Monday, June 20, 2011


by Howard Ashman
from Smile (1986)

Hot summer night,
I guess the folks were busy fighting.
Joe'd already left home.
Eleven years old on my own
Feeling nothing but lonely.

There's nothing to do.
There's nothing out there but the traffic
Down on state ninety-three,
So I'd sit through the night
By our old black and white TV.

That's where I saw it.
That's when I heard it.
Calling, calling me ...

Disneyland, Magic Kingdom.
Disneyland ...
I close my eyes real tight.
Wishing hard I might, wishing hard I may.

Find my way to
Disneyland, gotta get to
On a western breeze
Magic carpet please, carry me away.

Oh, I know you're gonna say
The trees are paper mache.
It's done with mirrors, the magic there.
Each little bird's full of springs,
You press a button it sings
Recorded music in the air.

They've had the mountain refaced
It's only plywood and paste -
Go on say it!
I'll turn around and tell you I don't care!
I don't ... care.

I will live in
Make my home in
Maybe it's all fake,
That's a chance I'll take,
It's perfectly OK.

Someone give me
Take me there
To Disneyland.
And when I get to Disneyland ...
I'll stay!

I'm heading to Universal Studios in Orlando early this morning, so I thought a theme-park themed song would be appropriate for today's post.  This song comes from the musical flop, Smile.  Never heard of it?  Not surprising ... it only ran for 48 performances, so not many people have.  What is surprising about its lack of success was the writing team - the music by Marvin Hamlisch and the words by Disney animated feature lyricist, Howard Ashman (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and others).  What is also surprising about this score (which chronicled the lives of teenage contestants in a California beauty pageant) are the gems, like the title song and this touching ballad, "Disneyland."

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