Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (musical)

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Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a musical by Stephen Sondheim about an English barber named Sweeney Todd who kills his customers and gives their bodies to his partner, Mrs. Lovett, who then bakes them into meat pies. It has been subject to many film adaptions, most recent in 2007 directed by Tim Burton starring Johnny Depp.

Musical Lyrics

  • Swing your razor wide, Sweeney!
    Hold it to the skies!
    Freely flows the blood of those
    Who moralize!
    • Ensemble (The Ballad of Sweeney Todd)

  • There was a barber and his wife
    And she was beautiful
    A foolish barber and his wife
    She was his reason and his life
    And she was beautiful
    And she was virtuous
    And he was... naïve

Mrs. Lovett: Seems a downright shame
Mr. Todd: Shame?
Mrs. Lovett: Seems an awful waste; such a nice plump frame whats-his-name has... had... has, nor it can't be traced. Business needs a lift, debts to be erased, think of it as thrift, as a gift, if you get my drift. Seems an awful waste. I mean, with the price of meat what it is when you get it, if you get it...
Mr. Todd: Ahhh!
Mrs. Lovett: Good, you got it! Take for instance Mrs. Mooney and her pie shop. Business never better using only pussy cats and toast. Now a pussy's good for maybe 6 or 7 at the most, and I'm sure they can't compare as far as taste!
Mr. Todd: Mrs. Lovett, what a charming notion! Eminently practical and yet...
Mrs. Lovett: Well, it does seem a waste.
Mr. Todd: ...appropriate as always. Mrs. Lovett, how I did without you all these years I'll never know. How delectable, also undetectable, how choice, how rare
Mrs. Lovett: Think about it. Lots of other gentleman will soon be coming for a shave, won't they? Think of all them pies!
Mr. Todd: For what's the sound of the world out there?
Mrs. Lovett: What, Mr. Todd? What, Mr. Todd? What is that sound?
Mr. Todd: Those crunching noises pervading the air!
Mrs. Lovett: Yes, Mr. Todd, yes, Mr. Todd, yes, all around!
Mr. Todd: It's man devouring man, my dear!
Both: And who are we to deny it in here?
Mr. Todd: These are desperate times Mrs. Lovett, and desperate measures are called for.
Mrs. Lovett: Here we are hot out of the oven!
Mr. Todd: What is that?
Mrs. Lovett: It's Priest. Have a little Priest .
Mr. Todd: Is it really good?
Mrs. Lovett: Sir, it's too good, at least. Then again, they don't commit sins of the flesh, so it's pretty fresh.
Mr. Todd: Awful lot of fat.
Mrs. Lovett: Only where it sat.
Mr. Todd: Haven't you got Poet, or something like that?
Mrs. Lovett: No, you see the trouble with Poet is how do you know it's deceased? Try the Priest. Lawyer's rather nice.
Mr. Todd: If it's for a price.
Mrs. Lovett: Order something else, though, to follow, since no one should swallow it twice.
Mr. Todd: Anything that's lean?
Mrs. Lovett: Well then if you're British and loyal, you might enjoy Royal Marine. Anyway it's clean, though of course it tastes of wherever it's been!
Mr. Todd: Is that Squire on the fire?
Mrs. Lovett: Mercy no, sir! Look closer, you'll notice it's Grocer.
Mr. Todd: Much thicker, more like Vicar.
Mrs. Lovett: No, it has to be Grocer; it's green!
Mr. Todd: The history of the world, my love,
Mrs. Lovett: Save a lot of graves; do a lot of relatives favours.
Mr. Todd: Is those below serving those up above.
Mrs. Lovett: Everybody shaves, so there should be plenty of flavours.
Mr. Todd: How gratifying for once to know
Both: That those above will serve those down below.
Mr. Todd: What is that?
Mrs. Lovett: It's Fop, finest in the shop. Or we have some Shepherd's pie peppered with actual Shepherd on top. And I've just begun. Here's the Politician so oily it's served with a doily, have one!
Mr. Todd: Put it on a bun, but you never know if it's going to run.
Mrs. Lovett: Try the Friar; fried it's drier.
Mr. Todd: No, the clergy is really too coarse and too mealy.
Mrs. Lovett: Then Actor; it's compacter.
Mr. Todd: Ah, but always arrives overdone! I'll come again when you have JUDGE on the menu.
Mr. Todd: Have charity towards the world, my pet.
Mrs. Lovett: Yes, yes, I know, my love.
Mr. Todd: We'll take the customers that we can get
Mrs. Lovett: High born and low, my love.
Mr. Todd & Both: We'll not discriminate great from small, no we'll serve anyone, meaning anyone, and to anyone at all!

