You can blame this one on kismet, my sister, and Tim Rice & Alan Menken, in no particular order.
Image © 1992 Walt Disney Productions.
In 1992, Disney continued its creative rebirth with Aladdin. The Little Mermaid was an unexpected delight, and Beauty and the Beast was romantic, funny, and just plain lovely — deserving of its Best Picture nomination — but for all its problems Aladdin is probably my favorite Disney neo-classic.
Some time after it came out, I was moved to rewrite Tim Rice's lyrics to "A Whole New World" — the romantic theme from the movie, scored by Alan Menken, recorded for the pop charts by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle, sung in the film by Brad Kane as Aladdin (in the guise of "Prince Ali") and Lea Salonga as Jasmine. I'm pretty sure that it all began with the first line.
The chorus of "Eyes of a Primate" that I came up with off the cuff and included in a "Lost in Thought" post last month, inspired by Claire's squirrel-bones baby, got quite a reaction. My sister keeps telling me it's genius, which is flattering if kind-of expected since our senses of humor are so in tune. Last weekend she brought it up again and added my "Whole New World" parody to the conversation; as fate would have it, I just recently uncovered a copy of my hand-written lyrics to that old thing while going through a box of random papers.
What should be getting posted is a recording of the song that I made with a friend from college, but that tape got lost long ago — not intentionally; it actually turned out pretty well despite my lack of serious vocal talent. So to get the full effect you'll have to find a karaoke version of the song online or just play the original softly. Note from 2012: While I'd first posted my lyrics as-is from 1993, they seemed out of date in referring to videotapes. I took the liberty when reformatting the HTML to republish the post of also doing a slight polish on the lyrics to update them for the Age of DVDs and Streaming Content.
Aladdin's lines are in regular type with movie titles in italics, and Jasmine's lines are the reverse. When both are singing the counterpoint is in parentheses. Now, without further ado, Blam's Blog proudly presents...
"A Whole New World" [Digital Reprise]
I can show you Wayne's World
Hamlet or South Pacific
Wouldn't it be terrific
Streaming videos galore?
I can play JFK
Casablanca or Star Trek
You can give up the far trek
To your local rental store
A whole new world
An endless cache of films to view
Now we don't have to go
To see a show
Or find out what's on cable
A whole new world
Of Peter Pan and Die Hard II
Movies I've never seen
Are on the screen
At your place and I'll watch them all with you
(Yes I want to watch them all with you)
Let's see Wizard of Oz
E.T., Dark Knight, or Tootsie
Cuddle up and play footsie
On the sofa in your den
A whole new world (Don't you dare close your eyes)
Of Rocky, Rambo, (I liked Connery better)
and James Bond
We'll down a couple beers
Watch both Cape Fears
Then drift to sleep before On Golden Pond
A whole new world (You'll believe Chris Reeve flies)
Of Henry Fifths (They're a great double-header)
both old and new
We'll check out Being There
True Grit and Hair
Let me share this whole new world with you
A whole new world
On my TV
Forget the phone
Sit home alone
Just you and me
Lyrics copyright 1993, 2012 Brian Saner Lamken, based on lyrics written by Tim Rice to music composed by Alan Menken and copyright 1992 Walt Disney Productions. All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce or perform these lyrics is granted only in non-commercial contexts and only if proper copyright attribution is given; no liability is assumed regarding potential infringement against the copyright holder of the music to which the lyrics are set.