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"It's The Hard-Knock Life" is the second song sung in the musical, Annie. It was composed by Charles Strouse, and the lyrics were written by Martin Charnin. It's one of the most famous songs from the stage musical. It is sung by the orphans under the care of Miss Hannigan.

Plot

As punishment for trying to escape from the orphanage in the middle of the night, Miss Hannigan has Annie and the orphans clean their room all night. While they do so, they sing of the injustices they suffered while living there. Such injustices include being "kicked" instead of being "kissed," and never celebrating holidays.

The scene includes a lot of choreography. During the musical number, one of the orphans sticks a pillow up her shirt and pretends to be Miss Hannigan. The others throw her into a gigantic hamper filled with dirty sheets. It plays an important role in allowing Annie to successfully escape from the orphanage shortly after the song.

Lyrics

The Orphans:
It's a hard knock life for us!
It's a hard knock life for us!

Annie:
Stead of treated

The Orphans:
We get tricked!

Annie:
Stead of kisses

The Orphans:
We get kicked!
Got no folks to speak of, so
It's the hard knock row we hoe

Annie:
Cotton blankets

The Orphans:
'Stead of wool!

Annie:
Empty bellies

The Orphans:
'Stead of full!
It's a hard knock life!

Annie:
Don't it feel like the wind is always howlin'?

The Orphans:
Don't it feel like there's never any light?
What's a day you don't wanna throw the towel in?
It's easier than putting up a fight.

Annie:
No one's there when your dreams at night are creepy!
No one cares if you grow or if you shrink!
No one dries when your eyes get wet and weepy

The Orphans:
From the crying you would think this place would sink!
Ohhhh!!!!!!!
Empty belly life!
Rotten smelly life!
Full of sorrow life!
No tomorrow life!

Molly:
Santa Claus we never see.

Annie:
Santa Claus, what's that? Who's he?

The Orphans:
No one cares for you a smidge,
When you're in an orphanage!
It's the hard knock life!

Molly (imitating Miss Hannigan):
You're gonna clean this up,
'till it shines like the top of the Chrysler Building!

The Orphans (except Molly):
Yank the whiskers from her chin
Jab her with a safety pin
Make her drink a mickey finn!
I love you Miss Hannigan!

Molly (imitating Miss Hannigan):
Get to work!
Now!
Strip that bed!
I said get to work!

The Orphans (except Molly):
It's the hard-knock life for us
It's the hard-knock life for us
No one cares for you a smidge
When you're in an orphanage
It's the hard knock life!
It's the hard knock life!
It's the hard knock life!

Trivia

  • Many of the lyrics sung by Annie were originally sung by the orphans in the stage musical.


v - e - d
Disney's Annie - 1999 - Transparent Logo
Media
AnnieSoundtrack
Characters
AnnieThe OrphansAgatha HanniganMr. BundlesSandyGrace FarrellOliver WarbucksDrakeBert HealyRooster HanniganLily St. Regis
Locations
New York City
Songs
MaybeIt's the Hard Knock LifeTomorrowLittle GirlsI Think I'm Gonna Like It HereNYCEasy StreetYou're Never Fully Dressed Without a SmileSomething Was MissingI Don't Need Anything But You
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