Songs from Disney movies

Table of Contents


18. One – U2

One of the best songs to come from U2, One was written by lead singer Bono. According to sources, the song was inspired by all the broken relationships experienced by the band members. Amazingly, we can all find something in its lyrics to remind us of a past love.

Many ballads tap into feelings of love and loss, but few achieve the emotional response in the same way that U2 does. 28 years later and the song is frequently used in pop culture.

17. September – Earth, Wind, and Fire

Few songs capture the soul of the 1970s like September. From its opening few beats all the way through to its chorus, the tune manages to get everyone dancing the night away. 40 years later, it is an essential record at weddings.

Lyricist Maurice White was once asked in an interview what ‘ba-dee-ya’ meant. He replied bluntly: “Who cares? never let the lyrics get in the way of the groove.” It turns out that many millions of us don’t care.


16. Daydream Believer – The Monkees

The Monkees often don’t get the credit they deserve when it comes to the impact they had on music. Daydream Believer, released in 1967, told a sad story about a husband looking in the mirror and realizing his marriage was over.

However, the feel-good beat and melody mix our emotions as we’re left tapping our feet and singing along. The song reached Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it rested for four weeks.

15. Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry

Made famous by the 1985 film Back to the Future, Johnny B. Goode is one of the most quintessential songs of the 1950s. The lyrics tell the story of an illiterate man from New Orleans who wows people with his guitar.

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Originally, the lyrics referred to Goode as a ‘colored boy’ but radio stations told him they couldn’t play it. Berry changed the lyrics to make it more radio friendly and the impact has had lasting effects all the way to today.


14. I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas

The Black Eyed Peas had many classic hits during their glory years, but perhaps the most iconic one was I Gotta Feeling. Released in 2009 and produced by David Guetta, the song was written and performed by each member of the group.

Sony ATV Publishing

Will.I.Am, the band’s frontman, explained the intention behind the weekend evening jam that rocked the world. “Times are really hard for a lot of people and you want to give them escape and you want to make them feel good about life, especially at these low points.”

13. Relax – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Perhaps made more famous by the 2001 hit Zoolander, Relax was released in 1983 to a wave of controversy. The BBC banned it from its airwaves due to its provocative lyrics, which can be interpreted as too sexual.

© Rex Features

Like most great art, the song was ahead of its time yet still manages to capture the era of its own time. The song reeks of ‘80s fun and disco, with many people still enjoying the song today.


12. Happy – Pharrell Williams

One of the greatest dance songs ever, Happy became the best-selling song of 2014 with a massive 13.9 million singles sold. The song featured on the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack and elevated Williams to worldwide fame.

Youtube | Pluffnub

After only a few beats, listeners are immediately caught in its catchy beat and melody. Whether it’s your first listen or your 50th, we’re sure you’ll still be tapping your feet along. Years from now, people will likely still be dancing along to this instant classic tune.

11. Your Song – Elton John

British pop star Elton John was king of the music world in the 1970s. He co-wrote the ballad with longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin. It was first released in 1970 and has since become an absolute classic.

Today, it is often appearing on many lists that highlight some of the world’s best songs. The gentle melody and powerful lyrics make for an unmistakable anthem that resonates today. It’s been covered by artists like Ellie Goulding, Lady Gaga, and Ewan McGregor.


10. Thriller – Michael Jackson

Is there a more iconic song than Thriller? The Michael Jackon song was released in January 1984 as the seventh and final single from the album of the same name. Produced by Quincey Jones, Thriller was accompanied by an entire music video.

Westlake Recording Studios

The music video – which features a dance performance and voiceover by Vincent Price – has solidified its place in pop culture. Almost all of us know the rhythm and dance moves 36 years later. In fact, his outfit is still a popular Halloween costume.

9. Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys

Good Vibrations was bringing the good vibes ever since its release in 1966. The title was inspired by Brian Wilson and his interest in cosmic vibrations in space. He wanted to explore the good and/or bad vibes that people give off.

capitol records

Today, Good Vibrations is still played and enjoyed by millions of people. It is still considered a summer anthem is can frequently be found at parties or picnics. Do you like the classic ‘60s song?


8. My Way – Frank Sinatra

My Way was released in the middle of Sinatra’s career and remains one of his best songs. Coming from the 1969 album of the same name, it is a remake of a French song with the same meaning. At the time, it spent 75 weeks in the UK Top 40.


The song is a love letter to one’s past and a lifetime of events. It is the most played song at funerals due to the uplifting message of nostalgia and taking control of one’s life.

7. Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye

Sexual Healing appeared on Midnight Love, the 1982 album. The song marked the first single from Marvin Gaye following his departure from his Motown record label. It’s often listed as one of the best songs ever written. The post-disco, soul, and funk song is considered ‘America’s hottest pop culture turn on’.

Columbia/CBS Records

Today, the song is often thought of as one of the most… ahem… romantic songs in recent years. Its explicit meaning often excites those who listen to it.


6. Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd

Comfortably Numb appeared on the band’s 11th album, The Wall, from 1980. Almost 40 years later, the song is one of their most iconic songs due to its two guitar solos and evocative lyrics.

Rock Hall Library and Archive

Most people think it refers to drug use, and while this has been denied, we can’t be sure if that can be trusted.Comfortably Numb was written by both Roger Waters and David Gilmour who often perform the song in modern times.

