I’m so excited to have Melissa from Mouse on the Mind, one of my favorite Disney blogs, join me today on THP. It’s been so great getting to know her over the past few months, and just talk to someone who is always juggling 5 million things at once. We have that in common. She was so excited to write about her favorite non-Disney Disney songs… and I’m excited to share it with you.
I’m a child of the late 80s. For those of you who didn’t live through that florescent-colored, feathered-hair time, I have two words for you: Mix Tapes.
When I was really young, I had a Playskool Rockin Robot cassette player with a big, grinning face and a handheld microphone. It was amazing. I’d carry it around the house, recording a narration of my life, write and perform my own songs and, of course, hold the microphone up to the television and the radio so I could record my favorite songs and commercials.
[Photo shamelessly stolen from RetroThing]
When I got a little bit older, I’d use my all-in-one stereo to make mix tapes of songs recorded from the radio and from my own CD collection. These days, my stereo is an iPod docking station, and my iDevices are perpetually set to “shuffle.” At work, my Pandora stations take my musical tastes to the farthest edges of my interest.
In effect, my mix tapes have become more random, but I definitely feel the pull of the mix tape. I made one for my father’s 60th birthday, and I’m in the middle of making one for my baby sisters’ high school graduation party.
And, today, I’m making one just for you!
You can listen to loops of Parks background music on YouTube or the countless streaming radio stations that focus on the magic. And there’s already a Pandora station set up for classic Disney music. This, my friends, is a special mix tape, made entirely of songs about or inspired by Disney … but that have literally nothing to do with Disney.
Track One: Kingdom in the Sky by Da Vinci’s Notebook
This is a great a cappella gospel parody song in its own right, but the subject matter just gets me all kinds of goosebumpy. Doesn’t this remind you of walking down Main Street early in the morning before the crowds are too big?
Track Two: Pirate’s Life by The Vandals
The Vandals are absolutely one of my top five favorite punk bands. Their humor is unparalleled. (Check out Grandpa’s Last Christmas for some holiday cheer.) And this is the stuff: an old school punk rock story about a dude who finds himself among the “hairy, tattooed” Pirates of the Caribbean. I won’t ruin the punchline for you, but it makes me laugh every time.
Track Three: Disney Freak by Armand and Angelina
This entry is kind of weird. It’s performed by a pair of “popera” singers, and mostly they’re all about love ballads and other adult contemporary stuff. But this song. Well. They wrote this song about me. I mean, honestly. They probably wrote it about you, too. They hit all of the important characteristics of a major Disney Parks fan, although I wish there was a verse here about Animal Kingdom or sneaking booze into the Magic Kingdom (although I swear I’ve never personally done that).
Track Four: Walt Disney by Rivers Cuomo
Weezer is one of my all-time favorite bands, and Rivers is their geek-chic and charming lead singer/songwriter. This song is another page from the myth of a cryogenically frozen Walt Disney—in fact, other than mentioning that the singer is just as cold as Disney, this song isn’t about Disney at all. But gee golly is it catchy!!
Track Five: Disney Girls by The Beach Boys
You might think this song is about Estelle and I, but it’s not. It’s not even really about Disney. But it is so beautiful. It’s one of my favorite songs to slow dance around the living room to, and it gets right to the heart of why so many of us are Disney Girls. I also love how easily the previous song flows right into this one.
Track Six: Death at Disneyland by Smugglers
I don’t know much (or anything) about this band, but Death at Disneyland is a fast-paced, fun and above-all dark punk song that makes me laugh. I have to say … I did have a really great day! Meet you at the Tiki Hut.
Track Seven: Mickey Mouse by Sparks
If you were just thinking, “But I just want to dance,” then this amusingly disarming track is for you. I may dance like Elaine from Seinfeld, but damned if I can make myself stop when this comes on the iPod. Get to know everyone’s favorite M-O-U-S-E in this new wave synth-pop gem. (Caution: it’s an ear worm.)
Track Eight: Dizz Knee Land by dada
I had to include this one because … well, it actually was on at least one of my mix tapes in the early 90s! It’s by alt-rock band dada, and the video is so grungey 90s that it makes my heart hurt a little bit. According to the band’s bassist, the song isn’t about Disney at all, but whatever. It’s awesome.
Track Nine: Skipper Dan by Weird Al Yankovic
You all know Weird Al, right? Musically, this is about what you’d expect from him, but boy is this a great story! You’d have to be made of stone if you don’t laugh (and maybe cry just a little) at a rising star who ends up narrating on the Jungle Cruise. My personal favorite Jungle Cruise joke even makes an appearance in the bridge!
Track Ten: Uncle Disney by Keller and the Keels
Patterson Hood wrote and performs this song with his band, Drive-By Truckers, but this blue-grass inspired version of another selection from the frozen-Disney file is just so fun! I just love the implication: If Walt were here today, boy would he be pissed! I’m guessing he really wants Monstropolis and MuppetLand, too. Also: EPCOT Center. (Huge props to this song. It inspired this entire post!)
Bonus Track: I’m Your Moon by Jonathan Coulton
A sweet love song about an unlikely subject, I’m Your Moon is written and performed by my favorite humorist singer-songwriter. Though this isn’t technically a song about Disney, it is, in a roundabout way, about Disney’s most famous pooch! Think about it … who’s the subject of this lovely tune?
Do you have any favorite Disney-inspired songs?? Share them in the comments!