Disney songs were the soundtrack to our childhoods, each holding a different and special place in our hearts. And that’s why we know every word to every song, which makes it easier to sing along when they inevitably get stuck in our heads.
Luckily, there’s never a bad time to feel the warm blanket of joy that wraps around you when you hear the sweet sounds of your favorite Disney tune, so it’s not a problem that they’re catchy as can be.
But of all the many options in the Disney songbook, which do you find yourself unexpectedly singing the most? These six songs seem to be the biggest culprits when it comes to getting stuck in fans’ heads.
“Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid
“What do they got? A lot of sand/We got a hot crustacean band”
The moment you hear the first few notes of that sweet Calypso beat, you know you’re in for three minutes and fifteen seconds of below-the-water bliss. Sebastian‘s plea to Ariel to stay in the ocean and forget about human life may have fallen on deaf ears in the film, but the audience heard the message loud and clear thanks to the hit song “Under the Sea.” It seems as though everything really is better down where it’s wetter because this classic track is one of the most fun Disney songs of all time. And thanks to the newt playing the flute, the carp playing the harp, and all the other underwater musicians giving it all they’ve got, it’s also one of the hardest to stop singing.
“Belle” from Beauty and the Beast
“There goes the baker with his tray, like always/The same old bread and rolls to sell”
It feels as if every child of the ’90s knows all of the half-spoken interludes interspersed throughout this song and they’ll happily spout the dialogue any chance they get. “Belle” opens Beauty and the Beast as an operetta-style musical number that introduces us to our heroine as the townspeople snarkily remark that she’s peculiar because she always has her nose stuck in a book. (Intelligence is not becoming of a lady!) Why do we all know that the baker interrupts Belle to shout, “Marie! The baguettes! Hurry up!”? Who knows?! But the catchy dialogue set to music infiltrated our brains decades ago and is clearly not going anywhere.
“Let It Go” from Frozen
“Let the storm rage on/The cold never bothered me anyway”
When Elsa realizes in Frozen that she no longer needs to hide who she truly is from the world, the ice queen blesses us with “Let It Go,” one of the biggest empowerment anthems of all time. One reason why the track is always in everyone’s head is simply that we were unable to escape it. When the film premiered in 2013, the song was everywhere, including mainstream radio. Five years later, the buzz has only slightly died down, but the song is just as prevalent in the zeitgeist. That’s because its powerful lyrics celebrate breaking free from the thoughts that keep us from being authentic, and that’s a beautiful feeling that everyone can relate to in some way.
“The Siamese Cat Song” from Lady and the Tramp
“We are Siamese if you please/We are Siamese if you don’t please”
When you think of Disney films with a classic soundtrack, 1955’s Lady and the Tramp likely isn’t the first movie to cross your mind. But this track, sung by Aunt Sarah‘s two Siamese cats as they destroy her house, is the ultimate earworm. The beat is absolutely hypnotic, so it’s no surprise that it gets stuck in your head. There’s an ongoing debate as to whether the song is properly depicting this type of cat or if it is exploiting racist and archaic stereotypes about Asians. But one thing is certain — once the song is in your head, it’s not going anywhere for quite some time.
“Kiss the Girl” from The Little Mermaid
“It don’t take a word/Not a single word/Go on and kiss the girl”
It’s hard to imagine a more romantic moment than the scene in The Little Mermaid that finds Ariel and Prince Eric floating on a rowboat in the middle of a quaint lagoon, and that’s even before the fish start spitting water into the air like a fountain. And “Kiss the Girl,” the love song that accompanies it, only adds to the mood. But the romance is not the reason the song gets trapped in our heads. Instead, it’s the legendary background vocals from the animated creatures watching in anticipation to see if the couple share a smooch. Those “whoa, whoas” and “sha-la-la-las,” not to mention Scuttle‘s well-intentioned guttural wails, have worked their way into our minds for life and made it one of the catchiest songs in the canon.
“It’s a Small World”
“It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears/It’s a world of hopes and a world of fears”
The last song on the list isn’t from a film but actually a Disneyland attraction of the same name, “It’s a Small World.” Walt Disney asked for a song for the ride that could easily be translated into many languages and the result is considered one of the most performed and widely translated songs in the world. But the catchy tune may be a little too catchy. There are references all over pop culture to the song being annoying, including a scene in The Lion King in which Scar tells Zazu to sing “anything but that.” All it takes is one ride on the Disney attraction to hear the lyrics repeated over and over, ensuring they’re stuck in your head for eternity.