5. Wonderwall – Oasis

Oasis quickly became one of the most iconic bands of the mid-90s with their breakout his Wonderwall. From their album, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? The song describes “an imaginary friend who’s gonna come and save you from yourself”.

To this day, Wonderwall remains one of the band’s most popular songs and one of Britain’s most famous exports. Almost 25 years have gone by but the lyrics and unique instrumentals have remained iconic. Who is your Wonderwall?


4. Piano Man – Billy Joel

Piano Man tells the semi-true stories of Billy Joel’s time as a piano man performing in a bar. Through its various verses, Joel sings us through the various characters he would meet throughout all hours of the day.

It’s been more than 45 years since Piano Man was first released, but the song still resonates with music fans from all over the world. In 2016, the Library of Congress selected it to be preserved in the National Recording Registry. It cites its “cultural, historic, or artistic significance”.

3. Dreams – Fleetwood Mac

There is no album more full of heartbreak and turmoil than Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 album Rumours. During its recording, two of the band members divorced from each other, another two were fighting during an acrimonious affair, and the fifth member was having personal domestic problems.

Despite all this, Dreams cuts through the emotional chords of its performers and listeners to explore the feelings of love and loss. All these years later, its beat and lyrics remain incredibly powerful to future generations.


2. Superstition – Stevie Wonder

Another song to hit the radio in the 1970s was Steve Wonder’s iconic hit Superstition. From the 1972 album Talking Heads, Wonder wrote a funky hit that electrifies the hearts of all its listeners.

It’s almost impossible to resist a dance to the heavy funk and bass lines that flow through the speakers and into the airwaves. To date, it is still a staple at most parties or weddings to encourage people to get the dance floor. With its bass and blowing brass set, it’s easy to hear why.

1. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

It might sound crazy now, but Bohemian Rhapsody was considered somewhat of a gamble upon its release in 1975. The band was in desperate need of a hit, but a 7-minute ballad including opera solos and grunge riffs, all mixed together with poetry and screams.


It’s a mishmash of themes and styles that effortlessly blend together to tell the story of a group of misfits. Today, you’ll be hard-pressed not to find someone who doesn’t know the lyrics to the anthem.

The 50 most iconic songs of all time* have been revealed

*According to science.

Science has the definitive word on quite a lot of things, but given that it’s is so open to interpretation and taste, music is certainly not one of them.

Despite that, a computer scientist in the University of London has sought to apply a formula to what determines the greatest songs of all time and he’s come up with a definitive list of the top 50.

According to the Daily Mail, Dr Mick Grierson examined a whole host of songs that appeared in ‘greatest songs of all-time’ lists in newspapers, on music stations like VH1 and in iconic music publications such as Q, NME and Rolling Stone.

Commissioned by car manufacturer Fiat, who wanted to identify a song they could use to promote the FIAT 500, he also used analytical software in an attempt to put a finger on what exactly made those tunes iconic.

That involved taking into account factors such as beats per minute, chord variety, lyrical content and eh, timbral variety and sonic variance before arriving at the list you can see below.

We’re certainly not going to argue with number one.

Turns out science doesn’t have a bad taste in music after all.

The Top 50 most iconic songs of all time

  1. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
  2. Imagine – John Lennon
  3. One – U2
  4. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
  5. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
  6. Hey Jude – The Beatles
  7. Like A Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan
  8. I Can’t Get No Satisfaction – Rolling Stones
  9. God Save The Queen – Sex Pistols
  10. Sweet Child O’Mine – Guns N’ Roses
  11. London Calling – The Clash
  12. Waterloo Sunset – The Kinks
  13. Hotel California – The Eagles
  14. Your Song – Elton John
  15. Stairway To Heaven – Led Zeppelin
  16. The Twist – Chubby Checker
  17. Live Forever – Oasis
  18. I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
  19. Life On Mars? – David Bowie
  20. Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley
  21. Over The Rainbow – Judy Garland
  22. What’s Goin’ On – Marvin Gaye
  23. Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen
  24. Be My Baby – The Ronettes
  25. Creep – Radiohead
  26. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel
  27. Respect – Aretha Franklin
  28. Family Affair – Sly And The Family Stone
  29. Dancing Queen – ABBA
  30. Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
  31. Purple Haze – Jimi Hendrix
  32. Yesterday – The Beatles
  33. Jonny B Good – Chuck Berry
  34. No Woman No Cry – Bob Marley
  35. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
  36. Every Breath You Take – The Police
  37. A Day In The Life – The Beatles
  38. Stand By Me – Ben E King
  39. Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag – James Brown
  40. Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones
  41. What’d I Say – Ray Charles
  42. Sultans Of Swing – Dire Straits
  43. God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
  44. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling – The Righteous Brothers
  45. My Generation – The Who
  46. Dancing In The Street – Martha Reeves and the Vandellas
  47. When Doves Cry – Prince
  48. A Change Is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke
  49. River Deep Mountain High – Ike and Tina Turner
  50. Best Of My Love – The Emotions

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Ever since releasing the world’s first-ever commercial soundtrack over 80 years ago, for the music from Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, the anticipation surrounding each new Disney film is as much for the music as it is for the stunning animations. Globally adored hits such as ‘The Bare Necessities’ and ‘A Whole New World’ have spanned generations, and it’s no accident that, over the years, Disney soundtracks have attracted artists likes of Elton John and Phil Collins. Rightfully showered with plaudits from both the film and music industries, the best Disney songs have racked up the Grammys, Golden Globes and Academy Awards with each new film, and have become a part of our cultural fabric.