Mrs. Lovett: We've got tinker...
Todd: No, no, something pinker.
Mrs. Lovett: Tailor?
Todd: Paler.
Mrs. Lovett: Butler?
Todd: Subtler.
Mrs. Lovett: Potter?
Todd: Hotter.
Mrs. Lovett: Locksmith?

(A Little Priest)

Tobias: Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, please, are your nostrils a-quiver and tingling as well, at that delicate, luscious ambrosial smell,
Yes they are, I can tell!
Well, ladies and gentlemen, that aroma enriching the breeze
Is like nothing compared to its succulent source, as the gourmets among you will tell you, of course!
Well Ladies and gentlemen you can't imagine the rapture in store
Just inside of this door!"
Tobias: There you'll sample Mrs. Lovett's meat pies, savoury and sweet pies as you'll see. You who eat pies, Mrs. Lovett's meat pies conjure up the treat pies used to be.
Man: Over here, boy, how about some ale?
Men: Let me have another, laddie!
Women: Tell me, are they flavorsome? They are
Tobias: Right away
Women: Could we have some service over here, boy?
Men: Could we have some service, waiter?
Women: God that's good!
Man: What about that pie, boy?
Women: Tell me, are they tender?
Tobias: Thruppence
Men: Yes, what about the pie, boy?
Women: Thruppence for a meat pie?
Men: Where's the ale I asked you for boy?
Tobias: Ladies and gentlemen!
Mrs. Lovett: Toby!
Tobias: Coming! Excuse me.
Mrs. Lovett: Ale there!
Tobias: Right, Ma'am!
Mrs. Lovett: Quick now!
Company: God, that's good!
Mrs. Lovett: Nice to see you deary, how have you been keeping, cor me bones is weary, Toby, one for the gentleman, hear the birdies cheeping, helps to keep it cheery, Toby, THROW THE OLD WOMAN OUT!
Company: God, that's good!
Mrs. Lovett: What's my secret, frankly dear forgive my candor, family secret all to do with herbs, things like being careful with your coriander, that's what makes the graver grander.
Company: More hot pies! More hot! More pies!
Company: More hot pies! More hot! More pies! More! Hot! Pies!
Both: Eat them slow and feel the crust how thin I rolled it, eat them slow cause every one's a prize, eat them slow and that's the lot and now we've sold it, come again tomorrow
Mrs. Lovett: Hold it!
Company: More hot pies!
Mrs. Lovett: Bless my eyes!
Todd: Right this way, sir.
Mrs. Lovett: Fresh supplies...
Mrs. Lovett: How about it, dearie? Be here in a twinkling. Just confirms my theory. Toby, God watches over us. Didn't have an inkling? Positively eerie.
Tobias: Is that a pie fit for a king a wonderous sweet and most delectable thing? You see, Mum, why, there is no meat pie---
Company: God, that's good! That is de-, have you -licious, ever tasted, smell such, Oh my God, what perfect, more, that's pies, such flavor God, that's good!

(God, that's Good!)

