Cherubic Choir

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"Expensive horror films have more expensive theme tunes, like choirs of small children going, 'Aah-AAH-aah-aah-AAH-aah, I died tragically, la, la,la.'"

Children singing, giving an encouraging and positive feel to the scene. The choir is usually dominated by boy sopranos. A Cherubic Choir normally means that the good guys are in the middle of triumphing, though sometimes it just indicates we're done with the tense part. It can also imply a sort of divine endorsement of what's happening. Often a Theme Music Power-Up.

Sometimes it's Ominous Latin Chanting without the Ominous part; just put it in a major key instead of a minor. Cherubic Choirs tend to be in something other than the native language, possible as a kind of musical lorem ipsum (i.e. deliberately unintelligible to keep your focus on the sound, not on the words) and of course in keeping with the Rule of Cool.

Contrast Creepy Children Singing, where creepy songs and nursery rhymes are played in the background to add tension and fear to a scene.

Examples of Cherubic Choir include:

Anime and Manga


  • Used heavily in the Lord of the Rings movies: for instance, when Gandalf escapes Orthanc.
  • Les Choristes is a movie about a Cherubic Choir formed by Clément Mathieu in order to Save Our Students; the choir also doubles as a way to highlight his resistently cheerful attitude.
  • At the end of Star Wars Episode I, children sing a major-key version of the ominous Emperor's theme.
  • The "ice dance" theme from Edward Scissorhands.
  • In Batman Returns children are singing right as baby Penguin's parents are about to dump him in the sewer.
  • Used in Blood Diamond in the song "London", which features a children's choir doing a call-and-response section with the main singer. The group singing is the Kenya Boys Choir.
  • Hannibal - The choir Libera contributes to at least five out of twelve of the movie's soundtrack tracks.
  • The London Oratory School Schola has contributed to at least seven movies.

Live-Action TV

  • The Wire's theme song (Tom Waits' "Down in the Hole") was sung by a different artist each season. Season 4 used a Boy's Choir, as the decrepit School System and the plight of young black men was one of the major themes of the season.
  • The theme music for Mister Bean - "Ecce homo qui est faba"


  • Gustav Mahler's Third and Eighth Symphonies.
  • Subverted by Rammstein in "Spieluhr".
  • The Rolling Stones song "You Can't Always Get What You Want" with The (London) Bach Choir.
  • The Pink Floyd song "Another Brick in the Wall" with the Islington Green School choir.
  • The entire boychoir genre, with some of the best known examples including the Vienna Boys Choir, the Choir of Kings College Cambridge, and Libera.
  • Subverted with Yo La Tengo's cover of Sun Ra's "Nuclear War", which features a positively ecstatic choir of adorable little children yelling the chorus:

It's a motherfucker, don't you know!
When they push that button, yo' ass gotta go!




Video Games

  • The theme of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night's Royal Chapel, "Requiem of the Gods," consists of this trope and organ music, appropriately enough.
  • Medal of Honor: Frontline: The music in the "Rough Landing" and "Arnhem Knights" levels. In both cases, it induces Soundtrack Dissonance, and in the latter, the good guys are losing.
  • At the end of Okami, when Amaterasu regains her power.
  • The music that plays during the final battle against the Chandelier superweapon in Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation is performed by a boys' choir with Ominous English Chanting.
  • Nippon Ichi is really fond of this trope for their good endings. To whit:
  • The True Final Boss battle music in the Bullet Hell shooter Mushihime-sama. Talk about Soundtrack Dissonance. The regular edition of Futari averts this, but Black Label plays it straight again.
  • At the best ending of Myst III: Exile, a boy soprano sings as the (redeemed) antagonist goes home to see his family after 20 years of separation. It is suggested that the singer is the villain as a young boy singing about his beloved Age, Narayan.
  • The intro music of Gran Turismo 4.
  • The Opening Theme of The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess is a choral remake of the original NES opening theme.
  • Also subverted by the "Theme of Law" in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, where the angels' heavenly choir (which later becomes Zelenin's Song) is disturbing and eerie.
  • "The Prophet's Ascension" from C&C4. The music plays as Kane enters a portal that brings him and his followers to the stars, "ascending" like he promised.
  • "You Were There", the closing song of Ico, feature a song sung by Libera boy chorister Steven Geraghty.
  • MOTHER 1: The game's Sound Stone, the Eight Melodies, is one of these in its OST interpretation. This song was used in the 1989 commercial for the game.
  • The Dark Mirror version of Syphon Filter's main theme.
  • Mario Kart 64 of all games employs this with Bowser's Castle and the end credits.
  • Baten Kaitos Origins' main theme, 'Le Ali Del Principio', has a nine-year-old girl (the daughter of the composer, Motoi Sakuraba) singing lyrics in Italian. It's mostly used as a Theme Music Power-Up or for big reveals.

Western Animation

  • Played wonderfully in The Prince of Egypt, when the Exodus is occurring and the Israelites are leaving Egypt. In the musical background, groups of children are singing a song of praise to God in Hebrew.
    • The music and animation in this scene work well in sync. At the beginning of the children's choir, the Israelites are unsure, as though they cannot believe that they are indeed being delivered from their bondage. Slowly, as the tempo picks up and more voices join in, we start seeing children playing in the road. A girl offers an elderly woman a hand. Moses ends up carrying two kids who are hanging from his staff as he balances it on his shoulders. People start laughing. Some people break out drum-heads and other musical instruments. Young women start dancing. By the end of the chorus we've gone from uncertainty to jubilation.
  • The song "Once Upon a Time With Me" by Florence Warner Jones on the Once Upon a Forest soundtrack.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes has a Recurring Extra called The Ah Guy, whose sole purpose is to provide one of these at the appropriate moments.
  • James Horner employs this in The Land Before Time
    • This was used in almost all of Don Bluth's films.
  • Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame: The scene where Esmeralda frees Quasimodo from the torture wheel.