Follow the Disney hits playlist for more essential Disney, and scroll down to read out list of the best Disney songs of all time.

‘Un Poco Loco’ (Coco, 2017)

Disney’s latest release, Coco, is a 3D animation based on the Mexican Day Of The Dead. The plot revolves around Miguel Rivera, a 12-year-old boy who finds himself in the afterlife and enlists the help of his musician great-great-grandfather to get him home. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Disney film if Miguel and his deceased relative didn’t stop at every possible opportunity to perform a plethora of catchy hits – and we’re more than happy that they do. The all-Latino cast deliver an incredible soundtrack, with a score composed by Michael Giacchino; among the delights are ‘Un Poco Loco’, written by Germaine Franco and Adrian Molina.

‘Part Of Your World’ (The Little Mermaid, 1989)

‘Part Of Your World’ is Ariel’s big ballad about her desire to join the human world, but it almost didn’t make it into the film. During a test screening, the young children in the audience became restless and rowdy during the scene in which it featured, causing former Disney chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg to call for the song to be shortened or cut. However, the song’s composer, Alan Menken, and lyricist Howard Ashman, resisted doing this until the film was more finalised. During a second screening, with the film now colourised and polished, the new test audience liked the song and ‘Part Of Your World’ remained. The original version of the song is sung by Jodi Benson and received applause at one of the early public screenings.

‘Let It Go’ (Frozen, 2013)

There are no words to describe the phenomenon that was, is and probably forever will be Frozen’s ‘Let It Go’. As soon as you see the song title, you can already hear the chorus belting out in your head. Written by husband-and-wife songwriting duo Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, the song was performed in the film by actress and singer Idina Menzel in her role as Queen Elsa. (A shorter, more pop-friendly version was also recorded by Demi Lovato to play over the film’s closing credits.)

‘Let It Go’ won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2014, the Grammy Award for Best Song Written For Visual Media in 2015, and reached the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Now with over 900 million YouTube hits, the world has been powerless to stop the snowstorm that was ‘Let It Go’.

‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’ (The Lion King, 1994)

This iconic ballad from The Lion King was composed by Elton John, with lyrics by Tim Rice. The song is rumoured to have been rewritten 15 times to keep up with changes to the film: at first it was to appear before Simba and Narla met, then after their reunion; at one point it was planned as a Timon and Pumba number.

The final version that made it into the film was performed by Kristle Edwards, Joseph Williams, Sally Dworsky, Nathan Lane, and Ernie Sabella, while Elton’s version appeared over the end credits and earned him a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’ also won the 1994 Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song.

‘How Far I’ll Go’ (Moana, 2016)

Moana is Disney’s brand new CGI-animated feature film about a daring teenager leaving the safety of her island in order to to save her people. Joined by demigod Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson), she faces monsters and impossible odds in this action-packed adventure across the open sea.

‘How Far I’ll Go’ is Moana’s song and is just as motivational and inspiring as we’ve come to expect from Disney anthems. Written by Tony- and Grammy-winning songwriter and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, it calls for adventure and puts a modern twist on what feels like a classic 90s Disney song. Auli’I Cravalho sings the film version of the single, while the end-credit version is performed by Canadian singer-songwriter Alessia Cara. Known for her multi-platinum singles ‘Here’ and ‘Wild’, Cara is also a Juno Award winner for Breakthrough Artist Of The Year, and a 2016 American Music Award nominee for New Artist Of The Year.

‘A Whole New World’ (Aladdin, 1992)

This classic ballad between main characters Aladdin and Jasmine was originally sung by Brad Kane and Lea Salonga. The soundtrack won composer Alan Menken and lyricist Tim Rice a string of awards, including an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song, and it was also the first and only Disney song to win a Grammy Award for Song Of The Year.

According to Glen Keane, lead animator for the character of Aladdin, Disney wanted to write a leading male with more depth than their usual princes; he could “never understand why Snow White and Sleeping Beauty fell for those cardboard symbols”. ‘A Whole New World’ reveals Aladdin to be bold, daring and loveable, and not just your usual Prince Charming on a white horse (or, in this case, magic carpet).

‘Beauty And The Beast’ (Beauty And The Beast, 1991)

Written by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman, ‘Beauty And The Beast’ was originally recorded by Angela Lansbury, who voiced Mrs Potts in the movie. However, Lansbury was hesitant about recording the song, as she worried her singing voice was no longer strong enough for it. Despite Lansbury’s suggestion that the songwriters find someone else, Menken and Ashman encouraged her to sing it “the way she envisioned it”. The song was later recorded as a pop duet between Céline Dion and Peabo Bryson, and released as the only single from the film’s soundtrack.

‘I’ll Make A Man Out Of You’ (Mulan, 1998)

Composed by Matthew Wilder and written by lyricist David Zippel, ‘I’ll Make A Man Out Of You’ is performed by character Captain Li Shang during a military training montage. Donny Osmond was chosen to sing as the character of Shang, as he had a similar voice to BD Wong, who provided the character’s speaking voice. (Osmond had previously auditioned to play the titular hero of Disney’s 1997 movie of Hercules.)

