This is one of the Grimm's German fairytales. If you dwell on its message for very long, you see how very dark and depressing it is. The old man and his wife are getting old and have to give up their home to go move in with their son's family. They can no longer care for themselves or their farm or their animals. Talk about CHANGE. The old man and woman are giving up on life and are just waiting to die. At least they have their son's family to go live with.
The animals are not so lucky. They are old, too. The donkey is too old to do any labor. The dog just wants a cozy place to curl up by the fire. The cat doesn't feel like hunting mice anymore. And the rooster is no "spring chicken" himself. The old man tries to sell them, but no one will take them. He has seriously consider putting them down (killing them). Wow. Not a pleasant bedtime story for the children!
So, how could this story become a funny, upbeat children's musical? Well, the donkey takes things into her own hands (hooves). She gets an idea. She has always wanted to be a singer but has been told that she has an obnoxious voice. But when she hears about the very Musical Town of Bremen she gets hopeful that they will appreciate her unique vocal talents. She invites the Dog and the Cat to come, too. They also feel that their musical abilities have been under appreciated. And even the Rooster, who has been told that his voice is the worst of all, is enticed by the idea of becoming a Musician of Bremen.
They set out towards Bremen when they come to a house that owners have vacated --- due to the animals very dreadful serenading. They find a feast spread out on the table and decide to stay for awhile. Then some robbers come to the house with nefarious deeds on their minds. The animals climb on top of each others' backs shrouded in a white tablecloth. As they "sing," the robbers are frightened away. The animals are never bothered again and continue singing to their hearts' content.
The animals never actually arrive at the town of Bremen --- which is fortunate for those lucky citizens! The animals stay at their new abode on the road to Bremen where they make their own unique brand of music and live happily ever after.
Enjoy this unique musical offering from The Musicians of Bremen.