For the First Time in Forever
|"For the First Time in Forever"|
|Song by Kristen Bell & Idina Menzel|
|from the album Frozen|
|Published||Wonderland Music Company|
|Released||November 25, 2013|
"For the First Time in Forever" is a song from Disney's 2013 animated feature film Frozen, with music and lyrics composed by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. It is reprised later in the musical. Both versions are sung by sisters Princess Anna (Kristen Bell) and Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel).
The song was composed relatively late in the production process in June 2013. This was only five months before the film's November 27, 2013 release date, when the filmmakers were scrambling to make the film work after realizing in February it still wasn't working.
The original version of the song contained a line about "I hope that I don't vomit in his face," which was deemed unacceptable by Disney as a reference to bodily fluids. The Lopezes' daughter, Katie, came up with the replacement line that ended up in the film: "I wanna stuff some chocolate in my face."
As for the reprise, there was originally a different confrontation lyric for the scene where Elsa strikes Anna with her powers entitled "Life's Too Short" (the premise being that life is too short to waste it with someone who doesn't understand them), which itself would have been reprised later when the sisters realize that life's too short to live life alone. As the characters evolved throughout the writing process (specifically Elsa was turned from a villain to a tragic hero), the song was deemed too vindictive and was instead replaced with a reprise of this song, to create a motif. "Life's Too Short" survives as a demo track on the Deluxe Edition of the movie soundtrack, and part of the melody was reused in Frozen Fever for the song "Making Today A Perfect Day".
When the necessity of a reprise dawned upon Anderson-Lopez, she wrote it in only about 20 minutes, and then successfully pitched it on her own to the Disney production team, as Lopez was already with the team in Los Angeles trying to fix "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?"
In the first version, the song shows Anna's happiness and naive optimism when preparing for Elsa's coronation. During the third verse, Elsa sings a counterpoint melody (with some of the same lyrics that are later used as the first verse of "Let It Go"), in which she expresses her fear of accidentally revealing her ice powers and her anxiety about opening the gates. During her solo, Elsa practices her role in the coronation on a box and candlestick in her a room. Elsa orders the guards to open the gates, and Anna joyfully wanders down a causeway into the town against the flow of guests arriving. The song is cutoff mid-note when Anna crashes into Hans's horse, and subsequently falls into a rowboat. This version goes up a half-step with each verse, starting in F major and ending in G major for the finale.
In the Broadway musical version of the song, a pair of lines in the first verse are changed due to staging limitations. Anna's line "Who knew we had eight thousand salad plates" is changed to "And there's two nice ladies helping me get dressed," and the line it rhymes with, "Finally they're opening up the gates!" is changed to "Coronation day is just the best!" In addition, after the last key change, there is an additional verse sung by a chorus of townspeople. Anna's run-in with Hans also involves them falling into Kristoff's ice-cart, rather than a rowboat.
In the reprise, Anna has arrived at Elsa's ice palace to try to get her to unfreeze the kingdom, after she unknowingly sparked an eternal winter. She also wants Elsa to come back so that they can rekindle their once close relationship as sisters . However, Elsa refuses because she feels she cannot control her powers and that she is better off alone where she can't hurt anyone. As Anna's tries to reason with her sister, Elsa's fear intensifies, resulting in her being covered in a blizzard of ice particles as a physical manifestation of her emotions, and she blocks out Anna's calming words. At one point Elsa turns her back to her sister to form a two shot west, a blocking technique normally used in American soap operas. Finally, paranoid and lost, Elsa lets out a yell, and accidentally blasts Anna in the heart with the accumulated ice particles, thereby freezing it (an act which Pabbie and the trolls note to be fatal).
The reprise uses a different melody from the original. Namely, Anna's parts are in a major key while Elsa's counterpoint is in a minor key, highlighting the opposite emotions the two characters have at this point in time. After Anna is inadvertently struck by Elsa's magic, the percussion includes part of the music from "Frozen Heart".