‘You’ll Be In My Heart’ (Tarzan, 1998)

Written and performed by Phil Collins for 1998’s Tarzan, ‘You’ll Be In My Heart’ was a response to Disney’s request for a song with a “strong jungle beat” to accompany the titular hero’s adventures, and is one of the five original songs written by Collins for the film. The majority of the song is said to have been written at a Christmas party, when Phil wrote down the chords and melody on the back of some wrapping paper while playing piano at a friend’s house.

‘Colors Of The Wind’ (Pocahontas, 1995)

Originally recorded by Pocahontas voice actress Judy Kuhn, ‘Colors Of The Wind’ was later re-recorded by Vanessa Williams and released as a single. Written by lyricist Stephen Schwartz and composer Alan Menken, the song is Pocahontas trying to explain to Captain John Smith the animism of Native America and convince him that nature is not something to be bought or conquered, but something to be respected and conserved. ‘Colors Of The Wind’ won both the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song, as well as the Grammy Award for Best Song Written For A Movie.

‘Heigh-Ho’ (Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, 1937)

Released in January 1938, several weeks after the movie entered cinemas, Songs From Walt Disney’s Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (With The Same Characters And Sound Effects As In The Film Of That Title) was the first ever commercially issued film soundtrack. The musical score was composed by Paul J Smith and Leigh Harline, and the songs on the album were written by Larry Morey, Frank Churchill and Leigh Harline. ‘Heigh-Ho’ is arguably the most recognised song from the film and is sung by the dwarves as they head to work down the mine.

‘The Bare Necessities’ (The Jungle Book, 1967)

Written by Terry Gilkyson and sung by Phil Harris as Baloo, with Bruce Reitherman as Mowgli, ‘The Bare Necessities’ is about appreciating the simpler things in life. It is taken from Disney’s 1967 feature, The Jungle Book, which was the last animated film that Walt Disney himself worked on before his death.

The filmmakers originally wanted The Beatles to voice the four vultures in the film, but due to either a clash of schedules, or (if the rumours are to be believed) John Lennon’s refusal to partake, this was never to be.

‘You Got A Friend In Me’ (Toy Story, 1996)

Originally intended to be the theme for the first Toy Story, ‘You Got A Friend In Me’ has since become the theme song for the entire franchise. Written and performed by Randy Newman, the song was nominated for both the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song, but lost out on both – to another Disney classic, Pocahontas’ Colors Of The Wind’.

The Perfect Disney Playlist to Get You Through the Day

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Here’s a carefully crafted Disney movie playlist that will get you through the work or school day!

As you can imagine, Disney music is often playing in the halls of the Oh My Disney offices. Whether it be for a project, or just for fun, Disney music is a must here. Sometimes we’ll put headphones in and listen to a Disney playlist to focus on a task. Sometimes someone will start playing a song from their laptop and everyone will sing along. Putting together a Disney playlist for the day is an important job, and it must be crafted with great care and understanding of the emotions that each song evokes. Today we are sharing the best Disney playlist to get you through the work or school day. We hope it will make your day more productive, fun, and magical:

1. “I Can Go the Distance” from Hercules

Start your day off strong with one of the most inspirational Disney songs of all time. It will encourage you to stay focused on your goals, and remind you that you can achieve anything if you keep working at it. Make sure to pose like Hercules does above for extra effect.

2. “Circle of Life” from The Lion King

For your commute to work or school, there is no other option. Belt this out in the car and you’ll be ready to take on any challenges that await once you get to your destination.

3. “Belle” from Beauty and the Beast

This is the perfect song to listen to when you’re picking up your morning coffee or breakfast. You’ll be interacting with a lot of people, and it will be all the more fun to assign them roles in the iconic opening scene of Beauty and the Beast. Extra points if you can walk through crowds while only looking at your phone (like Belle does with her book.)

4. “One Jump Ahead” from Aladdin

Your morning is all about staying ahead of your work. If you get behind before lunchtime, the rest of the day will be all about catching up. Take a page from Aladdin’s book and stay on top of your to do list (which may or may not include hiding from palace guards.)

5. “Let It Go” from Frozen

Well, it’s almost lunchtime and you need a boost of energy to get you there. Turn up “Let It Go” on your phone or laptop and sing at the top of your lungs. You will feel empowered and any frustrations you had throughout the morning will melt away.

Related Post Get Nostalgic With This Classic Disney Songs Playlist

6. “Hakuna Matata” from The Lion King

This is the ultimate lunchtime song. It will remind you to take a break and stop worrying about all of things you have to do. We recommending dancing to this one. It’s great stress relief and will cover your afternoon workout.

7. “I’ve Got A Dream” from Tangled

You’re back from lunch and need some encouragement to take on the afternoon. Turn up “I’ve Got A Dream” and remember that you can only achieve your dreams if you move towards them. Or say them out loud. Or sing about them.

8. “Almost There” from The Princess and the Frog

It’s the mid-afternoon and you are already making dinner plans and wondering what Disney movie you will watch tonight. The evening feels like a million hours away. Don’t worry, Tiana will reassure you that with a little hard work, you’re almost to the end of the work day.

