In Matilda the Musical's opening number, "Miracle" (link to YouTube version of London cast recording), a couple of boys sing:

My daddy says I'm his special little soldier,
No one is as handsome, strong as me.
It's true he indulges my tendency to bulge
But I'm his little soldier!
So, Hup, two, four, three!

Lyrics can be found here, though every online transcription of the lyrics is a little wrong by my lights, mostly in the complicated bits where people overlap each other. This part comes through fine though.

Anyways, why is the counting here done incorrectly, that is, not following the standard ordering of the numbers? Regular numbers and musical beats are counted (as far as I know) as 1-2-3-4. The "Hup" at the start can be excused as taking the place of "one" to kick off the counting, but I don't understand why "four" comes before three.

If it matters, I prefer the London version over the Broadway one, but I don't think it should.

  • I don't know the musical. Obviously three rhymes with me, but maybe they can't count because they are small boys (and not particularly smart)?
    – Stuart F
    Aug 5 at 9:47
  • I'd appreciate an answer along those lines if it was rooted in an understanding of the musical
    – bobble
    Aug 5 at 13:41


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