Thursday, 5 January 2017

Pony Music Library 36: "The Magic Inside"

In preparation for next week's Best Filly Edition of Ponyfic Roundup, I've finally read bookplayer's Best Young Flyer. It's a story that's really divided opinion over the years, but you'll have to wait until Wednesday to find out which side of that divide I come down on! For now, it's time for the first PML post of 2017. This song's induction here was another case of when, rather than whether...

What? "The Magic Inside"

Who? Daniel Ingram (music and lyrics), Amy Keating Rogers (lyrics)

Which? Show song

When? November 2015

Why? While Season Five's "The Mane Attraction" was a decent episode all round, there's no doubt that its highlight was the performance of Lena Hall as Countess Coloratura. She was fine in her talking parts, and good in the other songs she was given – but this one was something very special. Hall belted out her ballad with fantastic assurance and belief, matching up with Rara's journey in the episode. I was especially happy that they kept in the odd slightly rough note, giving it a "live" feel and providing a contrast with the deliberately autotuney "The Spectacle". It'll never happen, I know, but I'd love to hear Hall sing this live in a big concert venue. I've chosen this particular video (from Hasbro's own account) as it's the best quality version freely available, without any show sound effects. If you prefer it with those, there's BronyDE's clip from the episode itself.


  1. I still prefer "The Spectacle." I mean, I get that they are saying that she's more genuine as Rara, but I came to see a performance, dammit! I like the Countess!

    1. "The Spectacle" is a song I'm fine with, in that it's appropriate for its place in the episode. But it's just not one I want to listen to on its own – so I'm afraid it's most unlikely to appear here!

  2. >It's a story that's really divided opinion over the years

    Huh, and here I thought it was just me that didn't like it.

    Also, gonna agree with juggy: if I was a paying audience member, I'd much rather have seen "The Spectacle" than "The Magic Inside." Especially if, as appears to be the case here, I payed to go see an effects-heavy spectacle and it was replaced without warning by a low-key, solo acoustic performance. It'd be kind of like buying tickets to "Hamilton" and then finding out when you got there that you would actually be seeing Lin-Manuel Miranda's new one-man show about his childhood.

    1. I've seen several other negative comments on BYF – though not formal reviews, admittedly. Maybe I'm overstating the case a bit. I only read your own review in detail very recently, exactly because I've been planning to review the story "sometime soon" for ages.

      And much the same reply I gave above re the song: the PML is mostly about songs I want to put on my MP3 player, so context isn't always that relevant. With this song, I like it more when it's taken on its own, hence my choice of the video with no show sound effects.

      Ah, Hamilton. One of the many, many pop culture phenomena I know virtually nothing about beyond what I see in the media. :P

    2. Fair point re what audience members may have actually wanted... though perhaps the population of Ponyville is entirely used to things changing "because friendship" and would actually be more shocked if everything did go ahead as originally planned!