9. “I’ll Make a Man Out Of You” from Mulan

Toward the very end of your day, it’s hard to focus. You may find yourself staring at walls and off into the distance. That’s when you need to turn to Shang to show you how to be as tranquil as a forest but on fire within and finish that work day strong.

10. “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes” from Cinderella

You’re finally free after work or school, and it’s time to unwind. It’s important to end your day with an uplifting, yet relaxing tune. This song will encourage your mind to dream about all of the wonderful things that the next day will bring.

To make your day even easier, we’ve already made this playlist on Spotify, which you can find here. Enjoy!

The lyrics for the song mentioned in this post, “I’ll Make A Man Out of You”, were written by Matthew Wilder and David Zippel.

Posted 3 years Ago

The 30 greatest Disney songs – ranked!

30. Little April Shower (Bambi, 1942)

It is not clear if Little April Shower is supposed to sound as sinister and hallucinatory as it does – the middle section of the song, with its wordless, seasick vocal chorus and surging orchestration seems to cast a pall over its cuter moments. In a certain light, it sounds like the kind of thing the acid-addled Brian Wilson dreamed up for the Beach Boys’ Smile album.

29. Why Should I Worry? (Oliver & Company, 1988)

A lost song from Disney’s 80s doldrums. The music is very much of its era, but Billy Joel seems to have interpreted his brief as “write lyrics in the style of Lou Reed”, with references to the Bowery, St Mark’s Place and the Chelsea hotel. And the deadpan “Why should I care? / Even when I cross the line, I got street savoir-faire.”

28. I 2 I (A Goofy Movie, 1995)

An overlooked film released to a lukewarm critical response, A Goofy Movie nevertheless contained one hidden smash in the Tevin Campbell and Rosie Gaines-sung I 2 I, heavy on the breakbeats and synth stabs, and audibly constructed as a homage to Gaines’ sometime collaborator Prince.

Traditional Broadway … Tangled.

27. Mother Knows Best (Tangled, 2010)

For all Disney’s increasing interest in commissioning songs rooted in mainstream pop, its films can still feature stuff that sounds like traditional Broadway, such as this fabulously hammy inventory of the world’s ills, from violence and disease to “large bugs”.

26. Friends on the Other Side (The Princess and the Frog, 2009)

Randy Newman’s soundtrack for The Princess and the Frog offered up a series of wonderful pastiches of New Orleans music, from R&B to zydeco, but its greatest moment may be this paean to voodoo. Dr John appeared elsewhere on the soundtrack, but, produced differently, Friends on the Other Side wouldn’t have sounded out of place on his dark 1968 debut album Gris Gris.

25. Under the Sea (The Little Mermaid, 1989)

The film that kicked off the “Disney renaissance”, The Little Mermaid was more knowing than the organisation’s previous work, complete with a villain inspired by the drag queen Divine and Under the Sea, on which jaunty calypso masked social comment and the thought-provoking lyric: “Darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter.”

24. Be Prepared (The Lion King, 1994)

The big ballads and comedy songs garnered most of the attention, but one of The Lion King’s greatest moments is this alternately witty and chilling evocation of evil, the music’s darkly militaristic take on a tango underlined by the distinct hint of the Nuremberg rally about the scene in the film it scores.

23. Be Our Guest (Beauty and the Beast, 1991)

Sometimes, Disney songs work because they hit their emotional target, and sometimes they work because they’re just infernally catchy, lodging in your brain whether you want them to our not: a cod-Gallic ode to gluttony sung by a candlestick, Be Our Guest fits into the once-heard-never-forgotten-without-extensive-therapy category.

Shady beneath the breeziness … Moana. Photograph: Allstar/Walt Disney Pictures

22. You’re Welcome (Moana, 2016)

The writer of Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, came up with this homage to the 60s sunshine pop of the Turtles or the Association. And, like the best 60s sunshine pop, something shady lurks beneath the carefree breeziness of its tune: lyrics that offer a masterclass in passive-aggression.

21. A Whole New World (Aladdin, 1992)

A song that can survive being performed a deux by Peter Andre and Katie Price is clearly a song that is exceptionally well constructed. More winningly rerecorded by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle, Aladdin’s big ballad knocked Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You off the top of the US charts – incredibly, the only Disney song ever to make No 1 in the US.

20. Oogie Boogie’s Song (The Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993)

Tom Waits memorably turned Heigh-Ho from Snow White into the stuff of nightmares on the Disney-themed compilation Stay Awake. Meanwhile, Waits in jazz-influenced beatnik mode sounds like an inspiration for this song, from the film that launched a thousand teenage goth backpacks.

19. Gaston (Beauty and the Beast, 1991)

A comic tour de force, Gaston offers a thick bully making a parade of increasingly crazed public boasts – “I’m especially good at expectorating” – backed up by a fawning chorus of admirers: by the time of the 2017 live-action version, it sounded remarkably like political satire.

18. In a World of My Own (Alice in Wonderland, 1951)

It seems amazing that some lysergically informed late 60s band didn’t cover this. The music is pre-rock’n’roll pop, but the cut-glass voice of Kathryn Beaumont and the lyrics – “All the flowers would have very extra special powers / They would sit and talk to me for hours” – are pure, unwitting psychedelia before their time.

17. Goodbye, So Soon (Basil and the Great Mouse Detective, 1986)

The film it came from is frequently held up as an example of Disney’s wilderness years, when their movies seldom clicked, but Goodbye, So Soon – sung with hammy relish by Vincent Price – is a lost gem. It works on two levels: as a villain wishing death on his enemies and as an up-yours kiss-off to a former partner.

16. Oo-De-Lally (Robin Hood, 1973)

At least something of the 60s pop revolution seemed to have touched Disney by the time it made Robin Hood: Roger Miller’s lovely acoustic song has a distinct hint of the coffeehouse folkie about it, the melody oddly reminiscent of Neil Young’s Dance Dance Dance.

Mary Poppins … gets under the listener’s skin. Photograph: Allstar/Cinetext/Disney

15. Stay Awake (Mary Poppins, 1964)

It’s a split decision as to whether Feed the Birds or Stay Awake is Mary Poppins’ greatest song, but Stay Awake just edges it. Less sentimental than Feed the Birds, from its a cappella intro on, the Julie Andrews-sung lullaby has something indefinably creepy about it, which gets under the listener’s skin.

14. You’ve Got a Friend in Me (Toy Story, 1996)

The very adult, and occasionally controversial, singer-songwriter Randy Newman may have seemed an odd fit for Disney, but he has scored nine of its films (although, admittedly, Toy Story’s maker, Pixar, did not become a part of Disney until 2006). The most celebrated of his contributions You’ve Got a Friend in Me is a simple, timeless paean to undying fealty, lent further charm by Newman’s gruff delivery; in subsequent Toy Story films, its use became increasingly ironised.

13. Trust in Me (The Jungle Book, 1967)

Subsequently given a psychy goth makeover by Siouxsie and the Banshees, who correctly identified that the song had a curiously erotic undercurrent, Trust in Me is The Jungle Book’s weirdest moment. Its simple, suitably hypnotic melody – and suitably serpentine flute – makes evil sound strangely appealing.

12. Baby Mine (Dumbo, 1941)

Authentically traumatic and upsetting, the first half of Dumbo tells you a lot about how ideas about kids’ entertainment have changed over the decades. Its loveliest moment is the heartbreaking Baby Mine, which sets its saga of unconditional parental love against a spectacularly grim backdrop: an imprisoned parent attempting to comfort a bullied child.

11. The Bare Necessities (The Jungle Book, 1967)

Originally soundtracked by a set of folky country songs – and a parody of the Beatles – The Jungle Book ended up with what, song-for-song, may be the greatest Disney soundtrack of all. The Bare Necessities pulls off the difficult task of promoting a carefree, don’t-worry-be-happy approach to life without making you want to repeatedly punch whoever wrote it.

10. The Age of Not Believing (Bedknobs and Broomsticks, 1971)

A moving and incisive song about the fading of childhood and the loss of innocence, The Age of Not Believing is almost unbearably sad. It sounds less like something aimed at kids than an existential crisis set to music: “Your dreams are lost up on a shelf / And worst of all, you doubt yourself”.

9. Remember Me (Coco, 2017)

Coco is a film that tackles tough themes, including death and dementia. Its tear-jerking central song could be about either. Written by Roberto Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, the same team behind Let It Go, it is far more subtle than their biggest hit: its melody – inspired by Chopin – is strong enough to withstand being performed umpteen times in the film.

8. Someday My Prince Will Come (Snow White, 1937)

One of the first Disney songs to cross over into “adult” music, the gorgeous, swooning melody of Someday My Prince Will Come became a jazz standard, apparently first performed as such by the Ghetto Swingers, the jazz band formed in Theresienstadt ghetto/concentration camp, and subsequently by Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck.

One of the greats … Cinderella. Photograph: Sportsphoto/Allstar

7. A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes (Cinderella, 1950)

Less schlocky than you might have imagined a song sung to a crowd of helpful, anthropomorphic birds and mice to be, A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes may be When You Wish Upon a Star’s closest competitor for the title of early Disney’s greatest ballad, subsequently covered by everyone from Brian Wilson to Jessie Ware.

6. Jessie’s Song (Toy Story 2, 1999)

With its accompanying visuals, Jessie’s Song was the latest in a line of Disney songs that acutely skewer the sadness of childhood ending. Without them, Randy Newman had written something even more universal: a poignant, emotionally affecting piano ballad about a lost love affair or friendship, mourned by only one participant.

5. Ev’rybody Wants to Be a Cat (The Aristocats, 1970)

Still not yet hip to pop music – the crows visibly based on the Beatles in The Jungle Book sing barbershop – Disney was on a firmer footing with jazz. Punning on the slang use of the word “cat”, Scatman Crothers’ star turn – complete with a vaguely Eartha Kitt-esque interlude from Eva Gabor – remains irresistible.

Best-written power ballad in years … Frozen. Photograph: AP

4. Let It Go (Frozen, 2013)

Overfamiliarity has dimmed its impact, but there’s a reason Let It Go became so huge. It is, by some distance, the best-written power ballad in years – stitch that, Linda Perry. The lyrics twist the usual self-help platitudes into something darker, a perfect fixing of adolescent angst, with all its accompanying screw-you impetuousness intact: “No right, no wrong, no rules for me.”

3. I Wanna Be Like You (The Jungle Book, 1967)

There’s an argument that Robert and Richard Sherman should be mentioned in the same breath as Lennon and McCartney or Bacharach and David. I Wanna Be Like You is prime evidence: a beautifully written burst of age-defying joy, it was also quietly subversive in its depiction of evolution at a time when teaching it was still illegal in some US states.

2. Circle of Life (The Lion King, 1994)

Can You Feel the Love Tonight? won an Oscar, but it should have been this. No Disney film has a more spectacular opening than The Lion King, which Elton John and Tim Rice’s song matches: the weird hint of melodic and lyrical melancholy that undercuts its epic soar – “There’s more to do than can ever be done” – gives it a real emotional pull.

When You Wish Upon a Star.

1. When You Wish Upon a Star (Pinocchio, 1940)

Disney’s theme tune is the studio’s equivalent of Over the Rainbow: a song from a children’s film that went beyond its intended audience and ended up part of the great American songbook. Understandably so: nothing about When You Wish Upon a Star itself suggests that it is aimed at kids. Certainly, you couldn’t accuse the lyrics – by Ned Washington, also responsible for The Nearness of You and Wild Is the Wind – of talking down to their audience: “Fate is kind – she brings to those that love the sweet fulfilment of your secret longing.” A song about yearning and hope – it could be read as being an allegory for prayer – When You Wish Upon a Star set the gold standard for Disney songs that transcended the reason they were commissioned, and the context in which they were intended to be heard.

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40 Most Hilarious Song Titles

Titling a song is like naming a new baby: you’ve got one chance to do it right, or risk a lifetime of jeers directed at you. And while many artists opt for song titles that look good etched into a Grammy, others just want to have a good laugh.

From country to emo, these artists aren’t afraid of their fans having a few chuckles at their expense, as evidenced by these hilarious song titles. And for more musical absurdity, check out the 30 Funniest Funniest Rap Lyrics

1 “You’re the Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly”

Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn teamed up for this number with a funny name. And the title’s not the only funny thing about it. That’s why it made the list of 30 Funniest Lines From Country Songs.

2 “We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful”

Morrissey is quite a mopey fellow, but at least he seems to be self-aware. If this song title hits a little too close to home, check out the 40 Best Ways to Jumpstart Your Career.

3 “Thank God And Greyhound (She’s Gone)”

Sounds like Roy Clark went through a bit of a rough breakup. Too bad he didn’t know How Smart Men Never Break Up.

4 “If You Don’t Believe I Love You, Just Ask My Wife”

This strategy might work for Gary P. Nunn, but that doesn’t make it smart.

5 “You Take the Medicine (I’ll Take the Nurse)”

According to William Penix, this is one pill that’s not so hard to swallow.

6 “I Wouldn’t Take Her to a Dog Fight”

Charlie Walker can’t take her to a dog fight, not because dog fights are cruel and illegal, but because he’s afraid she’d win.

7 “She Never Told Me She Was a Mime”

This Weird Al song title is such a groaner it deserves an honorary spot on the list of 50 Dad Jokes So Bad They’re Actually Hilarious.

8 “Dogs Can Grow Beards All Over”

This song title from Devil Wears Prada is certainly weird, but not wrong, per se. If the idea of a dog covered in beards gets you laughing, check out 15 Things Everyone Secretly Finds Hilarious.

9 “Satan Gave Me a Taco”

A song from the early days of Beck’s career, before he toned things down and started writing really depressing music.

10 “I’ve Been Flushed From the Bathroom of Your Heart”

This Johnny Cash song’s title is funny, but it’s also exactly how you feel after you get dumped.

11 “All I Want From You (Is Away)”

Loretta Lynn’s not known for skirting around an issue, but she is known for being funny about it.

12 “You Can’t Have Your Kate and Edith Too”

Country music is a rich source for funny song titles, as demonstrated by this punny title from The Statler Brothers.

13 “If the Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’s Me”

This Jimmy Buffett tune has got a title colder than a million frozen margaritas.

14 “Drop Kick Me, Jesus (Through the Goal Post of Life)”

How Bobby Bare came up with this title is unclear, but he was clearly in need of some help when he did.

15 “Our Lawyer Made Us Change The Name Of This Song So We Wouldn’t Get Sued”

Fall Out Boy have quite a few songs with funny titles. Too bad we’ll never know what this one’s was originally.

16 “If My Nose Was Running Money (I’d Blow It All On You)”

This kooky song has become a country comedy standard, performed by countless artists, including Aaron Wilburn and Mike Snider.

17 “I’ve Got Tears in My Ears From Lying on My Back in Bed While I Cry Over You”

This tune by Homer & Jethro really takes a “tear in my beer” to a whole different level.

18 “How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Loved You When You Know I’ve Been A Liar All My Life”

Fred Astaire and Jane Powell sing this tune from Royal Wedding, which has a title that makes a fair point, in addition to being funny.

19 “I’d Rather Have a Bottle in Front of Me (Than a Frontal Lobotomy)”

Dr. Randy Hanzlick (an actual doctor) wrote this song that has become a popular drinking motto.

20 “I Don’t Know Whether to Kill Myself or Go Bowling”

Seems like the members of Instant Witness don’t like bowling very much.

21 “Billy Broke My Heart at Walgreens (I Cried All the Way to Sears)”

This Ruby Wright song is either an ode to retail therapy or a ballad about crying at work. Either way, it’s pretty sad for a song with such a funny name.

22 “Thanks for the Killer Game of Crisco Twister”

This is the most visceral title of all the Minus the Bear songs with funny names.

23 “Please, Daddy, Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas”

This John Denver song’s title is only funny to the extent that it shows just how far country musicians are willing to go to write something sad.

24 “You Can Make Me Dance, Sing, or Anything …”

“Even Take the Dog for a Walk, Mend a Fuse, Fold Away the Ironing Board, Or Other Domestic Shortcomings” is the rest of the title of this Rod Stewart and the Faces song.

25 “If You Can’t Live Without Me, Why Aren’t You Dead Yet?”

Mayday Parade manages to ask a question that’s both mean and funny.

26 “Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)”

It seems there’s nothing like a bad breakup to inspire bitterly funny songs, as evidenced by this Travis Tritt title.

27 “I Bought the Shoes That Just Walked Out on Me”

Love, loss, and what she wore on the way out are all painfully recounted in this Wynn Stewart song.

28 “She Got the Gold Mine, and I Got the Shaft”

Jerry Reed was a man of many talents. Not only was he a co-star in Smoky and the Bandit, he also wrote great country songs like this one.

29 “Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang”

The fact that this was a hit single for Monte Video and the Casettes really hammers home the “anything goes” vibe happening in the ’80s.

30 “Mmm mmm mmm mmm”

Crash Test Dummies came up with a song that DJs probably hated to mention by name.

31 “Put Your Big Toe in the Milk of Human Kindness”

The title of this Elvis Costello song is a lovely sentiment, but not exactly appetizing imagery.

32 “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Clothes”

It’s no surprise a clever band like They Might Be Giants would have songs with amusing titles.

33 “Too Much Month at the End of the Money”

Blaming the calendar for bad budgeting skills, as Billy Hall does in this song, is a pretty novel approach.

34 “My Uncle Used to Love Me, But She Died”

Roger Miller was the king of comedy country, and this is just one of many hilarious songs he wrote during his prolific career.

35 “I Wanna Find a Woman That’ll Hold My Big Toe Till I Have to Go”

Considering how out there Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band were, it’s entirely possible that they also didn’t know what they meant when they came up with the name of this song.

36 “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)”

You’d never know this song has a funny title unless you saw it spelled out right in front of you, as evidenced by this Sly and the Family Stone song.

37 “This Song Has No Title”

So, is this the name of the song or not, Elton John? This one is very confusing.

38 “Thanks to the Cathouse (I’m in the Doghouse With You)”

Maybe if he behaves himself, Johnny Paycheck can come back into the people house.

39 “What Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made a Loser Out of Me)”

He’s talking about beer, in case you thought Jerry Lee Lewis was talking about the really nice map museum there.

40 “If You Won’t Leave Me, I’ll Find Somebody Who Will”

Leave it to a master songwriter like Warren Zevon to come up with a line that’s both sad and brilliantly funny. And when you want to keep the laughs coming, check out the 50 Knock Knock Jokes Guaranteed to Crack You Up.

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12 songs to make you happy right now

When I was a teenager, I worked hard to hone my skills compiling mix tapes full of Sad Songs to Wallow To. (Listen, breaking up with your boyfriend of three weeks is super tragic.) Even now, twenty years later, those are the songs that can instantly transport me back to those times of high angst, and if you’ve ever experienced this phenomenon (and haven’t we all?), you already know how much power music has to not only reflect our moods but also shape them, as well as shape our memories of certain times and places.

It’s in this spirit that I invite everyone to put their old mix-tape skills to work and start creating a custom collection of feel-good songs. Songs that make us smile, that remind us of good times, that can turn a bad mood on its head. Happy Songs to Get Up and Dance To.

I’ve listed some of my favorites below (and probably embarrassed myself in the process, but, oh well…):

1. “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Just because it’s an obvious choice doesn’t mean it’s not a good one. This is the happiness anthem of our time.

2. “Say Hey (I Love You)” by Michael Franti and Spearhead. Turn it up and then go dance in the street.

3. “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas. Queue this up when you need to get pumped, whether for a blind date or a PTA meeting.

4. “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. This is a classic, but anything that makes you close your eyes and sing at the top of your lungs with one fist clutched passionately to your chest will have a similar mood-boosting effect.

5. “Kodachrome” by Paul Simon. A good reminder to live life in color.

6. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” by Iz Kamakawiwo’ole. It’s not high-energy, but it will fill you with warmth and wonder.

7. “Hey Ya!” by OutKast. Before Taylor Swift had us all shake, shake, shaking it off (also a great pick), remember how we were all shaking it like a Polaroid picture?

8. “I Got You (I Feel Good)” by James Brown. And oldie and a goodie.

9. “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” by Weezer. Get ready to jump up and down during the chorus.

10. “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves. The answer to “Don’t it feel good?” is YES.

11. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin. It’s not always that simple…but sometimes it is.

12. “MMMBop” by Hanson. We’re all friends here, so don’t pretend you’re too good for this.