In the reprise, elements from Demi Lovato's version of "Let It Go" are incorporated into Elsa's side of the duet, albeit with slightly modified lyrics.
Both iterations have received very positive reviews. NeonTommy described it as "A classic “I want” song (think Part of Your World or When Will My Life Begin?) with a sprinkle of self-awareness", and said "this song puts a nice new spin on a familiar form...Lopez and Anderson-Lopez keep the tune fresh, and Kristen Bell’s charming and bright delivery of the peppy lyrics is endearing." GeeksOfDoom said "Who would have guessed that Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel would make such a nice duo? Bell adds some humor with her effervescent spirit and amusing lyrics, whereas Menzel lends the signature Broadway voice. You know a song provides further significance when it moves the story, as opposed to stops the film completely, and this one perfectly represents the former. “First Time” conveys Anna’s hopefulness and openness, contrasting with Elsa’s close-minded and fearful vibe." In a negative review, SputnikMusic said "“For the First Time in Forever,” with its lyrical clunkers like “Don't know if I'm elated or gassy / But I'm somewhere in that zone” and poor performance decisions like the ham-fisted pause before Elsa “opens the gates” and Anna’s meaningless harmonization shortly thereafter, represents the downhill slide and subsequent face-first mud landing of the soundtrack over the course of its runtime". The Hollywood Reporter described it as a "big number", and "the centerpiece of the original songs". StitchKingdom said: "The ‘I Want’ song, the composition and lyrics feed off Anna’s frenetic and anxious energy and awkwardness, a classic example of mixing sophistication with silliness". Rochester City Newspaper wrote " For the First Time in Forever suffers from a fairly run-of-the-mill chorus tune, but smartly makes up for it with catchy verses, amusing lyrics (“Don’t know if I’m elated or gassy / But I’m somewhere in that zone!”) and a great performance from Kristen Bell, showing off protagonist Princess Anna’s quirky side while still longing for a ball, a man, and some basic human interaction."
|"For the First Time in Forever (Reprise)"|
|Song by Kristen Bell & Idina Menzel|
|from the album Frozen|
|Published||Wonderland Music Company|
|Released||November 25, 2013|
NeonTommy wrote "This song balances really well between long, powerful phrases and banter-like recitative, and is a great illustration of the dynamic between Anna and Elsa. It’s also the first time where we get to hear Anna and Elsa sing as equals (the earlier version of this song is more about Anna than it is about Elsa), so it’s quite fun to hear this song between two sisters." GeeksOfDoom wrote "The reoccurrence of the “sister song” signifies how Elsa has changed, much unlike Anna, who still sees the potential of their relationship. The song incorporates polyphony and intensifies their emotions as it builds to a crescendo. While it’s not a substantial addition – the scene could have played out just as well without music – it’s still entertaining". StitchKingdom wrote "The words and melody are just about the only thing this song has in common with its namesake. Anna’s desperate plea to Elsa, this song also features one of the most complex arrangements found on the soundtrack, giving it a haunting and to a professional effect in a way seldom seen on the stage, let alone in family films. The song also treads dangerously along the operetta line at times which puts a unique spin on it."
When the movie was first released in 2013, it numbered complexively 42 versions worldwide, to which 3 more versions where added in the following years, raising the number of official versions to 45.
Several other language versions of the song have also been successful. The Japanese-language version called "Umarete Hajimete" (生まれてはじめて, "For the first time in life") was sung by Takako Matsu and Sayaka Kanda, who played Elsa and Anna respectively. It appeared on the Billboard Japan Hot 100 in between April and June 2014, peaking at number 19, and was popular enough to be certified platinum for 250,000 digital downloads by the RIAJ in September 2014. The Korean-language version, sung by Park Ji-Yun and Park Hyena, reached 129 on the Gaon Singles Chart being downloaded 14,000 times, while the reprise version peaked at 192 with 8,000 downloads.
