My Favorite Disney Song: #95-#91
All right — now that we’ve kicked of the list (see #100-#96 here), it’s time to start making the tougher decisions. From here on out, there are gonna be songs going that make you go, “Wow, I didn’t expect that to go so early.” Things happen when you make lists.
This portion of the list is populated mainly by “extra” songs in major films. That is — those songs in the classic movies that are not the ones that get all the spotlight. They’re fourth or fifth down on the depth chart. It’s not that they’re good, it’s just that there are so many other good ones ahead of them that it’s impossible to give them any recognition until the other ones go first.
I’ll also say — there’s one song here that I feel most people wouldn’t pull as early as I did. But hey — that’s what these lists are for. Tough decisions.
We start with #95, and the first Disney movie:
95. “The Dwarfs’ Yodel Song (The Silly Song),” from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
When thinking of the songs from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, no one thinks of this one first. No one. You think of “Someday My Prince Will Come,” “Heigh Ho,” “Whistle While You Work” and “I’m Wishing” before you think of this. As you should, since those other four are amazing songs. But that’s what I was saying about this portion of the list — these are the songs that are great, but have to take a step back to make way for the behemoths that they share their films with.
This song is really great. It’s essentially a drinking song. And I love me some drinking songs. There are two kinds — there’s “Gaston,” which is a song presented as a drinking song, and then there’s the drinking song, which has a revolving melody and the verses sound like they’re improvised over it. The kind where you dance around, step forward, do a verse, and go back to dancing while the next person starts their verse when it comes around again. This is that kind of song.
This song is so much fun. I dare you to listen to this and not be drawn in by the rhythm. You can’t do it, can you? Every time I listen to it, I almost want to rank it higher, but then I remind myself — it is just a drinking song, and there’s really not much to it, lyrically. So I’ll leave it here. But I love this song.
And it segues right into the best song in the movie, which is terrific, how they do that.
94. “Ever Ever After,” from Enchanted
I have mixed feelings about this song. In context, at the end of the film, it’s a terrific song. It’s catchy, it perfectly fits that end of the film, happy ending montage feel, and the lyrics are good too.
But then I start thinking about it and am like, “But it’s Carrie Underwood… and it’s country…”, and then I start dropping it down in my rankings. So that’s how this ended up here. I like it a lot, but, it’s — this film is tough, because essentially it’s a self-referential Disney film. It’s the same problem everyone had with The Artist. The Artist was a silent film that was about silent film. It was celebrating the genre rather than taking complete authorship of the format to tell a story. And people were like, “Just make a silent film, then.” (Note: I hate when people make this argument. Just enjoy the movie and shut the fuck up. You get this a lot from film students. The pricks.)
So, the fact that this film is self-referential also makes me leery about ranking the songs so high. I mean, the songs in this film are amazing (and there are four more coming throughout the rest of the list), but some of them (two in particular) make me go, “But they’re just making us recall other Disney songs. Shouldn’t I just put the actual Disney songs higher, in that case?”
This is all just rationalization as to why this ended up here. Either way, this is a great song. Ultimately, I like it. The country-ness and the other stuff — whatever. I like the song. That’s what counts.
93. “The Second Star to the Right,” from Peter Pan
The tough thing about these songs is that they don’t do the chorus songs anymore. You don’t really hear a chorus singing an opening song like this. And because of that, most people tend to tune it out.
Plus, it’s over the opening credits, which only adds to the problem. Because back before the modern era (where they use pop music, or the films “theme” song in the opening credits), most opening credits were either overtures, or just straight orchestral score over the opening credits (or in the case of musicals, it was a prologue of sorts, teasing the music of a song that will be performed later. Which I guess also counts as overture, but I’m speaking specifically of the movie credits version of that, since some films actually do have the overture before the credit). So our instinct is to tune that stuff out, whether there’s a chorus there or not.
This song, however, is actually a song from the movie. It’s not just a “chorus” song. This is actually probably the best-written song in the film, lyrically. There are catchier ones (and definitely more racist ones), but lyrically — this is the best.
I will admit, though, the fact that it’s a chorus song does take a way from it a bit, but if you sit and listen to the lyrics, you’ll hear why it’s actually a great song. Though, again, just like the previous two entries, this isn’t a song from the film you’d jump out to name first when thinking of songs from these films. So let’s show it some love.
92. “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” from Mary Poppins
You thought this was too early for this, didn’t you?
I used to have this higher, but honestly — the more I thought about it, the more I felt this belonged here. I feel like our reactions to the song and hearing its title are actually stronger than the song itself. Sure, we hear that title and think, “Oh yeah, great song,” because how often do you hear a song called “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”? (P.S. I can spell that correctly every time. If only I could put that on a resume.)
But when you start listening to the song — first, it’s about helping children sound precocious. And that‘s the word you choose? And second — it’s actually kind of annoying. The melody kind of grates on me a little bit. Third — Dick Van Dyke’s accent. Fourth — it’s not really about anything. It just is. It feels like an empty musical number. I love the word, and it conjures up great images of the song, but when it comes to actually ranking it, I really wouldn’t put it much higher than I did. I don’t think it’s as strong as compared to the songs I ranked above it.
Plus, what kind of fucking bridge is “Um diddle diddle diddle um diddle ay”?
Oh, and in case you were wondering — this technically isn’t necessarily a Disney song, since it is from the show, but I made a ruling on it, and decided that all the Poppins songs were fair game, since even they include it on all their albums and stuff. So if they’re including it, I’m going to as well.
91. “Little April Shower,” from Bambi
Bambi. That movie doesn’t really have any songs in it. It’s mostly just this, “Love Is a Song,” and then the Thumper song, which is more a set of lyrics than anything. It’s one of the few Disney movies without much music.
But this song is pretty great. This is one of those songs that would sound awesome if done a cappella. You could argue that it could have been put lower, since there’s really not much here, lyrically, but I think the orchestration is catchy and the whole thing is more likely to stick in your head. Plus, Bambi not having much representation, musically, I felt I should put it as high as I could. Granted, that’s not that high, but it’s something.
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Next, we get into the 80s. The first half is comprised mainly of older stuff that’s been forgotten, and the second half is newer stuff that just can’t hang with the classics in direct competition.
Still, though — the one thing you’ll notice from here on out — the songs get catchier as we go along.