Disney Songs – Sleeping Beauty

Walt Disney's “Sleeping Beauty” Sound Track on Records |

Greetings, Glancers! It’s time to frolic once again in the fantastical fantasy land of Disney. I talked briefly in my Cinderella post about how the company reverted to what it knew best post WWII – Princesses. That film was a success but throughout the 1950s the Company had strayed further from its previous staple and into more uncharted lands – psychedelic wonders, flying boys who never grew up, and cuddly wuddly dogs. These films were all successful to various degrees but at the end of the decade they once again returned to traditional fairy tales. Sleeping Beauty is a tale that every child is told to some degree. The film has become so all pervading that now it’s the near-canon version of the story, but upon release you may be surprised to learn that it wasn’t the massive success you would expect. Critical praise was middling, and it didn’t bring in the same money as some previous films. This took the company in a new direction and they moved away from Princesses for around thirty years. The interim still provided much in the way of heroines – Maid Marion is likely the most notable – but this move towards adaptations of ‘more literary’ works brought the Company into a long standing muted period consisting of the odd hit and many more cult, underrated, or lesser valued films. Sleeping Beauty, even though it retreads much of Snow White is maybe the last great film of Disney’s original era, depending on how you break down timelines. With all that said, the soundtrack doesn’t contain too many classic songs. Much of the score is instrumental making it less of a traditional musical and explains why I’ve bulked out this post with so much extraneous information. Yay!

Once Upon A Dream‘ in typical Disney style of the era, opens the film as the main title. It’s choral vocals again but they take on a deeper hue and are less cringe-worthy to me. This is a fantastic song and for me it’s one of the most iconic. When I heard this years ago I didn’t even realize (or had forgotten) it was a Disney song. It appears at multiple points through the movie in slightly modified forms but the core melody never changes – that’s what the sells the song. That and the lyrics work for me. The most famous version is the one which appears later in the movie, and even the vocals don’t spoil it for me. It feels like a swooning dance and it feels honest – definitely one of their best ballads.

Hail To The Princess Aurora‘ is a very simple repeated chant, again choral voices and lots of regal brass, and once again it works for me both inside and outside the confines of the movie. It’s not one you’re going to see people covering on their YouTube channels, but it’s a nice aside.

Gifts Of Beauty And Song‘ has a long instrumental intro which connects with the previous track. The vocals on this one don’t work as well for me, hitting that whining sound of decades past. It’s nice and sweet but forgettable, the music only picking up once Maleficent makes an appearance but even then her theme is dramatic without being melodic.

I Wonder‘ starts out with another long mainly instrumental section which shifts between plaintive and galloping before Aurora opens her mouth and makes you wonder (ha) why she sings like an 80 year old woman. It’s a nice enough song with nice sweeping runs from high to low, but the vocals aren’t my thing. Melodically there isn’t much to it meaning, I’m repeating myself again, that it doesn’t hold up outside of the movie.

Skumps‘, also known as The Drinking Song, is exactly that. I mean, it’s not the sort of song I would put on before going on a binge, but ‘skumps’ seems like as good a word as any to shout at the police when you’re walking home hammered at 2.30am. It’s not much of a song, lots of instrumentals, before a yells of the title word and a couple of lines. Nice guitar in the middle though.

And that’s it. Really only two ‘proper’ songs, and only one of those would I consider putting on a Disney Greatest Hits or sending into space explain to aliens wtf it’s all about. Luckily that one song is Disney at their timeless best. It’s not quite up their in the top tier in terms of fame or immediate bombastic charm, but it remains one of their most enduring and endearing ballads.

Let us know in the comments what you think of Sleeping Beauty and its soundtrack!

Disney Songs – The Adventures Of Ichabod and Mr Toad

Ichabod & Mr. Toad Soundtrack — JLH Omnimedia

Greetings, Glancers! I mentioned in my last Disney post that we’d be back on familiar ground with this movie. That’s partly true – we don’t have a list of miniature skits here, but it is still a package movie given that it features two separate stories. Moreover, has anyone even watched this movie in the last fifty years or so? So it probably isn’t familiar to most people. There aren’t many songs here either, so this will be a quick post (Qwost?).

Intro Theme‘ is your standard 1940s crap. You already know. Too many voices, terrible singing, no melodies. Lots of jazz. It even has some whistling.