Mrs Lovett: A Customer!
Wait! What's your rush where's your hurry,
You gave me such a fright, I thought you was a ghost, half a minute,
Can't you sit, sit you down, SIT,
All I meant is that I haven't seen a customer for weeks,
Did you come here for a pie sir,
Do forgive me if me heads a little vague (what is that?)
But you'd think we had the plague, from the way that people keep avoiding (no you don't!)
Heaven knows I try sir, but there's no one comes in even to inhale, right you are sir would you like a drop of ale
Mind you I can hardly blame them, these are probably the worst pies in London
I know why nobody cares to take 'em, I should know, I make 'em, but good? No! The worst pies in London.
Even that's polite, the worst pies in London, if you doubt it take a bite!
Is that just disgusting? You have to concede it, it's nothing but crusting, here drink this, you'll need it, the worst pies in London
And no wonder with the price of meat what it is when you get it, never thought I'd live to see the day, many'd think it was a treat
Finding poor animals what are dying in the street
Mrs. Mooney has a pie shop, does her business but I notice something weird!
Lately all her neighbors' cats have disappeared
Have to hand it to her, wot I calls enterprise, popping pussies into pies!
Wouldn't do in my shop, just the thought of it's enough to make you sick,
and I'm telling ya them pussy cats is quick,
No denying times is hard, sir, even harder than the worst pies in London,
Only lard and nothing more
Is that just revolting? All greasy and gritty
It looks like it's molting, and tastes like...
Well, pity a woman alone, with limited wind, and the worst pies in London.
Ah Sir, times is hard, times is hard.
'Mrs. Lovett: Ah, dearie, it's gonna take a lot more than that ale to wash the taste out. Come, we'll get you a cup o' gin.

Tobias: Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please,
Do you wake every morning with shame and despair, to discover your pillow is covered with hair, what ought not to be there,
Well Ladies and Gentlemen, from now on you can waken at ease,
You need never again have a worry or care, I will show you a miracle marvelous rare,
Gentleman you are about to see something what rose from the dead... On the top of my head.
Scarcely a month ago, gentlemen, I was suddenly struck with a horrible dermatologic disease.
Though the finest physicians in London were called I awakened one morning amazed and appalled to discover with dread that my 'ead was as bald as a novice's knees.
I was dying of shame, till a gentleman came
An illustrious barber, Pirelli by name
He give me a liquid as precious as gold
I rubbed it in daily like wot I was told
And behold!
Only thirty days old!
Tobias: Twas Pirelli's Miracle Elixir, that's what did the trick Sir, true Sir true,
Was it quick Sir, did it in a tick Sir, just like an Elixir ought to do.
How 'bout a bottle Mister, only costs a penny guaranteed.
First Man: Penny buys a bottle, I don't know...
Tobias: Go ahead and tug, sir.
Second Man: You don't need---
Tobias: Go ahead, sir, harder...
First Man: Ah, let's go.
Tobias: Does Pirelli's stimulate the growth Sir, you can have my oath Sir 'tis unique,
Rub a minute, stimulating in' it, soon you'll have to thin it once a week. Penny buys a bottle, guaranteed.
First Man: Penny buys a bottle, might as well...
Tobias: How about a sample?
Third Man: Wotcher think?
Second Woman: Go ahead and try it, wot the hell...
Tobias: Have you ever smelled a cleaner smell?
First Woman: Isn't it a crime they let these urchins clog the pavement?
Fourth Man: Penny buys a bottle, does it?
Tobias: That's enough, sir, ample
Gently dab it, gets to be a habit
Soon there'll be enough, sir Somebody can grab it
See this chap hair like Shelley's?
You can tell he's used Pirelli's
First Man: Let me have that bottle
Second Man: Make that two!
Todd: Pardon me Ma'am what's that awful stench,
Must be standing near an open trench
Mrs. Lovett: Are we standing near an open trench,
Pardon me Sir what's that awful stench
First Woman: Then again I could get some for Harry.
Second Man: How about a beer?
Second Woman: Nothing works on Harry, dear.
Bye, bye.
First Man: You know a pub?
Third Woman: I'm just passing by.
First Man: There's one close by.
Third Man: Pass it by.
Tobias: Buy Pirelli's Miracle Elixir, anything what's slick sir, soon sprouts curls,
try Pirelli's, when they see how thick Sir, you can have your pick sir of the girls.
Tobias: Wanna buy a bottle, Mister?
Todd: What is this?
First Man: Propagates the hair, sir.
Mrs. Lovett: What is this?
Fourth Man: I'll take one!
Tobias: Penny for a bottle...
Todd: Smells like piss
Third Man: What was that?
Tobias: Have you ever smelled a cleaner smell?
Mrs. Lovett: Smells like...Ugh.
Second Man: He says it smells like piss.
Fifth Man & Second Woman: Says it smells like piss or something.
Todd: Looks like piss
Mrs. Lovett: Wouldn't touch it if I was you dear
Tobias: How about a sample?
Second Man: Wotcher think?
Todd: This is piss, piss with ink
Tobias: How about a sample, mister?
Men & Women: Let me smell that bottle
I don't want no ink piss!
What is this?
Mrs. Lovett: What does that smell like to you, sir?
Tobias: Never mind that madman, mister.
Women: Gives back our money!
Men: What does that smell like to you, ma'am?
Mrs. Lovett: Give 'em back their money!
Tobias: Never mind the madman!
Todd: Where is this Pirelli?
Crowd: Yeah, where is this Pirelli?
Tobias: Let Pirelli's activate your roots Sir
Todd: Keep it off your boots, Sir, eats right through
Crowd: Go and get Pirelli!
Tobias: Yes get Pirelli's, use a bottle of it, Ladies seem to love it
Mrs. Lovett: Flies do too.
Crowd: Hand the bloody money over! Hand the bloody money over!
Tobias: See Pirelli's Miracle Elixir grow a little wick, sir Then some fuzz
The Pirelli's soon'll make it thick, sir Like a good elixir always does!
Trust Pirelli's if your hair is sick, sir Fix it in the nick, sir Don't look grim
Just Pirelli's Miracle Elixir That'll do the trick, sir—
First Man: What about the money?
Tobias: If you've got it a kick, sir---
Crowd: What about the money? Where is this Pirelli? Go and get Pirelli! What about our money?
Tobias: Tell it to the mixer of the Miracle Elixir if you've got a kick, sir—!
Crowd: Go and get Pirelli! What about it? Where is this Pirelli?
Tobias: Talk to him!
Mr. Pirelli: I am Adolfo Pirelli, the King of the Barbers, the Barber of Kings. E buon giorno, good day, I blow you a kiss. And I...the so famous Pirelli a wish-a to know-a who has-a the nerve-a to say...my elixir is piss, who says this?

