The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2667   Message #11813
Posted By: Peter T.
04-Sep-97 - 11:06 AM
Thread Name: Songs to sing with Children
Subject: RE: Songs to sing with Children
Happy to atone for my outburst (tomorrow, if I can find the music) with Skinnamarink. I also liked the old Disney songs (who can resist Cruella de Ville?), and I have no quarrel with the deft lyrics/music of most of the songs in Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast. They sort of create a space for themselves: it is bastardization of the stories that bothers me, and the sad knowledge that in spite of the propaganda no child I know has ever been prompted to go back to the originals. They are highly crafted, commercial junk. I guess it is not new: is there anybody out there, except for Italian children, who even knows that Pinocchio is a beautiful original story? On the other hand, perhaps there has been a cultural shift for which Disney is not entirely to blame (try capital for a start). There is a sense in early Disney that the stories have an integrity that the filmakers are captive to, because film is new, and stories are old. There was a capacity, not a great one, for dealing with death and sadness as an integral part of children's stories. As we move further into today, the stories become secondary, and the movie event primary. You stop getting a sense that the movie is a retelling of the story: because no one has any memory left of the original story, because no one is telling it any more until the movie comes out. You also notice that the songs become performances and stop being songs. End of gripe. Sorry to hijack the thread. I've stopped now.

Yours, Peter