Disney Playlist Series: The Party Songs

Some songs make you think, and some songs make you cry, and some songs make you sentimental, but SOME songs make you really, really happy and make you want want to dance around the room (or bust a move while you're driving, or whatever.) This is that list of songs for me. They come from a bunch of different movies (with a few double features), but they all just feel like a big party that I've been lucky enough to be invited to. These songs have livened up many a study session or cleaning spree at my house, that's for sure!

Without further adieu, I give you... the PARTY SONGS! Crank 'em up!

1. Be Our Guest (Beauty and the Beast)- if this song doesn't make you want to sing along, I don't know what will. (Bonus points if you sing it in Lumiere's French accent... double points if you change voices for Mrs. Potts!) Beauty and the Beast is one of my very favorite Disney movies and, naturally, the songs reflect the genius that is Alan Menken (who also wrote the score for Newsies, of which I'm a bit of a fan.) I LOVE this song. 

2. I Wanna Be Like You (The Jungle Book)- jazz and Louis Prima and a bunch of dancing monkeys? What's not to like? Phil Harris (Baloo) is one of my favorite Disney actors... his voice credits include Little John from Robin Hood! He's the bomb. But seriously, this song has some of the best orchestration on this playlist. To quote Bing Crosby, "That's jazz!"

3. Portabello Road (Bedknobs and Broomsticks)- this one is probably not as well known (I wrote about the movie here) but it's SUCH a fun song... clever lyrics, street dancing, and I always love David Tomlinson. Another triumph for the Sherman brothers!

4. Step in Time (Mary Poppins)- in case you didn't know, Mary Poppins was my favorite movie as a kid. And what was more fun than watching all the chimneysweeps dancing around "on the rooftops of London"? That and Dick van Dyke's cockney accent make this one a classic for me. I still get happy every time it comes on my Pandora station. =)

5. Hakuna Matata (The Lion King)- man, this is like the ultimate happy song! You just HAVE to sing along to it... I think it's a law somewhere! (Again, bonus points for changing voices with Timon and Pumba.) And it's not a bad mantra to live by..."It means NO WORRIES for the rest of your days!" (Maybe not practical, but it's a nice sentiment anyway. =)

6. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (Mary Poppins)- two songs from the same movie? Gasp! Yes, because they are that good! I remember feeling very accomplished when I was little when I could finally pronounce the whole word... and then even more excited when I learned how to spell it. Anyway, I really think Julie Andrews is one of the great legends of musicals in our lifetime... she is amazing. And I've already gushed about the Sherman brothers but I'm certainly not above doing it again. They're ridiculously talented!

7. Everybody Wants to Be a Cat (The Aristocats)- I already mentioned how much I love Phil Harris, and this movie, where he voices Thomas O'Malley (O'Malley, the alley cat), is no exception. More jazz, more Sherman brothers magic, and three cute little kittens. (Animated is pretty much the only way I can tolerate cats.) Another "swingin'" number! (Jonathan isn't a fan of this one... I still haven't forgiven him for it.)

8. Bare Necessities (The Jungle Book)- more Phil Harris! This is another "makes me feel good and happy and forget my troubles" kind of song. If only we could all live a simple life and float around in the jungle with a domesticated black bear. Ha! (I admit when I was little I seriously envied Mowgli's floating down the river and I really wanted to swing across like the monkeys did. (I was a weird kid.)

9. Under the Sea (The Little Mermaid)- I saved the best for last because, honestly, this just DEFINES a Disney party song for me. You really can't sit still through it... the reggae sound and sweet orchestration is only as awesome as the ridiculously clever lyrics. (Disney lyricists are some kind of wizards.) Anyway, how can you top a "hot crustacean band"? You just can't. 

So, next time you need a party playlist (or a situation that needs livening up, or just a crummy day that needs brightening). look no further than the Disney party playlist! It'll put a smile on your face (and maybe a little swing in your hips... unless you share my heinous inability to dance. The expression "dance like nobody's watching" is only true for me if, in fact, NO ONE is watching .=)


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