(Pirelli's Miracle Elixir)

  • "Do they think that walls can hide you
    even when I'm at your window
    I am in the dark beside you
    buried sweetly in your yellow hair."
    • Anthony Hope (Johanna)
  • "The Blood of Jesus Christ His Son Cleanseth Us from All Sins." - Inscription
  • "At last! My right arm is complete again!"
    • Sweeney Todd (My Friends)
  • "I want you bleeders."
    • Sweeney Todd (Epiphany)

Non Musical Quotes

  • No! Not Barker. That man is dead. It's Todd now. Sweeney Todd. And he will have his revenge.
    • Sweeney Todd/Benjamin Barker



[first lines]

Anthony Hope: I have sailed the world, beheld its wonders, from the Dardanelles to the mountains of Peru. But there's no place like London. I feel home again. I could hear the city bells ring whatever I would do, no, there's no place---
Sweeney Todd: No, there's no place like London.
Anthony Hope: [spoken] Mr. Todd?
Sweeney Todd: You are young. Life has been kind to you. You will learn.

Mrs. Lovett: Mr. T, you didn't!

[looks into the chest, sees Pirelli's dead body and gasps. Shuts it]

Mrs. Lovett: You're barking mad! Killing a man what done ya no harm!
Sweeney Todd: [polishing his razor] He recognized me from the old days. Tried to blackmail me. Half me earnings.
Mrs. Lovett: [relieved] Oh, well that's a different matter then. For a moment there I thought you lost your marbles.

[opens the chest again and stares]

Mrs. Lovett: Ugh! All that blood. Poor bugger. Oh well!

[looks through Pirelli's jacket before removing his money pouch and examining its contents]

Mrs. Lovett: Well, waste not, want not!

[tucks it into her bodice]

Beadle: [after the judge has sentenced a boy to death by hanging] Thank you, your honor, just the sentence we wanted.
Judge Turpin: Was he guilty?
Beadle: Well, if not, he'd certainly done something to warrant a hanging.
Judge Turpin: What man has not?

Anthony Hope: You wait for him here. I'll return with a coach in less than half an hour. Don't worry no one'll recognize you. You're safe now.
Johanna: Safe? So we run away and then all our dreams come true?
Anthony Hope: I hope so.
Johanna: I've never had dreams. Only nightmares.
Anthony Hope: Johanna... when we're free of this place, all the ghosts will go away.
Johanna: No, Anthony. They never go away.

