atlantis and its technological wonders.
  • The Overture of the Wintersmith Concept Album by Steeleye Span begins "Through the dark the turtle comes/Drifting past a thousand suns/Under the weight of Discworld". The full version of the A'Tuin song, "Ancient Eyes", comes near the end for some reason.