User:Coin945/God Help the Outcasts

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God Help the Outcasts is a soft ballad from the 1996 Disney animated film The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It is sung by Heidi Mollenhauer's character Esmeralda (Demi Moore provides the speaking voice) inside Notre Dame after she sees how Quasimodo and her people are treated by society. It replaced another song, "Someday," which was cut when the directors wanted a quieter song in a cathedral. A pop version of "Someday", with slightly altered lyrics, is performed over the movie's credits. A pop cover of Outcasts was recorded by Bette Midler and is featured on the film's soundtrack, though it is not used in the movie itself. It is 3:26 minutes long and Track 16 - the final track[1][2] The film version is track 5 on the film soundtrack and is 3:45 minutes long.[2] The song was written by Alan Menken & Stephen Schwartz, and the extra voices were provided by Brian Cummings, Debi Mae West, and Lisa Russo.[3]


The song was adapted for the German stage version of the animated film, known as Der Glöckner von Notre Dame. Stephen Schwartz said "the scene...with all its candles and projected re-creation of Notre Dame, I thought was absolutely stunning".[4]

Stephen Shwartz explains that "The song 'Someday' was originally written for the Disney animated feature THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME as a possible replacement for the song 'God Help the Outcasts'. Ultimately, we went with the other song instead", thoguh adds that "since everybody liked 'Someday' as well, it was then used as an end title credit for the film". While both songs find a home in the musical version ("in the stage version, 'Someday' is used towards the end, when Esmeralda is being led to execution"), in the film, the songs took place at the same point in time - "Esmeralda's first entrance into Notre Dame cathedral [where she is both] awed by the serenity and splendor of the place [and] brings with her a bitter and acute awareness of the injustice of her situation and that of her people and the less fortunate of society in general".[4][5]


The tempo for the song is 'Slowly'. The sheet music for the song has been released.[6]

Visual Sequence[edit]

The Program notes for the Mariel & PJ Program Senior Showcase describe the song's placement within the film thus:[7]

"God Help the Outcasts” is sung by Esmeralda as an intercessory prayer on the behalf of Quasimodo and her people, the gypsies, whom are treated as outcasts by the rest of their society. Esmeralda begins her prayer by realizing that Jesus Christ must have also known what it was like to be treated as an outcast, for his own people crucified him on the Cross at Calvary. The heart of her prayer can be summed up in this statement, “I thought we all were the children of God."


The song has been used as a discussion topic at FaithElement. Talking points include: "Which way in this clip do you think most Christians today call out to God? Explain?", "Do you think it is wrong to ask God for fame, riches, and/or blessings? Why or why not?", and "Who in your school and/or community is looked at as being outcast? Why?".[8]

Micky Mouse Monopoly: Disney, Childhood, and Corporate Power suggests that the song is "a plea on behalf of all minorities - not only by ethnicity, but also by race, class, gender, or sexual orientation". By extension, and due to the historical context, it reasons that it "might have been a jab at the homophobic religious right who were organizing a boycott of Disney".[9]

Critical reception[edit]

The New York Times said "The score, with lively music...and nicely agile lyrics, soars to sanctimonious heights with the lilting, catchy power ballad God Help the Outcasts", and added that it was "a sure thing for next year's Oscar show".[10] None of the songs from Hunchback were nominated the Academy Award for best original song.

Going Home to Heaven called the song "a bolder stroke than [the Disney team] had ever done before", and says that the messages of this piece, along with Hunchback songs like Sanctuary and The Bells of Notre Dame are "very powerful".[11]


Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes that at the Oscars, "he song category was packed instead with silly pop drivel [including You Must Love Me, I Finally Found Someone, For the First Time, That Thing You Do!, and Because You Loved Me] edging out some of Hunchback's more masterful tunes like Hellfire, God Help the Outcasts and Out There".[12]

Other versions[edit]

A pop version of God Help the Outcasts was recorded by Bette Midler for the film's soundtrack,

The song has been arranged by Kyle Landry[13] and Audry Snyder.[14]

External links[edit]