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Originally performed by
Composer Alan Menken
Lyrics Stephen Schwartz
Performer(s) Claude Frollo (Tony Jay)
Chorus (English National Opera Company)
Feature films The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Short films
Television programs
Video games
Albums The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Original Soundtrack)
Preceded by "Heaven's Light"
Followed by "Paris Burning"
The hunchback of notre dame - Hellfire HD02:40

The hunchback of notre dame - Hellfire HD

"Hellfire" is a song from Disney's 1996 animated feature The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The song is sung by the film's main antagonist, Judge Claude Frollo. The song "Hellfire" was intended to contrast with the song "Heaven's Light", which was a song that was sung by Quasimodo moments earlier, expressing his feelings of love for Esmeralda, while Frollo sings of his lust for Esmeralda.

This song is considered to be one of the darkest songs in any Disney film, depicting Hell, damnation, the Catholic religion, and lust, examples of subject matter that would generally be considered inappropriate for younger children. This song and sequence alone prompted the ratings board of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to consider a PG rating for the film. The sequence contains also heavy visuals to match the lyrics, including provocative dancing from images of Esmeralda in the fire.


The song opens as Frollo overlooks the balcony and sings that he is better than the other people in Paris. As he heads inside, he admits he is disturbed about his lustful feelings for Esmeralda, and threatens to burn her if she will not be his mistress. Eventually, he passes out as night dawns upon him.


Archdeacon & Priests:
Confiteor Deo Omnipotenti (I confess to God almighty)
Beatae Mariae semper Virgini (To blessed Mary ever Virgin)
Beato Michaeli archangelo (To the blessed archangel Michael)
Sanctis apostolis omnibus sanctis (To the holy apostles, to all the saints)

Beata Maria
You know I am a righteous man
Of my virtue I am justly proud
(Et tibi Pater (And to you, Father))
Beata Maria
You know I'm so much purer than
The common, vulgar, weak, licentious crowd
(Quia peccavi nimis (That I have sinned))
Then tell me, Maria
Why I see her dancing there
Why her smold'ring eyes still scorch my soul
(Cogitatione (In thought))
I feel her, I see her
The sun caught in her raven hair
Is blazing in me out of all control
(Verbo et opere (In word and deed))

Like fire
This fire in my skin
This burning
Is turning me to sin

It's not my fault
(Mea culpa (Through my fault))
I'm not to blame
(Mea culpa (Through my fault))
It is the gypsy girl
The witch who sent this flame
(Mea maxima culpa (Through my most griveous fault))
It's not my fault
(Mea culpa (Through my fault))
If in God's plan
(Mea culpa (Through my fault))
He made the devil so much
Stronger than a man
(Mea maxima culpa (Through my most grievious fault))
Protect me, Maria
Don't let the siren cast her spell
Don't let her fire sear my flesh and bone
Destroy Esmeralda
And let her taste the fires of Hell!
Or else let her be mine and mine alone

(song pauses, guard knocks on the door)
Guard: Minister Frollo, the gypsy has escaped.
Frollo: (speaking) What?
Guard: She's nowhere in the cathedral.
She's gone.
Frollo: But how? I... Never mind. Get out, you idiot! I'll find her! I'll find her if I have to burn down all of Paris!

(song resumes) Hellfire
Dark fire
Now gypsy, it's your turn
Choose me or
Your pyre
Be mine or you will burn
(Kyrie Eleison (Lord have mercy))
God have mercy on her
(Kyrie Eleison (Lord have mercy))
God have mercy on me
(Kyrie Eleison (Lord have mercy))
But she will be mine
Or she will burn!

Detail of the French version

The possible translation is in Italics.

Beata Maria, je clame que mon âme est pure…

Beata Maria, I claim that my soul is pure…

De ma vertu, j'ai droit d'être fier.

Of my virtue, I am in right to be proud.

Beata Maria, mon cœur a bien plus de droiture

Beata Maria, my heart contains much more righteousness

Qu'une commune vulgaire foule de traine-misères !

Than a common vulgar crowd of paupers !

Mais pourquoi, Maria, quand elle dance, l'insolente,

But why, Maria, when she dances, this impertinent girl,

Ses yeux de feu m'embrasent et me hantent ?

Do her fire-eyes scorch me and haunt me ?

Quelle brûlure ! Quelle torture !

What a burning ! What a torture !

Les flammes de sa chevelure

The flames of her hair

Dévorent mon corps d'obscènes flétrissures !

Devour my body with obscene stains !

Infernalle bacchanale !

Infernal bacchanalia !

L'Enfer noircit ma chair…

Hell is darkening my flesh…

Du pêché de désir,

Of the sin of desire,

Le Ciel doit me punir !

Heaven must punish me !

Est-ce ma faute ? Pourquoi ce blâme ?

Is it my fault ? Why this blame ? 

C'est cette sorcière gitane

It is this gypsy witch 

Pour qui mon cœur s'enflamme !

For whom my heart ignite !

Est-ce ma faute

Is it my fault

Si notre Père

If our Father

A fait les hommes moint puissants que Lucifer ?

Has made men less powerful than Lucifer ?

Par pitié, Maria !

Have mercy, Maria !

Protèges-moi du mauvais sort, 

Protect me from the evil spell, 

De cette fleur du mal et de son corps !

From this flower of evil and from her body !

Détruis Esméralda,

Destroy Esmeralda,

Qu'un rideau de feu soit son linceul !

And may a sheet of flames be her shroud !

Ou faites qu'elle soit à moi et à moi seul… 

Or make her mine and mine alone…

[spoken]Je la trouverai, je l'aurai, même si je dois brûler tout Paris !

[spoken] I'll find her, I'll get her, even if I have to burn all of Paris !

Infernale bacchanale ! Diabolique sorcière !

Infernal bacchanalia ! Demonical witch !

Sois mienne ou

Be mine or 

Ma passion

My passion

Te mènera en Enfer !

Will lead you to Hell !

Seigneur, pitié pour elle…

My Lord, have mercy on her…

Seigneur, pitié pour… moi…

My Lord, have mercy on… me…

Fais qu'elle s'offre à moi,

Make that she offers herself to me,

Ou elle mourra !

Or she will die !

Disney Parks

Hellfire has become a track commonly associated with Disney Villains as an instrumental in various Disney park shows, such as in World of Color, the Tokyo DisneySea version of Fantasmic!, and in fireworks shows such as Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams, and HalloWishes.


  • The hooded priests sing 'mea culpa' meaning 'that's my fault', to answer to Frollo's "That's not my fault".
  • Some of the Songs were part of a Roman Catholic Prayer.
  • In the start of the song, Frollo claims himself to be righteous. Ironically, he sets fire to Paris the very next day.
  • Despite Frollo claiming to be a righteous man, he displays some form of all Seven Deadly Sins in the lyrics of the song. This was likely done intentionally to show his hypocritical way of thinking.
    • The lines Of my virtue I am justly proud and You know I'm so much purer than the common, vulgar, weak, licentious crowd show him displaying Pride, considered one of the most dangerous of the seven, as it is often used to justify the other 6 deadly sins, or even deny committing them in the first place. This is displayed frequently in the song, and the film as a whole, and could be considered the first he has commited.
    • Frollo's intense desire for Esmerelda to be his and his alone show Lust, Envy and Greed.
      • Lust as the intense sexual desire for Esmerelda, especially her body alone.
      • Envy towards anyone else who may gain her affections.
      • Greed for seeing her merely as an item to be gained, and wanting her intensely even though he doesn't actually need her.
    • His intent to destroy her if she does not comply is an example of Anger/Wrath.
    • Frollo claiming it is not his fault he is sinning, and blaming Esmerelda for tempting him can be seen as an act of Sloth, as he is not taking the initiative to better himself, nor taking responsibility for his own sins.
    • Gluttony is sometimes interpreted as Selfishness, displayed when Frollo says he will burn down all of Paris (despite what it would do to the innocents of the city) to get to Esmerelda.


The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Hellfire.

External Links

v - e - d

Films: The Hunchback of Notre Dame | The Hunchback of Notre Dame II
Television: House of Mouse | Esmeralda
Video games: The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Topsy Turvy | Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Music: Soundtrack
Books: Big Golden Book | Classic Storybook | Disney's Wonderful World of Reading

Disney Parks

Animazment - The Musical | Clopin's Festival of Foods | Disney Animation Building | Disney Classics: The Music & The Magic | Disney Dreams! | Fantasmic! | One Man's Dream II: The Magic Lives On! | Stitch and Friends Summer Surprise | The Golden Mickeys | The Hunchback of Notre Dame: A Musical Adventure | The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Festival of Fools | The Hunchback of Notre Dame Topsy Turvy Cavalcade | World of Color


Original: Quasimodo | Esmerelda | Claude Frollo | Phoebus | Victor, Hugo, and Laverne | Clopin | Archdeacon | Achilles | Djali | Quasimodo's mother | Quasimodo's father | Old Prisoner | Snowball | Brutish and Oafish Guard | Frollo's soldiers
Sequel: Madellaine | Zephyr | Sarousch


Original: The Bells of Notre Dame (Reprise) | Out There | Topsy Turvy | Humiliation | God Help the Outcasts | The Bell Tower | Heaven's Light | Hellfire | Paris Burning | A Guy Like You | The Court of Miracles | Sanctuary | And He Shall Smite the Wicked | Into the Sunlight | Someday
Sequel: Le Jour D'Amour | An Ordinary Miracle | I'd Stick With You | Fa la la la Fallen In Love | I'm Gonna Love You
Musical: Balancing Act | Rest and Recreation | Rhythm of the Tambourine | Top of the World | Esmeralda | City Under Siege | Out of Love (Reprise) | Dance of the Gypsies | Made of Stone | Grand Finale
Deleted Songs: In a Place of Miracles | As Long As There's a Moon | Someday


Paris | Notre Dame de Paris | Palace of Justice | Court of Miracles


Musical | Disney Sing Along Songs: Topsy Turvy | The Making of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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