Mrs. Lovett: Mr. T, are you listening to me?
Sweeney: Of course...
Mrs. Lovett: Then what did I just say?
Sweeney: There must be a way to get the judge...
Mrs. Lovett: Judge... Always harping on that bloody old judge...

Adolfo Pirelli: [singing] I am Adolfo Pirelli, da king of da barbers, da barber of kings, e buon giorno, good day. I blow you a kiss! And I, the so famous Pirelli, I wish-a to know who has-a da nerve-a to say my Elixir is piss! Who says this?
Sweeney Todd: I do. I'm Mr. Sweeney Todd from Fleet Street. I have opened a bottle of Pirelli's Elixir and I say to you, it is nothing but an arrant fraud, concocted from piss and ink. And furthermore, "Signor", I have serviced no kings, yet I wager that I can shave a cheek with ten times more dexterity than any street mountebank.

Adolfo Pirelli: Mr. Todd.
Sweeney: Signor Pirelli.
Adolfo Pirelli: Call me Davy. Davy Collins' the name when it is not professional. I would like me five quid back if you don't mind.
Sweeney: Why?
Adolfo Pirelli: Because you entered into our little wager under false pretenses, my friend. So, you might remember to be a bit more forthright in the future. I'll be taking half your profits from herewith. Share and share alike... Mr. Benjamin Barker.
Adolfo Pirelli: [looks around the room] This will do nicely. You don't remember me, do you? Why should you? I was just a little nip that you hired for a couple of weeks sweeping up hair, [toying with one of Sweeney's distinctive silver-inlaid razors] but I remember these. And how could I ever forget about you, Mr. Barker? I used to sit - right here - quietly dreaming of the day when I could be a proper barber myself. You might say that you was... inspiration to me. So, is we got a deal? Or should I run down the street to my old pal, Beadle Bamford? What do you say to that now, [Italian accent] Meestair Sweeney Todd? [laughs sinisterly]
[Sweeney beats Pirelli senseless with a teapot]

Sweeney: NOOOOOOO!! Would no one have mercy on her?
Mrs. Lovett: So it is you. Benjamin Barker.
Sweeney: Where is Lucy? Where is my wife?
Mrs. Lovett: She poisoned herself. Arsenic. From the apothecary around the corner. I tried to stop her, but she didn't listen to me.

Judge Turpin: [about Johanna] Where is she?
Sweeney: Below, your honor, with my neighbor. Thank heavens, the sailor did not molest. Thank heavens, too, she has seen the error of her ways.
Judge Turpin: She has?
Sweeney: Oh, yes, your lesson was well learned. She speaks only of you, longing for forgiveness.
Judge Turpin: Then she shall have it. She'll be here soon, would she?
Sweeney: Yes.
Judge Turpin: Excellent, my friend.
Sweeney: How about a shave? Sit, sir. Sit!

Sweeney: What's the sound of the world out there?
Mrs. Lovett: What, Mr. Todd? What, Mr. Todd? What is that sound?
Sweeney: Those crunching noises pervading the air!
Mrs. Lovett: Yes, Mr. Todd. Yes, Mr. Todd. Yes, all around.
Sweeney: It's man devouring man, my dear!
Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett: Then who are we to deny it in here?
  • Little Priest

[Johanna is being hauled off to the asylum]
Anthony Hope: Where are you taking her? Tell me or I swear I'll...
Judge Turpin: You'll kill me, boy? Here I stand!

Judge Turpin: How seldom it is one meets a fellow spirit.
Sweeney Todd: With fellow tastes... in women at least.
Judge Turpin: What's that?
Sweeney Todd: The years, no doubt, have changed me, sir. But then I suppose the face of a barber, the face of a prisoner in the dock, is not particularly memorable.
Judge Turpin: Benjamin... Barker...?
[slashes Turpin's throat]

Sweeney: [after finding out the Beggar Woman is his wife, Lucy] "Don't I know you?" she said. You knew she lived. From the moment I walked into your shop, you knew my Lucy lived!
Mrs. Lovett: I was only thinking of you!
Sweeney: You lied to me.