1 The Mickey Mindset: 111 Awesome Disney Songs, Part 2

Friday, July 18, 2014

111 Awesome Disney Songs, Part 2

Ryan Dosier - My countdown and review of 111 Awesome Disney Songs continues today with 11 more of my favorites. Check out Part 1 for more!

12.)   "God Help the Outcasts" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame
One of the most beautiful Disney songs ever recorded is this breathtaking song from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The song, sung by Esmerelda, has some of the most meaningful lyrics in any Disney song--and the music is great as well. It's a slow song, but as a power ballad with a message, it's almost unparalleled in Disney musical canon. Favorite Lyrics: "I ask for nothing, I can get by/But I know so many less lucky than I/Please help my people, they look to you still/God help the outcasts, when nobody will."

13.)   "Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee (An Actor's Life for Me)" from Pinocchio
Pinocchio is one of my favorite Disney animated features, and I love this song from it. Honest John, the sleazy fox who steals Pinocchio away from school with promises of bounties from being an actor, croons this tune with ease. He's such a fun, bouncy, nonsensical song that is really hard not to enjoy. Favorite Lyrics: "Hi-diddle-dee-dee/An actor's life for me/A wax mustache and a beaver coat/A pony cart and a billy goat."

14.)   "He Lives in You" from The Rhythm of the Pride Lands
This powerful song was featured in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, but its first appearance was on the sequel album, The Lion King: Rhythm of the Pride Lands, which featured more music inspired by the film performed by the incredible Lebo M. "He Lives in You" was also later used, to incredible effect, in The Lion King on Broadway. This song is resonating and stunning and one of the finest examples of African choral work out there. Favorite Lyrics: "He lives in you/He lives in me/He watches over/Everything we see/Into the water/Into the truth/In your reflection/He lives in you."

15.)   "Jolly Holiday" from Mary Poppins
You're lying if you say you can't immediately here Dick van Dyke's fantastic performance of this song in your head just from reading the name of the song. Dick's performance is this song is magic--bubbly, loving, and delightful. This song is a highlight of Mary Poppins, with the animation of the penguins and the farm animals. A true wonder. Favorite Lyrics: "Ain't it a glorious day?/Right as a mornin' in May/I feel like I could fly/Have you ever seen/The grass so green?/Or a bluer sky?"

16.)   "The Bare Necessities" from The Jungle Book
Thinking about it now, I can't think of a Disney song I adore more than "The Bare Necessities." Phil Harris is one of the finest singers and performers that Disney ever had. The songs he sang always oozed fun and happiness, and none moreso than this classic from The Jungle Book. It's one of the best anthems for fun and relaxation that one can find, Disney or not. It's a kick, baby. Favorite Lyrics: "And don't spend your time lookin' around/For something you want that can't be found/When you find out you can live without it/And go along not thinkin' about it/I'll tell you something true/the Bare Necessities of life will come to you."

17.)   "The Bells of Notre Dame" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Another Hunchback song? Blame iTunes shuffle... this is the stunning opening performance from the film. Performed mostly by the jester Clopin, "The Bells of Notre Dame" is a fine showcase of many voices: Tony Jay as Frollo, David Ogden Stiers as the Archdeacon, and Paul Kandel as Clopin. It's a marvelous, operatic-influenced introduction into this much darker Disney world. It deserves to rank among the best Disney opening songs. Favorite Lyrics: "Now here is a riddle to guess if you can/Sing the bells of Notre Dame/Who is the monster and who is the man/Sing the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells of Notre Dame!"

18.)   "A Star is Born" from Hercules
From one of Alan Menken's greatest opening numbers, to one of his finest closing numbers! "A Star is Born" is one of Hercules' greatest songs, unsurprisingly performed by the Muses. The song's extremely exciting tone and lyrics makes for a true happy ending. It's a rock ballad with gospel influence, and it's so hard not to cheer by the end. Favorite Lyrics: "Within your heart's the power/For making you a hero too/So don't lose hope when you're forlorn/Just keep your eyes upon the skies/Every night a star is/Right in sight a star is/Burning bright a star is born"

19.)   "Hakuna Matata" from The Lion King
Ah, the lazy man's anthem! Who else but Disney and Elton John could make a Swahili phrase sung by a meerkat and a warthog an international song sensation? "Hakuna Matata" is incredibly catchy, bouncy, delightful, and most of all FUN. In fact, I can't think of a more fun Disney song, period. It's a pivotal tune for The Lion King, Disney, and anyone born in the late 80s and 90s. Favorite Lyrics: "It means no worries, for the rest of your days/It's our problem free philosophy/Hakuna Matata."
20.)   "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" from Song of the South
Okay, maybe I was wrong... "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" may give "Hakuna Matata" a run for its money as the most fun Disney song. It became an anthem for the fun and freedom that Disney represents for quite awhile. But then when Disney decided to never let Song of the South see the light of day again and the song sort of faded back. But it still remains incredibly delightful and hopeful and just a whole lot of fun. Favorite Lyrics: "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Zip-A-Dee-Ay/My, oh my, what a wonderful day/Plenty of sunshine/Headed my way/Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Zip-A-Dee-Ay."
21.)   "Today is Gonna Be a Great Day" from Phineas and Ferb
Phineas and Ferb is one of the most inventive and joyful shows in Disney animated history. Every episode brings the funny and the crazy, and it all starts with the excellent theme song by Bowling for Soup. It showcases the carpe diem attitude of the show incredibly well and shows that literally anything could happen on the show, from giving a monkey a shower to building a time machine. Favorite Lyrics: "There's 104 days of summer vacation/Til school comes along just to end it/So the annual problem for our generation/Is finding a good way to spend it/Like maybe building a rocket or fighting a mummy/Or climbing up the Eiffel Tower/Discovering something that doesn't exist/Or giving a monkey a shower!"

22.)   "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast
This week's list is jam-packed with my favorite Disney songs ever. "Be Our Guest" is one of the most brilliantly performed and written songs in Disney history. Howard Ashman's lyrics are stunning, Alan Menken's music is magic, Jerry Orbach's vocals as Lumiere and Angela Lansbury's vocals as Mrs. Potts are unbelievable--it's a perfect song. I could listen to it forever and ever. Favorite Lyrics: "Be our guest, be our guest/Put our service to the test/Tie your napkin 'round your neck, cherie/And we provide the rest/Soup du jour, hot hors devours/Why, we only lie to serve/Try the grey stuff, it's delicious/Don't believe me? Ask the dishes!"

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