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Poor Unfortunate Souls
Xah Lee, 2005-08, 2010-07-22
This is a funny song from the soundtrack of Disney's The Little Mermaid (film) (1989).
Background: pretty little mermaid is half tricked and half curious and came to the sea-witch octopus Ursula to complain about her disatisfaction with her dad (Triton) and yearning to become a human so that she can be with her prince charming. In this song, Ursula seduces and ensnares Little Mermaid to sign a contract so the mermaid can get legs, but with the cost of her beautiful voice. In 3 days, if Little Mermaid get her prince charming to kiss her, then she gets her legs permanently and her voice back, else Ursula owns her soul.
Title: Poor unfortunate souls Singer: Pat Carroll (as Ursula), Jodi Benson (as Ariel) Lyrics: Howard Ashman Music: Alan Menken
Ursula: The only way to get what you want is to become a human yourself.
Ariel: Can you do that?
Ursula: My dear, sweet child. That's what I do — it's what I live for. To help unfortunate merfolk — like yourself — poor souls with no one else to turn to.
I admit that in the past I've been a nasty They weren't kidding when they called me, well, a witch But you'll find that nowadays I've mended all my ways Repented, seen the light and made a switch True? Yes And I fortunately know a little magic It's a talent that I always have possessed And here lately, please don't laugh I use it on behalf Of the miserable, lonely and depressed (pathetic) Poor unfortunate souls In pain, In need This one longing to be thinner That one wants to get the girl And do I help them? Yes, indeed Those poor unfortunate souls So sad So true They come flocking to my cauldron Crying, “Spells, Ursula please!” And I help them? Yes, I do Now it's happened once or twice Someone couldn't pay the price And I'm afraid I had to rake 'em 'cross the coals Yes, I've had the odd complaint But on the whole I've been a saint To those poor unfortunate souls
Ursula: Have we got a deal?
Ariel: If I become human, I'll never be with my father or sisters again.
Ursula: But you'll have your man. Life's full of tough choices, isn't? Oh — and there is one more thing. We haven't discussed the subject of payment.
Ariel: But I don't have any —
Ursula: I'm not asking much. Just a token, really, a trifle. What I want from you is... your voice.
Ariel: But without my voice, how can I —
Ursula: You'll have your looks! Your pretty face! And don't underestimate the importance of body language! Ha!
The men up there don't like a lot of blabber They think a girl who gossips is a bore Yes, on land it's much preferred For ladies not to say a word And after all, dear, what is idle prattle for? Come on, they're not all that impressed with conversation True gentlemen avoid it when they can But they dote and swoon and fawn On a lady who's withdrawn It's she who holds her tongue who gets her man Come on, you poor unfortunate soul Go ahead! Make your choice! I'm a very busy woman And I haven't got all day It won't cost much Just your voice! You poor unfortunate soul It's sad But true If you want to cross a bridge, my sweet You've got to pay the toll Take a gulp and take a breath And go ahead and sign the scroll! Flotsam, Jetsam, now I've got her, boys The boss is on a roll THIS POOR UNFORTUNATE SOUL. “Beluga....Sevruga....Come Winds of the Caspian Sea!” “Now rings us glossitis and maxlarnygitis La Voce to me!” “Now Sing...”
From this, we can also see the mastery of manipulation by the sea-witch. This reminds me of the Star Wars character: Palpatine: The Portrait of a Perfectect Sociopath and Master Politician.
Cover for The Little Mermaid soundtrack. amazon. This is a great album.