Merrily On Our Way To Nowhere’ is an actual song, thank phuck. It’s not great though, at least it it delivered with panache – the lyrics are basically a list of English towns and counties, and there isn’t much to say about the melodic quality.

Ichabod Crane‘ features someone saying ‘Gadzooks’. The lyrics poke fun at how Ichabod looks, but again there is terrible choral singing and a white page where the melodies should be.

Katrina‘ has some semblance of melody, but it’s too weepy, dreary, and old timey to enjoy. Luckily it’s under two minutes long, like everything else here.

Ballroom Dance‘ sees Ichabod and Katrina dancing while everyone else watches one with jealousy. It has a spoken intro, everything else is spirited, light, and fast instrumental. No singing though.

The Headless Horseman’ is a spooky poem, good for Halloween. This one isn’t to bad, but it’s spoiled by the choral singing. Shocker.

That’s about it. Does the other story even have any songs? I don’t care. We need to get onto the good stuff. Next time, I promise! We’ll be back on track!


To Repel Ghosts

To Repel Ghosts: 4/Great

Another terrific song from Lifeblood which expertly welds together the guitar based rock sound of yore and the more experimental electronic sound (of more?). Filled with glorious harmonic touches which feel at once Christmasy, ghostly, and warm, the chorus is one which soars effortlessly and is served by yearning, haunting verses. Again the melodies hide the lack of lyrical depth, meaning we latch onto the strong lines rather than the repeated ones or uneventful ones. With wonderful production filled with lots of lovely little moments, it raises the tempo and energy of the album and hides a multitude of treats which are only uncovered on repeated listens.

Misheard Lyrics: And unsire Bamford’s lies (?)/ and run, sigh, and run for lives (?)/ and outside blindfold lies

Actual Lyrics: And untie our blindfold eyes

Never Want Again

Generic Ratings: 1: Crap. 2: Okay. 3: Good. 4: Great

One of the earliest acoustic (semi) stylings from the band, this has always been a firm personal favourite, ever since I first stumbled upon it in my early downloading days.  It’s one you’ll never hear any other fans talk about but I loved it from my first listen. Opening with a comedy mis-start, followed by lovely, tender guitar riff, it gives way to a stomping beat, and a simply extraordinary Bradfield vocal. It’s all about the melodies, the ability of Bradfield and possibly no other singer alive to sing them, and some quite lovely harmonies too. The lyrics are fine, taking a break from the politics, but they remain firmly in the style of anthems with a rebellious stance. It’s not too clear what the band are angry about, but they sound so happy and comfortable being angry that you get swept along with the emotion and feel free to use the chorus in your own personal tirade. The brilliant guitar solo at the end isn’t really necessary, but I’m never going to turn down a guitar solo.

Never Want Again: 4/Great

Misheard Lyrics: 1. Burn ’em by our side

2. I saw the rain bleaching my whale

3. My dog gets sick of all its lice

4. Thrown a bone way outside

Actual Lyrics: 1. Burn on by our side

2. I saw the rain bleaching my way

3. My gut gets sick of all its lies

4. Thrown all hope way outside

The Ghosts Of Christmas

Christmas, eh? Everyone loves it – the food, the presents, the laughing at tramps who don’t get anything, the good will, and of course the music. I actually pity you poor yanks and your crappy Christmas music – everyone knows the UK owns the Christmas Song, although since our peak in the 70s and 80s there hasn’t been much to sing about. No surprise then that the Manics stepped up out of nowhere in 2007 with this slice of nostalgic perfection.

Musically, it has all the hallmarks you want, jolly, woozy, party music with big brass, jingle bells, and cheery chorus, and hooks as addictive as cocktail sausages. Lyrically wonderful it is too, each line marvelous at evoking universal memories – or universal for Britain. Footballs, Scalextric, drunken joy, Morcambe And Wise – this is a song which should be played alongside all of the other British favourites and deserves airplay every December on all of those terrible Top 50 Christmas song shows which take over the music channels on TV each year.

Misheard Lyrics: Sulu’s on the malteaser (?)