|"For the First Time in Forever" worldwide|
|Arabic||شروق صلاح (Shorouq Salah)||نسمة محجوب (Nesma Mahgoub)||"لأول يوم بعمري" ("Li-awali yawmen bi-‘omri")||"For the first day of my life"|
|Bulgarian||Весела Бонева (Vesela Boneva)||Надежда Панайотова (Nadezhda Panayotova)||"За първи път от цяла вечност" ("Za p’rvi p’t ot tsyala vechnost")||"For the first time in forever"|
|Cantonese||黃山怡 (Kandy Wong)||白珍寶 ("Baak Jan Bo"; Jobelle Ubalde)||"從未出現的感覺" ("?")||"The feelings that never appear"|
|Catalan||Paula Ribó||Gisela||"Per primer cop des de fa segles"||"For the first time in centuries"|
|Croatian||Sementa Rajhard||Nataša Mirković||"Prvi puta od kad pamtim"||"For the first time since I remember"|
|Czech||Tereza Martinková||Monika Absolonová||"Právě teď"||"Right now"|
|Danish||Kristine Yde Eriksen||Maria Lucia Rosenberg||"Jeg har ventet alt for længe"||"I’ve been waiting for way too long"|
|Dutch||Noortje Herlaar||Willemijn Verkaik||"Voor het eerst na al die jaren"||"For the first time after all those years"|
|Estonian||Hele Kõrve||Hanna-Liina Võsa||"Esmakordselt ajameres"||"For the first time in the sea of time"|
|Finnish||Saara Aalto||Katja Sirkiä||"Ensi kertaa ikuisuuteen"||"For the first time in forever"|
|Flemish||Aline Goffin||Elke Buyle||"Voor het eerst in heel mijn leven"||"For the first time in my life"|
|French (Canada)||Véronique Claveau||Anaïs Delva||"Le renouveau"||"The renewal"|
|French (Europe)||Emmylou Homs|
|German||Pia Allgaier||Willemijn Verkaik||"Zum ersten Mal"||"For the first time"|
|Greek||βάσια ζαχαροπούλου (Vássia Zaharopoúlou)||Σία Κοσκινά (Sía Koskiná)||"Τα óνειρά μου ζωντανεύουν" ("Ta onira mou zontanevoun")||"My dreams are coming to life"|
|Hebrew||עינת אזולאי (Einat Azulay)||מונה מור (Mona Mor)||"סוף כל סוף" ("Sof kol sof")||"Finally"|
|Hindi||ऐश्वर्या मजमुदार/ઐશ્વર્યા મજમુદાર (Aishwarya Majumdar)||सुनिधि चौहान (Sunidhi Chauhan)||"आया है पहली बार यह लमहा" ("Aaya hai pehli baar yeh lamha")||"This moment has come for the first time"|
|Hungarian||Bernadett Vágó||Nikolett Füredi||"Mától mindörökké"||"From now until forever"|
|Icelandic||Þórdís Björk Þorfinnsdóttir||Ágústa Eva Erlendsdóttir||"Því nú loks er allt að gerast"||"Because finally now everything is happening"|
|Indonesian||Nadia Rosyada||Mikha Sherly Marpaung||"Untuk pertama kalinya"||"For the first time ever"|
|Italian||Serena Rossi||Serena Autieri||"Oggi, per la prima volta"||"Today, for the first time"|
|Japanese||神田沙也加 (Kanda Sayaka)||松たか子 (Matsu Takako)||"生まれて初めて" ("Umarete hajimete")||"For the first time in my life"|
|Kazakh||Назерке Серікболова (Nazerke Serikbolova)||Айнұр Бермұхамбетова (Aynur Bermuxambetova)||Unknown||Unknown|
|Korean||박지윤 (Park Ji-Yun)||박혜나 (Park Hyena)||"태어나서 처음으로" ("T’ae-ŏnasŏ tchŏ-ŭmŭro")||"For the first time since I was born"|
|Latvian||Beāte Zviedre||Jolanta Strikaite||"Pirmo reizi mūžā"||"For the first time in a lifetime"|
|Lithuanian||Neringa Nekrašiūtė||Girmantė Vaitkutė||"Pirmą kart gyvenime šiam"||"For the first time in this life"|
