That’s My Jam is a weekly feature where one person from the Selective Hearing staff goes to wax poetic about music that is pivotal to their musical tastes. Whether that would be an album, a song, or anything in-between. We all had to start somewhere.
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
A Whole New World – Aladdin (1992)
Circle of Life – The Lion King (1994)
I Can Go the Distance – Herculese (1997)
Reflection – Mulan (1998)
You’ll Be In My Heart – Tarzan (1999)
What person does not love Disney, especially when it comes to their songs? Like any person who watches a Disney film, I always look out for a good movie and an amazing soundtrack that keeps me humming for a good few days with its addictive and catchy tune and even better lyrics.
To put it simply, I love Disney songs, and they are one of the few English songs that I will regularly listen to now that I am a major J-Pop addict. No matter how old I grow, I will always love Disney and their songs, because it is pretty much where my childhood belongs and where some of the best songs come from. That is why for my That’s My Jam post today, I will be taking a look at some of my favourite Disney songs that I listen to over and over again. These are the Disney songs that I pretty much hold dear to my heart.
The first song on the track list I have created is Beauty and the Beast, which I will openly admit is not my favourite on the list, but still one of the songs that I continuously go to listen to no matter what. I honestly believe that all versions of this song, from the original soundtrack version to the pop track by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson are all beautiful. I think that there are no wrong reconstructions of this song, or at least from what I have heard. It is too perfect a song to make sound bad if you ask me, because with each rendition and remake it sounds absolutely lovely. It is romantic, gentle and tells a lovely story that captivates the listener when sung, and every time I listen to it I can not help but feel enlightened and happy, and totally in love with the story behind the song. It is so sweet and so perfect, and I adore it.
A Whole New World was one of my favourite songs when growing up, but Aladdin was admittedly not one of my favourite movies, though I did enjoy it greatly. I just love this song, and I think it is because of its carefree and energetic nature that I love it so much. It has such a fun and friendly sound that sounds youthful and brilliant, especially for children. Then again, isn’t that what the song itself is all about? Being youthful, carefree and energetic, and basically doing your own thing rather than rising to the expectation of others? It is such a hopeful and enjoyable song that fills me with bright energy whenever I listen to it, making me want to belt it out whenever it comes out. I love this song so much even now because it is so bright, bubbly and fun, and whilst it is a song about love, it is also a song about freedom, choice and doing what you want, which is a great message to send to people I believe.
I think I would be scowled upon if I dared forget to add the great song that is Circle of Life into the list of some of my favourite Disney tracks, because it is just so beautiful. I like quite a few versions of this song, from the Disney Circle of Stars updated pop version, to the original version which is undoubtedly my favourite version out there. I love that beautiful, strong opening with the Zulu lyrics, and then the sound of Carmen Twillie’s gorgeous, throaty vocals. It is such a powerful song that is filled with life and beauty in the lyrics, vocals and instrumental. It is an amazing song to listen to, and a great one to sing along to. This is another song that I feel can do no wrong, much like Beauty and the Beast, and I find all versions of it that I have heard so far amazing and beautiful. It has so much power, and I just find Circle of Life an amazing and inspiring song to listen to, and one that I will never grow tired of.
I Can Go The Distance is probably my favourite Disney song of all time and the song that I seem to identify with the most right now in my life. The song is obviously all about making your way to a place where you feel like you belong, where people accept and love you for who you are and taking the journey to find that place, and it is this message that allows me to identify with the song greatly. That said, I was a teenager when I actually found that the song suited my situation, and whilst it seems to suit me less now I still feel like I have that connection to the song.
Other than identifying with it greatly, I also think that it is a beautiful and well-constructed song that has a beautiful, light sound that is addictive but allows you to think about the lyrics the more you listen to it. It may not be the strongest song on my list, that goes to Circle of Life, but I Can Go The Distance is an amazing song with a lot of hope, desire and strong will beneath the lyrics, and a gorgeous instrumental that just makes you want to do something and find your path in life. Or something cheesy like that.
Speaking of identifying with songs, Mulan’s Reflection is another song that I strongly identify with, but I know that it isn’t just me who can identify with such a song; many girls do I believe, mostly because the lyrics are about how a girl has to lie about her own identity in order to make others happy, because that is just how society works. That sounds rather familiar, even in modern times like this where we are told to be ourselves and act how we want to, because even now both males and females act a certain way to appease certain people. Because of that, I believe that many people will be able to identify with this song more than other Disney songs as it speaks not just to one but many people.
Not only is this a beautiful song, it is a song with a strong message and strong meaning behind it that allows the listeners to think about their own situations, and how they are much like Mulan when singing about her conflict with wanting to be who she knows she is, whilst also wanting to keep her family happy. It is powerful, but it is also has conflict and sadness, and I think that both Lea Salonga and Christina Aguilera sang this song magnificently and made it as beautiful as it is. This is, to me, a glorious song.
Okay, now it’s time to get out the tissues, because the final song on my list is You’ll Be in my Heart by Phil Collins, from Disney’s Tarzan. The amount of times this song has made me cry is a rather high amount, but I blame the lyrics completely for that, because combined with the beautiful soft sound of the song, a magnificent and personal sound is created that sounds both loving and thoughtful. It is, in my opinion, a song that is emotional in both sadness and happiness for the person the song is about. This song reflects the story of Tarzan beautifully in my opinion, in fact all of the songs on the soundtrack of Tarzan do, but it feels like this one knows the story most. It is an amazing song with so much emotion and depth behind the lyrics and sound, and whilst it is a soft song with the gentle vocals of Phil Collins accompanying it, there is a lot of strength and power behind the song. Don’t let the soothing sound fool you, because this is a song that can make you cry thanks to the lyrics and instrumental.
Disney as a whole create amazing and beautiful songs, but these few that I have chosen are by far my favourite and the ones that bring out the Disney Lover in me as well as the songs that make me think the most. Okay, so maybe I went a little bit cheesy in this review of these amazing songs, but it’s Disney… and Disney calls for Cheese.
Now, leave me to wallow away in my pool of tears as I listen to the Tarzan soundtrack and many other amazing Disney songs. Nostalgia, here I come!