Top 13 Underrated Disney Songs

Theme Song by Brian Setzer and owned by Walt Disney Records

Theme Song by Patrick DeRemer and owned by Walt Disney Records

Every Disney film has on average has about 4-6 songs in it. Only 1 or 2 maximum will ever hope to reach the level of super popularity. Which means that there are a lot of good songs that just got lost in the wonder and whimsy of the popular song. Meaning the # of underrated songs far outweigh the familiar songs. I can’t possibly count down all the underrated songs, but I did choose 13 that I thought were the best and the most overlooked. Without any further delay here’s the TOP 13 MOST UNDERRATED DISNEY SONGS!!!!!!!!!!

#13 Casey Jr. music by Frank Churchill and Oliver Wallace and lyrics by Ned Washington

Now I know what you’re thinking “Where’s ‘Baby Mine”????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Well sorry folks Baby Mine is not going to be on this list, simply because of the fact that I can’t stand it anymore. This is a perfect example of an originally underrated song that has been discovered and now it is overexposed to the point where we don’t want to listen to it anymore. I can’t begin to tell you how many compilation CDs have that song on it and it’s too much!!!!! Seriously Dumbo is now the Disney Park mascot. I still think that’s a weird idea. Out of all the iconic characters you choose Dumbo. Why? Is it because he’s cute? Okay. Is it because he can fly? Then just stick with Tinker Bell because she represents the Disney ideals and the park better or maybe even Peter Pan!! Now enough of that little rant the song Casey Jr. is a very good song that gets the audience ready to go and see what lies beyond the horizon for the circus as well as create semi suspense for Mrs. Jumbo’s late arrival. I find it really cool that Casey Jr. is a full blown character in the movie seeing as Walt loved trains. There are times where you got to feel sorry for Casey because he has to haul all these damn animals across the country and when you see the animals getting on board they’re the most stuck up and snooty little things you’ve ever seen with they’re heads up high thinking that they’re better than everyone (except Mrs. Jumbo). Totally ungrateful to Casey for hauling you guys around the country. You can tell that when Casey is going up that hill and says “ I think I can” he’s thinking of just detaching all the cars and being done with it. The song may be short, but is very catchy and suits the cricus atmosphere and is a fitting tribute to the overworked and underrated locomotive named Casey Jr.

#12 The Second Star to The Right music by Sammy Fain and lyrics by Sammy Cahn

Ballad version

The opening song to Walt Disney’s Peter Pan. I love this song because it sets up and captures the spirit and magic of Neverland perfectly. Even though this song has had a few covers recently it’s still for the most part in obscurity. When it’s played people will recognize it, but when the title is said it’s a blank. I love all versions of the song as well. The original is my favorite and I like Jesse McCartney’s cover and the cover used in Return to Neverland because I like the slowed down ballad version and it’s more emotional to the grown up Wendy in that film.

#11 Candle on the Water music by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn

Now I might be cheating here because this song was nominated for an OSCAR, but the thing is that nobody remembers this song and nobody really remembers the movie it came from called Pete’s Dragon which is a very good movie. I need to see that movie again. The song is beautifully sung by Helen Reddy who plays the character Nora who sings about her motherly and unconditional love for the character of Pete and that she will always be there for him. It’s a great song and it needs more recognition.

#10 I Won’t Say (I’m in Love) music by Alan Menken lyrics by David Zippel

As much as I enjoy Hercules and I still watch it that movie is nowhere near Disney’s best in fact it’s closer to the mediocre stock then it is the classics, but it has several factors that save it and one of them is the music which compared to other Alan Menken scores is slightly lackluster except for this song!!!! This song is great!!! This is a song beautifully sung by Susan Egan playing the role of Megara who sings about her denial and attempts at self deception when she says she’s not in love with Hercules. It’s a very well written song not only conveying the character’s emotions at the time, but also giving exposition to the past failed relationships of Megara and why she’s unwilling to admit her true feelings. The song constantly has the Muses providing back up as well as coaxing Meg to stop with the façade and be true to herself. What a great song if you’re going to download a song from Hercules let it be this one!

#9 Feed The Birds music and lyrics by Richard and Robert Sherman

Yeah I know this is pretty obvious and it could fall into the same category I described Baby Mine being in, but unlike Baby Mine this song just happens to be more timeless and it’s the Sherman Brothers if they can make a song like Small World stuck in our heads for our entire lives and not get truly old this song should be no different. Since Julie Andrews sang this song I don’t have to tell you quality of the singing. This song is beautiful in every way especially its message that captured the attention as well as the heart and soul of Walt Disney himself and that this was his favorite song.  Everybody talks about Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, but no one seems to remember this absolutely beautiful song, but once it’s brought to your attention I think it’s unforgettable. A beautiful song to a beautiful movie.