Actual Lyrics: Zulu’s on, the Milk Tray’s out

The Ghosts Of Christmas: 4/Great

Nightman’s Favourite Songs Of All Time – Everlasting Love – Love Affair

One of my Glastonbury snaps from 2003

Greetings, Glancers! This song is marvelous. I’d forgotten about for a long time… forgotten isn’t the correct word – more like I hadn’t thought about it for years. In most of these posts I talk about my memories of the songs as they tend to have some special nostalgia or anchor in space and time. Unusually, I have no idea when I first heard Everlasting Love and I can’t think of any nostalgia surrounding it. I remember it from my childhood, but I remember millions of songs from then too. It’s just so good that when I listened to it again out of the blue, its quality knocked me over.

This is one of those songs which has been covered, successfully, a billion times. The version I’m talking about most is by Love Affair. When I first heard the song again recently, I couldn’t have told you who it was by, and when I watched the Love Affair video online I was confused as it seemed like a very recent video. Like maybe from the 80s or 90s, but with an HD makeover to make it look even more modern. But no, this version, and the video, are from 1968. I still don’t understand this. Seriously, watch this video and tell me it’s from 1968 and not from today. On closer inspection, some of the hair and clothes and dances tell you it’s from the 60s, but so much of it feels ultra-modern. The music and the look hasn’t aged a second. What adds to the weirdness is that the singer looks about 14 years old, yet has the voice of a seasoned blues rocker.

The song was originally written and released in 1967, the first performer being Robert Knight, yet the most successful version in the US was by Carl Carlton seven years later. Both these versions are good, but they lack something special – probably the fact that I’m more familiar with the Love Affair one. There’s a terrible version by Sandra in the 80s – quite a lot of cheesy pop versions in the 80s in fact, Gloria Estefan did one, and a bunch of boy bands and pop stars have since done their own thing with it, with diminishing returns. What stands out is the melody and the earnest message. It’s one of a very select group of songs which came from the 60s and has been re-recorded with financial and critical success in every decade since. Still, the Love Affair one tops them all.

What’s so good about it? I love the ever so slight subversion of the verse chorus format – here the song extends the verse without reaching the chorus (I say extended, but we still hit the chorus inside the first minute) and then, with no fucks given, just sticks with the chorus for the entirety of the song. With a chorus like this, you can understand why they keep it. The chorus acts more like a refrain, with slight musical and clear lyrical differences with each cycle. I love the whole instrumental section with its Motown brass and thumping beats, I love how the intro gives the whole song away in just a few moments – with one of my favourite bass parts in history chucked in to act as a transition. Hell, I even love the dancer in the video. No, not that strange lip-licking, prancing harlequin who skips about, but the long-haired woman who is probably 90 years old now.

I know these posts are meant to represent my own personal favourite songs of all time, but I honestly feel like this is more, that this song, and this version of it, is one of the best songs of all time. It’s just perfect. Great orchestration and performance, powerful vocals – understanding that it isn’t the easiest song to sing, and just an overall vibe of goodness.

Let us know in the comments what you think of Everlasting Love!


Generic Ratings: 1: Crap. 2: Okay. 3: Good. 4: Great

A true cult favourite for most hardened fans, this one has been adopted by fans as their own anthem and dedication, hardly surprising with lines like ‘put some lipstick on, at least your lies will be pretty’ speaking a thousand truths for us outcasts and misfits who find affinity with the band. Musically it’s okay, standing out mainly for a fantastic solo and of course Bradfield’s high pitched final screech. I do like how the solo sounds so skyscraping, only for it to be restrained and drawn back as the song comes to a softer, stuttering finish.

This B-Side to Roses In The Hospital is one of the most highly regarded by fans and the band alike and would later appear on Lipstick Traces – I like it okay and go between giving it a 2 or 3 score, but the solo tends to keep it in the higher group.

Donkeys: 3/Good

Misheard Lyrics: 1. Donkeys don’t have lots of tears. Actual Lyrics: Donkeys don’t allow their tears.

Misheard Lyrics: 2. And emotion never fear. Actual Lyrics: No emotion never feel.

Misheard Lyrics: 3. Donkeys wake up in a sty. Actual Lyrics: Donkeys weight cracking a spine.

Misheard Lyrics: 4. Lost with solace inside/loves the silence inside. Actual Lyrics: Those with silence inside.

Misheard Lyrics: 5. Donkeys are only left with dice/lice. Actual Lyrics: Donkeys are only left with lies .