If I Never Knew You

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"If I Never Knew You"
Single by Jon Secada and Shanice
from the album Pocahontas
Released September 12, 1995
Format CD single
Recorded 1995
Genre Pop, R&B
Length 4:10
Label Walt Disney
Writer(s) Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz
Jon Secada chronology
"Mental Picture"
(1995)
"If I Never Knew You"
(1995)
"Too Late Too Soon"
(1997)
Shanice chronology
"I Wish"
(1994)
"If I Never Knew You"
(1995)
"When I Close My Eyes"
(1999)
Pocahontas (soundtrack) track listing
"Colors of the Wind" - Vanessa L. Williams
(28)
"If I Never Knew You" - Jon Secada & Shanice
(29)

If I Never Knew You is a song by American recording artists Jon Secada and Shanice, from Disney's 1995 animated feature film, Pocahontas. The song was written by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz, and originally recorded by American singer Judy Kuhn in her film role as the singing voice of Pocahontas, and American actor Mel Gibson in his role as Captain John Smith. Shanice and Secada's version is heard during film's end credits, and was released on September 12, 1995 as the second single from the film's soundtrack, after Vanessa Williams' pop rendition of the Academy Award-winning "Colors of the Wind".

The song was originally developed for the prison scene where Pocahontas visits Captain John Smith before he is to be put to death for the alleged murder of Kocoum, Chief Powhatan's warrior whom Pocahontas was going to marry. The musical number, which was about 90% animated, was to be a duet performed by the pair as they acknowledge their love for each other. Because during test screenings with child audiences their attention "seemed to wander from the film", Alan Menken, the composer of the songs for Disney's Pocahontas, suggested it be cut because he also felt that it slowed the pace of the movie, with another song, Savages, not five minutes after. Though cut from the movie itself, If I Never Knew You was still performed by Jon Secada and Shanice at the end credits and released as a single. It had a few different lyrics than the film's original lyrics.

In 2005, Disney released the tenth anniversary edition of Pocahontas, which had the song fully animated and integrated into the film, but was an optional feature that you could refuse and watch the original theatrical version instead, due to seamless branching. It was performed by Mel Gibson (Captain Smith) and Judy Kuhn (Pocahontas) within the film's narrative. It was recorded for the original film in 1995.

Track listing[edit]

US single
  1. English Version
  2. Spanish Version
  3. Spanglish Version
UK single
  1. English Version
  2. Mine Mine Mine - David Ogden Stiers, Mel Gibson and Chorus
  3. Pocahontas Instrumental
  4. The Story of Pocahontas

Music videos[edit]

  • Clips of Pocahontas and John Smith
  • Filmed in New York City, the music video features Shanice and Secada performing the song with clips of Pocahontas being projected on buildings behind them.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles[1] 8
U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[1] 24
UK Singles Chart 51

Cover versions[edit]

"If I Never Knew You"
Single by The Cheetah Girls
from the album DisneyMania 4
Released April 2006
Format Digital download
Recorded 2005
Genre Dance-pop, eurodance
Length 3:16
Label Walt Disney
The Cheetah Girls singles chronology
"Five More Days 'til Christmas"
(2003)
"If I Never Knew You"
(2005)
"The Party's Just Begun"
(2005)

In 2001, it was covered by Michael Crawford and Sherie Rene Scott for The Disney Album. That same year, Angela Decicco and Bill Whitefield covered the song on the 2001 Christian/Gospel compilation album Our Heart Sings. In 2006, it was covered by The Cheetah Girls as part of DisneyMania 4 and released as a single. Hal Ketchum and Shelby Lynne recorded a version as part of The Best of Country Sing the Best of Disney. The song was also released as a Spanish single ("Si No Te Conociera," also performed by Jon Secada and Shanice). A Portuguese version was sung by Jon Secada and Daniela Mercury. The song was recently covered by Tiffany Thornton as part of DisneyMania 7 And the song was recently covered by Klara Natasztila recorded a version as part of Disney Chinder Vol 2. In Japan, a music box version was released on the 2008 album Disney in Orgel.[2]

The Cheetah Girls version[edit]

"If I Never Knew You" was covered by The Cheetah Girls for the album, DisneyMania 4. It was released as a single and premiered on Radio Disney on April 2006.

Music video[edit]

The music video was released on Disney Channel in 2006. It features the girls pulling up at a club in a limo wearing white, sparkly dresses and then entering the club to perform the song on stage surrounded by a crowd. Scenes of the girls out on the dance floor dancing with some gentlemen are inter-cut throughout the video.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b Billboard.com Chart positions. Retrieved January 11, 2008
  2. ^ Amazon.co.jp Disney in Orgel Item Page. Retrieved August 15, 2011

See also[edit]