Follow TV Tropes


Gift of Song

Go To

I know it's not much, but it's the best I can do
My gift is my song, and this one's for you

When a gift is given, it's personal, and few things are as personal and meaningful as pouring heart and soul into writing and/or performing a song; every lyric crafted with the recipient in mind, and a melody composed to fit their musical tastes. Perhaps the giver knows of a song the recipient likes or will like, and decides to perform it as a present. If it's a gift to a romantic interest, it could be a sensual serenade or part of a Mixtape of Love.

However, it could also be something unwanted, especially if the recipient is only focused on material possessions and and does not appreciate the thought behind it. Inversely, it could also be a quick, lazy gift from the giver, or a massive ego trip of the giver "blessing others with the gift of their voice."

It is important to note that this is not just someone singing to a person they like, but when a song's status is elevated to fill the role of a gift, possibly replacing material presents.

Not to be confused with someone who is a gifted singer or has The Gift of musical talent. Can overlap with This Is Your Song.


    open/close all folders 

    Films — Animation 
  • Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas: The villainous Maestro Forte writes a song for the castle's visitor, Belle, as a Christmas present. A flashback shows that he also composed a piece for the then-human Beast as a gift as well, but the Prince, being a Royal Brat, was unimpressed.
  • In Coco, Héctor has a particular dislike for Ernesto de la Cruz's "Remember Me", a cheesy and bombastic love ballad. This is because Héctor is one who wrote it, not as a love song, but as a gift for his daughter Coco to remember him by until he came home from going on tour.
  • In Coraline, the Other Father and his incredible piano give Coraline her very own song upon her arrival in the Other World ("Makin' up a song about Coraline! / She's a peach, she's a doll, she's a pal of mine!") to prove how much better it is compared to her own reality. In a bit of Fridge Brilliance, the song also contains subtle clues about the danger Coraline is in and how the Other Mother isn't nearly as kindly as she appears...

    Films — Live-Action 

  • In Boy Meets Boy, Zeke writes a song just for Noah based on Paul's feelings for him, then takes their entire friend group and dance-planning committee down to Noah's house to serenade him with it while Paul stands at his side.
  • In Girls Kingdom, when Mihaya gets her first paycheck she gifts her mistress, Sumire, a song, as well as a CD with her singing on it. This isn't much of a surprise as she has a Beautiful Singing Voice and Sumire loves her singing.
  • The Inheritance Cycle: The elves celebrate the "Blood-Oath Celebration", a massive party dedicated to honor the bonding of elves and dragons together, every 100 years, and it is by far their most important celebration. Each attendant is highly encouraged to present some sort of offering (usually a craft of some kind) that is deeply personal. Eragon, Arya, and Islanzadi all present songs as their gifts to the celebration.
  • Spellsinger: At the end of the second book, The Hour of the Gate, Jon-Tom Meriweather gives Pog the bat a gift out of gratitude: a spellsong to transform Pog into a falcon, so Pog can be with his lady-love. Like many of Jon-Tom's spellsongs, the transformation doesn't work out quite the way he intended, but Pog appreciates the result anyway.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One episode of The Big Bang Theory has Howard writing a song for his future wife Bernadette as a present for the anniversary of their first date. He recruits the rest of the friends to accompany him on various instruments, but trouble arises when Bernadette, a microbiologist, ends up stuck in quarantine due to potential exposure to a virus. Howard then rallies the group to perform the song outside of Bernadette's hospital room instead, and she's moved to tears by the gesture.
  • Cheers: In the episode "Gift of the Woodi", Woody is too poor to give his rich girlfriend Kelly a present, so he writes her a song instead. Kelly loves it, but has trouble understanding that the song is her present.
  • In the Friends episode "The One With the Cake", Phoebe writes a song for Emma's first birthday. Joey, who hadn't realised he was expected to get a gift, since it's not like Emma knows what's going on, piggybacks on this idea by sayng his gift is a "dramatic reading" from one of Emma's books. Ironically, while everyone loves the reading, the song is less successful, due to Phoebe's Dreadful Musician status.
  • The Goldbergs: In the episode "Hanukkah On the Seas", Geoff's sister Joanne announces her plans to drop out of college and become a singer, and punctuates this point by performing Elton John's "Your Song" — badly — for her parents as her Hanukkah present.
  • The episode of I Love Lucy titled "Lucy's Last Birthday" has Ricky sing Lucy a song he wrote for her birthday after she thinks everyone forgot her birthday. This was the only time in the series where the lyrics to the theme music are heard.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022): In "Like Angels Put in Hell by God", Lestat de Lioncourt pens the love song "Come to Me" (in Real Life, it was composed by Daniel Hart and sung by Sam Reid) as an Apology Gift to his boyfriend Louis de Pointe du Lac after the former's horrific Domestic Abuse of the latter, which left Louis almost dead from Lestat's pummeling. Lestat arranges for the phonograph record to be delivered to Louis on Valentine's Day with the message "For Louis, My Muse!"
  • In an episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Kimmy's roommate Titus has promised to write and perform a song for her birthday but forgets to do it. When she attempts to collect, he remembers just in time that she has little or no knowledge of the past 15 years of pop culture due to having been a Bunker Woman and sings her "Firework" by Katy Perry, passing it off as his own composition. She's enchanted.
  • Victorious:
    • "The Birthweek Song" is about Tori composing and singing a song for Trina's "birthweek". It backfires, however, as Trina doesn't find a song to be an acceptable present, and ends up selling Tori's song to a record label in the hopes of getting an "actual" present out of it.
    • In "A Christmas Tori", Tori is trying to find the best Secret Santa gift for Andre. Eventually, Jade gives her the idea to turn his D-grade Christmas Song into an actual song, performed in the middle of the school, to convince his professor to bump up the grade.
    • Andre's song "Song 2 You" is about giving someone the gift of a song, in place of expensive material possessions.

