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Jodi Benson - Part of Your World (1989)

  • Video Views 216,745,698
  • 80's Score 80's score: 1.21
  • Find this song on: Music Stack

“Part of Your World” is a song written by lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken for Disney’s ...

“Part of Your World” is a song written by lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken for Disney’s animated feature film The Little Mermaid (1989). Performed by American actress and singer Jodi Benson in the titular role as Ariel, a mermaid princess, “Part of Your World” is a power ballad in which the main character expresses her strong desire to become human; its lyrics use placeholder names in lieu of several human-related terms that would be unfamiliar to a mermaid. The film’s theme song, “Part of Your World” is reprised by Ariel after she rescues Eric, a human prince with whom she has fallen in love, from drowning.

Directly influenced by Broadway and musical theatre, Ashman strongly believed that The Little Mermaid would benefit from an “I Want” song – a musical number during which the main character sings about what they hope to accomplish by the end of their story. Directors Ron Clements and John Musker originally asked Ashman to write a song for Ariel in which she expresses her romantic feelings for Prince Eric, but the lyricist felt that a song that details the character’s fascination with the human world would better serve the film’s plot. Ashman recruited Benson, with whom he had previously collaborated on the stage musical Smile (1986), to record “Part of Your World”, and worked closely with her to ensure that she delivered a desirable performance. Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg initially ordered that “Part of Your World” be removed from the final film due to concerns that the ballad would bore young children. However, Ashman, Clements, Musker and animator Glen Keane ultimately convinced Katzenberg that “Part of Your World” is essential to the film’s narrative, and the song was spared after audiences appeared to enjoy it during a subsequent test screening.

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