I've always been struck by how strangely Belle pronounces the word "provincial" at this particular point of her song (see clip) in 1991's Beauty and the Beast. There are other points in the song where she sings this exact word but does not pronounce it in such an exaggerated manner. Nor does she ever seem to speak in any kind of (non-American) accent at any point in the movie. Is there an in- or out-of-universe explanation for this?

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    I can’t hear what you’re asking about. As far as my ears are concerned, she pronounces it the same way every time. Jun 8, 2021 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


At this particular spot she inserts tiny rests after each syllable of "provincial", compared to how she has sung it earlier.

She needs to maintain the rhythm of the song and the individual articulation of the syllables helps to perform a graceful progression from higher to lower sung notes. Additionally, the slight slow-down of pacing conveys that this subsection of the song comes to an end as a short dialog scene begins.

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