  • Elton John's "Your Song" describes how the singer wrote the song to confess their love, and that the song is a humble "gift" to the recipient.
  • In the classic Christmas Song "The Little Drummer Boy", the drummer boy is visiting the newborn Jesus but has no gifts "fit to give a king". Instead, he decides to play his drum, pleasing the baby.

    Video Games 
  • Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica: The main character writes a song as a gift for one of the heroines in her ending, using the language that only the heroine's race sings out of. This is especially impactful as he is the only human to ever attempt to do so in the whole series.
  • Cyberpunk 2077: If the player chooses to romance Kerry Eurodyne, he will write the player character, V, a song of dedication to be given as a gift. While a performance is never experienced, the lyrics can be found on Kerry's computer.

    Western Animation 
  • Justice League: The song J'onn sings at the end of "Comfort and Joy" doesn't seem to be deliberately intended as such, but Clark describes it that way as he and his adoptive parents listen:
    Clark: And he said he didn't bring a gift....
  • The Little Drummer Boy: Like the song the special was adapted from, the titular Little Drummer Boy Aaron gifts the newborn Jesus Christ by playing his drum.
  • Maggie and the Ferocious Beast: In the episode "Maggie's Song," Beast, Hamilton, Rudy, and B.B. write a song of appreciation for Maggie as a gift while she is away.
  • Mickey Mouse: In the episode appropriately titled "The Birthday Song", Minnie writes a special song for Mickey as a birthday present, and the episode follows her misadventures attempting to perfect it before performing it for him.
  • Molly of Denali: In "A Song For Lola," after hearing about how Molly gifted a song to Auntie Merna, Vera wants to write a song for her lola Miranda. She thinks that it should be serious at first, but she learns that gifted songs can express all kinds of emotions. In the end, the gifted song tells Miranda's life story.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • In the Christmas Episode, "The Best Gift Ever", this is Spike's gift to Rarity after he stresses through the special what to give her for Hearth's Warming Eve.
    • In "The Perfect Pear", Pear Butter performs a song ("You're in My Head Like a Catchy Song") for her boyfriend, Bright Mac, as an gift for the anniversary for when they first met.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • In the episode "Mom's Birthday", Candace writes the song "I Love You Mom" for her mother's birthday, and Phineas, Ferb, and the Fireside Girls help her perform it for her. Translated to Real Life when Olivia Olson, the voice of Vanessa Doofenshmirtz, performed the demo version of the song for series creator/voice of Dr. Doofenshmirtz Dan Povenmire's fiftieth birthday.
    • Played with in the episode "Dude, We're Getting the Band Back Together", where Phineas, Ferb, and Candace get the rock band Love Händel back together to perform as a gift for their parents' anniversary, recreating the scenario that lead to their first kiss.
  • The Simpsons: In the episode "Stark Raving Dad", to make up for forgetting Lisa's birthday, Bart performs an original song with help from a stranger who calls himself Michael Jackson. He reflexively starts out with insults when composing it, but "Michael" convinces him to make it a heartfelt birthday wish instead.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In the episode "Single-Cell Anniversary", SpongeBob helps Plankton write a song as an anniversary gift to Karen, which takes the form of a mariachi-type serenade.

    Real Life 
  • John Legend wrote the song "All of Me" as a wedding present for his soon-to-be wife Chrissy Teigen.
  • Lionel Richie wrote the song "Three Times A Lady" as a gift for his parents' 37th wedding anniversary.
  • Natasha Bedingfield's song "Unwritten" was created as a birthday present for her brother who was turning 14 at the time.
  • Websites such as Songfinch, Bring My Song To Life, and tuneriver allow anyone to personalize a song with custom lyrics, instruments, and vocals to be sent as a gift to loved ones.
  • Elvis Presley wrote the song "It's All Right" for his mother Gladys for her birthday.


Happy Birthday Mickey

Minnie performs her special birthday song for Mickey.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / HappyBirthdayToYou

Media sources: