A secret aspiration of my 8 year old self was to be a Disney princess. Disregarding my current disdain for gender expectations, that was my career goal, no question. Of course, there were a lot of perks that came with the job; silky hair, beautiful dresses, friendly animal sidekicks, a dashing prince, etc. But I wanted to be a Disney princess for one main reason — to have my very own song. I wanted the opportunity to release pent up emotion onto a beautifully composed score.
Growing up in a relatively nerdy household, Disney was a big part of my childhood. I’m not kidding when I say that my halloween costumes for three years in a row were just different variations of Ariel from The Little Mermaid. What compelled me most of all to Disney, I believe, was the music. There is a song to listen to for every mood. Happy as a clam? “Son of Man” from Tarzan. Catching feelings but stubborn to retain your independence? “I Won’t Say I’m in Love” from Hercules. Ambitious and ready to work? “Almost There” from The Princess and the Frog.
The diverse genres of Disney are probably why my music tastes now are so widespread. And most of all, the overarching themes of empowerment and confidence are what caused the small cracks in my large shell. I related to so much of what was being sung, from happiness to loyalty to friendship. I was hooked onto every note, every word. I didn't have to be plain old me. I could be a hero on their way to save the day or the dangerous villain plotting my revenge. I could wear the lyrics like a mask and change my entire state of mind as soon as the opening lines were sung.
Most of the time growing up I never truly felt encouraged, but you can bet whenever I sang from the disney playlists, I sang at full levels of empowerment. Alan Menken and Randy Newman composed the scores to my journey through life up to my adolescence. These songs are part of the soundtrack to my life, so I hope you enjoy a couple songs and feel a little bit like a Disney protagonist (or antagonist *wink wink*).
Go the Distance - Hercules Son of Man - Tarzan I Just Can’t Wait to Be King - Lion King I21 - A Goofy Movie Zero to Hero - Hercules Friend like Me - Aladdin Almost There - Princess and the Frog I Won’t Say I’m In Love - Hercules Cruella Deville - 101 Dalmatians Be Our Guest - Beauty and the Beast Make a Man out of You - Mulan Hakuna Matata- Lion King If I Didn’t Have You - Monster’s Inc Friends on the Other Side - Princess and the Frog One Jump Ahead - Aladdin Like Other Girls - Mulan 2 Circle of Life - Lion King Why Should I Worry? - Oliver & Company You Can Fly - Peter Pan Stand Out - A Goofy Movie