#8 I’ll Make A Man Out of You music by Matthew Wilder and lyrics by David Zippel

Mulan is a really good Disney movie that while it’s technically a war movie, it has more in common with a sports movie by having all the clichés of one and handles these clichés with style. This song is the cliché of the training montage. It is a very good montage that shows the various stages of training and even has the trainer losing hope in the troops. Shang is about ready to give up and the song shows Mulan getting past her clumsiness and finding the determination to succeed. This in turn effects the rest of the troops to succeed in the training as well. Donny Osmond gives a great performance and for a non Alan Menken song in the 1990s it’s not bad at all in fact just the opposite.

#7 Zorro Theme Song music and lyrics by Norman Foster and George Bruns

What a kick ass theme to a kick ass show. The theme song to Disney’s best live action show hands down!   This song is just awesome capturing all the action and adventure of the masked avenger of old California! This is just a fun, awesome and kick ass song to a virtually and unfortunately forgotten TV show. You know what I’m going to let this speak for itself. Expect a review of this show somewhere down the line.

#6 Every Single Song From the Album Little Mermaid Songs From the Sea music and lyrics by Various

I know I’ve talked about this album before way back in Mermaid Month, but I think it’s such a great album that it deserves a plug here and it’s definitely underrated because the album is out of print as well as absolutely no rereleases. All these songs tell one story about a day in the life of Ariel and friends. All these songs are worth listening to and they’re just great!!!! Here I have a representative song and it’s my favorite track on the album (I have two favorite songs on the album and this is one of them). Enjoy!!!

#5 Anytime You Need a Friend music by Alan Menken lyrics by Glenn Slater

Anytime You Need a Friend Alan Menken version

Yeah I picked a song from Home on the Range. I think I might turn in my Disney fan card after this is over. Anyway this is the only song that I ever really enjoyed from that big fat BLAH of a movie. It’s a very nice song that captures the themes if any of the movie. Is it one of Menken’s best? No, but it is worthy of his legacy and contributions to Disney. Maybe I should switch this with the Zorro theme?

#4 Alice in Wonderland music and lyrics Oliver Wallace

I love the old school opening songs. It gives the viewer a sense of what they’re getting into as well as a great showing off of concept art. Imagine if these types of songs played during the first Michael Bay movies and the lyrics contained the words “Nothing, but explosions, crappy acting, complete crap, tripe, hot women all the time beyond the norm for the media and to the point where it’s just ridiculous, and will ruin and desecrate the Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles franchise” I guarantee nobody would see Michael Bay anymore because these opening songs set the crappy mood of his crappy films. Anyway I really like this song because it lets the imagination soar and makes the viewer can’t wait to get to Wonderland and see all the nonsense that’s going on.

#3 Never Smile at a Crocodile music by Frank Churchill and lyrics by Jack Lawrence

What’s more underrated then a deleted song? This song was used as an instrumental piece for the crocodile’s theme, but the song itself was deleted and didn’t see the light of day until Volume 6 of Disney’s Sing Along Songs VHS tapes and then it was given the lyrical treatment with a remix and everything. After that though the song went away and no one has ever mentioned it again. This song is catchy and is a great representation of my favorite Peter Pan character: The Crocodile. I can just imagine that this was the lullaby that Hook’s mother sang to him when he was a baby. An excellent song that needs to resurface.

#2 God Help the Outcasts music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

I know this song is gaining recognition, but not enough. This is an absolutely beautiful song. It is a song that represents the plea of all those that have been mistreated because of various reasons and could stand for multiple people today. I am not a religious man, but even I can recognize that there are a lot of powerful things about this song especially the selflessness of Esmeralda’s character and that she prays not for herself, but for those that can’t help themselves which is contrasted by the other people in the church praying for selfish things. In the end Esmeralda’s prayer is answered because her prayer inspires the love and courage of a young man named Quasimodo to help her in anyway he can even if it goes against the man who raised him.

#1 Cinderella Theme music and lyrics by Mack David, Jerry Livingston and Al Hoffman

Again I’m a sucker for these excellent opening songs. If I had remembered I would have totally put this song on my character themes list. This is the one Cinderella song that absolutely no one talks about!! It’s such a soft and well written song. It sums up the character and story perfectly. It’s a simple and extraordinary song to one of my favorite Disney movies. Awesome!!

 

Join me next time where Musical March Madness is so huge the second half is going to take up all of April (college work is piling up that’s why it’s taking me so long) in the next half I will review virtually the entire Disney Sing Along Songs Home Video series as well as tributes to my favorite composers as well as an interlude by reviewing James Cameron’s Titanic when I see it in 3D. See you next time!!

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