|Malaysian||Amylea Azizan||Marsha Milan Londoh||"اونتوق ڤرتام كاليڽ" ("Untuk pertama kalinya")||"For the first time ever"|
|Mandarin Chinese (China)||李潇潇 ("Lǐ Xiāo-Xiāo"; Eva Li)||胡维纳 (Hú Wéi-Nà)||"好久没在生命里" ("Hǎojiǔ méi zài shēngmìng lǐ")||"For so long it was missing in my life"|
|Mandarin Chinese (Taiwan)||劉軒蓁 ("Liú Xuān-Zhēn"; Ray Liu)||林芯儀 ("Lín Xīn-Yí"; Shennio Lin)||"前所未有的感覺" ("Qiánsuǒwèiyǒu de gǎnjué")||"An unprecedented feeling"|
|Norwegian||May Kristin Kaspersen||Lisa Stokke||"Første gang på lenge"||"The first time in a long while"|
|Polish||Magdalena Wasylik||Katarzyna Łaska||"Pierwszy raz jak sięga pamięć"||"The first time, how my memory reaches"|
|Portuguese (Brazil)||Gabriela Porto||Taryn Szpilman||"Por uma vez na eternidade"||"For once in eternity"|
|Portuguese (Europe)||Isabel Jacobetty||Ana Margarida Encarnação||"Pela primeira vez pra sempre"||"For the first time in forever"|
|Romanian||Cătălina Chirţan||Dalma Kovács||"După atât amar de vreme"||"After all this long period of time"|
|Russian||Наталия Быстрова (Natalia Bystrova)||Анна Бутурлина (Anna Buturlina)||"Ведь впервые в этот вечер" ("Ved’ vpervye v etot vyecher")||"‘Cause for the first time this evening"|
|Serbian||Lejla Hot||Jelena Gavrilović||"Prvi put u mom životu"||"For the first time in my life"|
|Slovak||Lucia Molnárová Bugalová||Andrea Kiráľová-Somorovská||"Prvýkrát za večnosť celú"||"For the first time in a whole eternity"|
|Slovene||Tanja Ravljen||Nuška Drašček Rojko||"Prvič v življenju"||"For the first time in my life"|
|Spanish (Europe)||Carmen López Pascual||Gisela||"Por primera vez en años"||"For the first time in years"|
|Spanish (Latin America)||Romina Marroquín||Carmen Sarahí||"Finalmente y como nunca"||"At last and like never before"|
|Swedish||Mimmi Sandén||Annika Herlitz||"För första gången nånsin"||"For the first time ever"|
|Thai||หนึ่งธิดา โสภณ ("Noona" Nuengthida Sophon)||วิชญาณี เปียกลิ่น (“Wichayanee Pia-klin”; Gam the Star)||"ครั้งแรกที่รอมาเนิ่นนาน" ("Kráng râek têe ror maa nêrn naan")||"For the first time that I’ve been waiting for"|
|Turkish||Deniz Sujana||Begüm Günceler||"Ilk defa hayatimda"||"For the first time in my life"|
|Ukrainian||Марія Яремчук (Mariya Yaremchuk)||Шаніс (Oľha Šanis)||"За сто років це уперше" ("Za sto rokiv tse upershe")||"It's the first time in a hundred years"|
|Vietnamese||Võ Ha Trâm||Dương Hoàng Yến||"Cho giây phút lần đầu"||"For the first time"|
|Canada (Canadian Hot 100)||70|
|Japan (Billboard Japan Hot 100)||14|
|Scotland (Official Charts Company)||37|
|South Korea (Gaon International Chart)||4|
|South Korea (Gaon Chart)||19|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||38|
|US Billboard Hot 100||57|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel performed both songs together at the Vibrato Grill Jazz Club in Los Angeles to celebrate the film.
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