Under the Sea

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"Under the Sea"
Single by Samuel E. Wright (as Sebastian) and Chorus
from the album The Little Mermaid: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack
Released December 13, 1989
Recorded 1988
Genre Pop, calypso, show tune
Length 3:16
Label Walt Disney
Writer(s) Alan Menken (music)
Howard Ashman (lyrics)[1]
Producer(s) Alan Menken, Howard Ashman
This song sees Sebastian try to use emotional appeals to try to keep Ariel under the sea. The main argument he puts across is that the grass is greener on the other side; the land might seem appealing to Ariel, but it is also where sea creatures are harvested as food.

"Under the Sea" is a song from Disney's 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid, composed by Alan Menken with lyrics by Howard Ashman and based in the song "The Beautiful Briny" from the 1971 film Bedknobs and Broomsticks.[1] It is influenced by the Calypso style of the Caribbean which originated in Trinidad and Tobago.[citation needed] The song was performed in the film by Samuel E. Wright. The track won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1989,[1] as well as the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media in 1991.[2]

The song is a plea by the crab Sebastian imploring Ariel to remain sea-bound, and resist her desire to become a human in order to spend her life with Prince Eric, with whom she has fallen in love. Sebastian warns of the struggles of human life while at the same time expounding the benefits of a care-free life underwater. However, his plea falls on deaf ears, for Ariel leaves in the middle of the song.

In 2002, the song was featured in the Square Enix action RPG, Kingdom Hearts as the background music for the Atlantica world. In 2006, the song also appeared in Kingdom Hearts II as part of a minigame where it was rearranged to have parts for Sebastian, Ariel, and Sora. For both appearances, the music was arranged by Yoko Shimomura.

In 2007, the Broadway musical version used this as the featured production number with the role of Sebastian played by Tituss Burgess. For Burgess, a tenor (unlike the baritone Wright), the key of the song was raised from B-flat to D. The placing of the song was also moved to after the scene in which King Triton destroys Ariel's collection of "human stuff."

The song is present throughout all the Walt Disney parks and resorts and the Disney Cruise Line.

Single release[edit]

The song was released as a 12" single in 1990 by Walt Disney Pictures / Hollywood Records. The record listed the artist as "Sebastian C."

US 12" Single (ST-ED-66621A-SP)
  1. "Under the Sea (Atlantic Ocean Single Mix)" - 3:36
  2. "Under the Sea (Jellyfish Mix)" - 5:20
  3. "Under the Sea (Mermaid Dub)" - 3:27
  4. "Under the Sea (Pacific Ocean Single Mix)" - 3:10
  5. "Under the Sea (Polka Dot Bikini Mix)" - 5:33
  6. "Under the Sea (Sub Dub)" - 3:46

Cover versions[edit]

Reprise[edit]

"Under the Sea (Reprise)"
Song by Tituss Burgess (as Sebastian) and Chorus from the album Disney's The Little Mermaid: Original Broadway Cast Recording
Released February 26, 2008
Genre Pop, calypso, show tune
Length 1:15
Label Walt Disney
Writer Alan Menken (music)
Howard Ashman (lyrics)
Producer Alan Menken
Disney's The Little Mermaid: Original Broadway Cast Recording track listing
"Under the Sea"
(13)
"Under the Sea (Reprise)"
(14)
"Sweet Child"
(15)

A reprise of the song was featured in the Broadway musical.

Parodies[edit]

In 1991, this song was parodied by musician Tom Smith with his song, "On The PC". This song was re-written in 1999 as "PC99".

The song was parodied on the TV show Kappa Mikey where Mikey tries to convince a squid to live on land with him.

The song was parodied on the TV show Bobby's World as "Underwater the Fish Don't Stink". The context was a dream of Bobby's in which he was a fish and his Uncle Ted was a merman - it turned out Bobby was having the dream because he was sleeping outside and the lawn sprinklers had turned on.

The song was also briefly parodied in the Tiny Toons movie How I Spent My Vacation.

The song was parodied on the TV show The Simpsons in the episode "Homer Badman," in a sequence where Homer Simpson imagines living under water (eating all of the characters from The Little Mermaid) to escape the protesters and media circus who have accused him of sexually harassing a college coed.

The song in part inspired the song "That's How You Know" from Enchanted, which also had music by Menken.[citation needed]

On a 2011 episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Tina Fey, a mermaid princess (Fey) sings another version called "Below the Waves" with her sea-animal friends: a crab resembling Sebastian (Kenan Thompson), two salmon (Abby Elliott and Vanessa Bayer), a seahorse (Paul Brittain) and a manta ray (Fred Armisen). The song is interrupted by the arrival of Osama Bin Laden's body.

The song, as well as a majority of other factors in the film, was parodied in an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy in which Billy's character goes swimming and encounters a small yellow crab (voiced by Steven Blum) who sings a song for him entitled "Under the Ocean" in a style remniscent the scene of Sebastian singing the song for Ariel.

the song in Max the Movie, In Hippo World, also Parodies Under the sea.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 136. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammy_Award_for_Best_Song_Written_for_Visual_Media#1980s