The song lyrics should delight any Merritt fan. They feature his characteristic elegance and dolor, as well as an array of shimmering multisyllable rhymes: terrier/merrier/derriere is a favorite. Greenspan notes, "There's a melancholy element to a lot of his music that's quite poignant and touching." Yet other songs are divinely silly. One number proclaims: "We are your toys/We make a lot! Of! Noise!/What we enjoy's/Making a lot! Of! Noise!" And for a man who proclaims a dislike of children, the valedictory song, a hymn to Coraline, is unaccountably tender: A group of mice sing our heroine to sleep with the maxim, "Plaything/Keep chasing your tale." In fact, Merritt ultimately confesses that he doesn't mind too terribly much if kids come to see his musical after all.
"Some children are going to demand to come and see Coraline," he says with only mild resignation. "Though they'll have to wear stilts to do it."