You don’t hear songs from The Princess and the Frog in those Disney “greatest moments” medleys. The dominant musicals of the hand-drawn era are The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Lion King and Aladdin.
But for my money, Randy Newman’s songs and score for The Princess and the Frog are as sublime as any of those classics.
That’s because the film gave Newman the opportunity to fully mine his beloved New Orleans jazz, with enough crowd-pleasing Disney sheen to make it go down easy for all ages.
The film contains a half dozen delightful tracks, including film opener ‘Down in New Orleans’ and princess anthem ‘Almost There’ — both of which were nominated for Best Original Song Oscars but lost to a long-forgotten song from Crazy Heart.
Today’s Random SOTD deserved a nomination, too.
If I were a human bein’, I’d head straight for New Orleans
And I’d blow this horn so hot and strong like no one they’ve ever seen
You’ve heard of Louis Armstrong, Mr. Sidney Bechet
All those boys gonna step aside when they hear this old ex-gator play
When I’m human, as I hope to be
I’m gonna blow this horn ’til the cows come home
And everyone’s gonna bow down to me
Thank you, thank you…
When I’m myself again, I want just the life I had
A great big party every night, that doesn’t sound too bad
A redhead on my left arm, a brunette on my right
A blonde or two to hold the candles, now that seems just about right
Life is short
When you’re done, you’re done
We’re on this earth to have some fun
And that’s the way things are
When I’m human, and I’m gonna be
I’m gonna tear it up like I did before
And that’s a royal guarantee
Your modesty becomes you
And your sense of responsibility
I’ve worked hard for everything I’ve got
And that’s the way it’s supposed to be
When I’m a human being
At least I’ll act like one
If you do your best each and every day
Good things are sure to come your way
What you give is what you get
My daddy said that, and I’ll never forget
And I’ll recommend it to you
[Louis, Naveen, and Tiana}
When we’re human, and we’re gonna be
I’m gonna blow my horn…
I’m gonna live the high life…
I’m gonna do my best to take my place in the sun…
[Louis, Naveen, and Tiana]
When we’re human!