My Favorite Disney Songs: #100-#96
This will begin a series of Disney articles that will continue on this blog until September. We all grew up with Disney, and we all grew up with the songs. And as long as you’re still in touch with your inner child, you hold these songs and these films as near and dear as I do. So before I rank all the Disney films (I’ll explain before they go up), I’m gonna set the mood by ranking my favorite Disney songs.
The thing with Disney songs, though, is that if you don’t cap yourself, you can just keep going. There has to be a limit. And 100 felt right. At first I was worried I wouldn’t get to 100. Then the worry became, “Oh damn, which fifteen are getting left off in favor of these other fifteen?” So I felt good about capping it at 100. You’ll see as we count down — none of these are filler. They’re all legit good songs.
My other favorite thing about this list is — we all grew up with these songs. We all know them. And we all have our own personal choices. This would make for a great countdown show. Come up with a list, have people talk about it, count down and show all the songs… somebody help me get this made.
But anyway, I’m sure some people will disagree with my placement of some of the songs. Whatever. That’s why you can create your list of Disney songs. For now, let’s just enjoy the wonder that is Disney music.
Starting with #100:
(By the way, how I recommend you go through this list is: see what the song is, put it on, listen to it all the way through, while reading what I wrote. And listen to the song all the way through, because otherwise what’s the point? I put spaces in between each entry, so if you scroll down slowly, you’ll know when the next song is coming up. The proper way to view a list is to pause before the next entry and anticipate what it could be, so that way when it comes up you get that reaction of, “Oh man, I love that song!” or, “That? Now?!” You do what you want, but that’s just my recommendation.)
100. “Stand Out,” from A Goofy Movie
I probably could have ranked this higher. But I felt we ought to start with one of those songs that makes everyone go, “Oh, man! I haven’t heard this in years!” (Which, if you haven’t, why haven’t you?) But we all love A Goofy Movie. I saw this in theaters.
This song is so great. It just makes you want to get up and dance to it. (I actually remember, junior year of college, I was in my room, preparing to drink (redundant), and some of my hallmates started blasting this and everyone started singing along to it in the hall. Because that’s how we rolled.) That’s just what you do when this comes on. What better way to start a list of Disney songs than with one that makes you want to get up and dance?
Plus Powerline is so Bobby Brown. It’s hilarious.
And just in case you thought this song was slighted by being made #100 — just wait until you see what the other 99 are, and where the other song from this movie ended up.
99. “Why Should I Worry?” from Oliver & Company
Oliver & Company, while not a particularly great entry into the Disney canon, does have one great thing about it, which is that it has songs by Billy Joel, Huey Lewis and Bette Midler in it. This is the Billy Joel song. He also voices Dodger.
If you’re gonna set a Disney movie in New York, you better put either Joel or Springsteen in it. I think they made the right choice here. I’m surprised more people haven’t gotten Billy to write songs and scores for their movies. He sounds like he’d be a perfect fit for it.
The song itself isn’t amazing, but the fact that it was written by Billy Joel gives it major points, plus the scene in the film is a lot of fun. It’s the most visually interesting part of the entire film. So that’s also a plus.
The only real downside is the fact that it sounds like Billy is singing from two feet away from the microphone. Other than that, it’s a pretty cool song. Definitely the best musical number in Oliver & Company.
98. “My, What a Happy Day,” from Fun and Fancy Free
Nothing makes me happier than including a song that I know nobody knows about. How many people have seen Fun and Fancy Free? Well, okay, I guess more people have seen the Mickey and the Beanstalk segment. There’s actually another pretty solid tune in that, when the giant sings “Fe Fi Fo Fum.”
There’s also that terrifying moment where Donald goes psychotic and tries to kill their last cow.
But anyway — this song is nice. It’s happy-go-lucky, and I love when they write these. It’s so simple. What a happy day. I actually like I better than “I’m a Happy-Go-Lucky Fellow,” which is really the song they were going for as their “title” track for this film. But I think this one’s better. It’s simpler, and the melody is catchier.
Most people wouldn’t put this on their list (and certainly not above the two I ranked below it), but my reasoning is two-fold — the message is better. I like the universality of music. You’ll see that I’m very big when it comes to a universal message in a Disney song. It’s one thing to be well-written and be catchy, but to do that and have a nice, uplifting message — I’ll vote for it every time.
97. “Come Little Children,” from Hocus Pocus
I’m putting this here for two reasons: first, it scared the fuck out of me when I saw this at age 5. You hear that shit and you’re like, “Fuck, that would be a song you’d use to lure children to their deaths, because it’s just the right amount of catchy.”
The second reason this is here, which is the big reason – I really wanted to put “I Put a Spell on You” on this list instead. I couldn’t, though, because it’s technically it’s just a rearrangement of the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins song, even if the lyrics are largely different. So I had to leave that off, but — I can use this song to mention that song and how much I like it (and link to it), so really, it works all around.
Plus, you have to put Hocus Pocus somewhere on a list of Disney movies, because it’s really actually pretty great. I must have seen this movie fifty times when I was a kid. It’s so — 90s. I love it.
But yeah, this moment is scary as fuck (and that’s without even making a Sarah Jessica Parker joke), and Hocus Pocus is awesome.
96. “You Belong to My Hert,” from The Three Caballeros
I told you — I love the Disney love songs. This one is so well-done. You might not think this belongs here, but, if you listen to the lyrics, and ignore the fact that you can’t necessarily understand them, it’s actually a good song. It really is.
I felt it needed to go higher just so I could get people to take it more seriously. Because if this was #100, everyone would have been like, “All right, good job,” and moved right along. Here, you might actually listen to it and go, “Oh, yeah, that’s actually a good song.”
Plus, it’s in one of the bottom five Disney movies of all time (it’s not the film’s fault, it just is), so that also hurts its chances at recognition. So let’s actually show this song some love — it’s actually pretty great.
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Coming up (today — 100-76 are going up today) next are #95-91. We start getting into some major movies there. And there will be one song that shows up that you might not have expected to see go so early. What’ll it be?…
Next episode tease!