NO KILL I (glockgal) wrote,

30 Days of Me Meme - Day 16

Day 16 - A song that makes you cry (or nearly)

There was a time in my life when 'Never Had a Friend Like Me' from Aladdin was guaranteed to make me cry.  For those who saw it - you remember that scene?  There's Aladdin, stuck in the cave with a monkey, and doing a half-hearted job trying to clean the stupid lamp he stole from the stupid cavern to give to that stupid old man - when lo and behold, Mrs Doubtfire pops out and proceeds to do bizarre character impressions from her comic routine that she's been practicing for the past, say, 3000 years.  It might be a tad dated.

Now Aladdin is savvy and has his doubts about Dr Patch Adams. Is he really a genie? Can he do more than hokey impressions of tv celebrities? What exactly IS a genie anyway? Undaunted, Patch is determined to demonstrate to the puny mortal, not just his interweb-sized familiarity of entertaining facts, but also that he happens to have AWESOME COSMIC POWERS. And even better, that he's inherently tied to Aladdin's plot fate (although this is an Arabic story and Islamic faith can be a little meh about predestination and fortune-telling...but Aladdin is a good lad and listens politely anyway).

So, Jumanji launches into the kick-starter song, typical to Disney animated features - songs like 'Under the Sea' or 'Be Our Guest' or 'Just Can't Wait to be King', which utilize peppy, energetic-bordering-on-frenetic singing and choreography to propel the protagonist into a life-changing decision.  Jumanji spares no expense in creating an affectionate fanfare, a tribute to a potentially long-lasting BFF relationship with puny mortal Aladdin.

The song 'Never Had a Friend Like Me' earnestly and desperately tries to convince Aladdin just how much the genie needs and loves him (Aladdin, for the record, remains unimpressed and dupes poor Teddy Roosevelt...but Teddy is a sport and gets over it, for the sake of friendship) - and beneath all the hilarious in-jokes and rapid-fire pop culture references, 'Never Had a Friend Like Me' hums plea of loneliness, something sweet and intent on showing one creature trying all sorts to assure a puny mortal that they are, indeed, worthy of a friendship.

Is this song really about friensdship though? Aladdin, being a good little diamond in the rough, of course sees that friendship is a two-way street - but the idea that with every single puny mortal (some with debatable morals) John Keating has to haul out this song and dance routine and say self-esteem-damaging things like: What will your pleasure be?/Let me take your order, jot it down/You ain't never had a friend like me, no no no and You're the boss, the king, the shah/Say what you wish, it's's rather heart-rending and painful to see Keating deliver such a debasing song, with such earnest hope.

It's not easy the other way either.  For Aladdin - who is living in a very stringent classist empire - the very notion of having someone - anyone - who immediately purports support, love and loyalty  (not the mention that they happen to have AWESOME COSMIC POWERS) can be overwhelming. True to his upbringing, he initially treats the genie with a combination of suspicion and nonchalance. But underneath his street-sense, you know Aladdin is thrilled to see that someone - even someone like Mork - wants to be his friend.

And yeah, sometimes I cry thinking about this and their attempt at something real, honest, affectionate, initiated immediately by the theme that 'You ain't never had a friend like me'. What a wonderful idea, true friendship is.

ETA: people may think I'm thinking WAY too much about a Disney song I'd heard a thousand times before but then suddenly found it oh, so Spechul - but you gotta understand that I tend to get extremely emotional about themes of camaraderie, family, loyalty and trust. I attribute it to a past life or something.

Well, Ali Baba had them forty thieves
Scheherazade had a thousand tales
But, mister you're in luck 'cause up your sleeves
You got a brand of magic never fails
You got some power in your corner now
Some heavy ammunition in your camp
You got some punch, pizazz, yahoo and how
See, all you gotta do is rub that lamp
And I'll say, Mister Aladdin, sir
What will your pleasure be?
Let me take your order, jot it down,
You ain't never had a friend like me, no no no

Life is your restaurant and I'm you maitre d'
C'mon whisper what it is you want
You ain't never had a friend like me
Yes sir, we pride ourselves on service
You're the boss, the king, the shah
Say what you wish, it's yours
True dish, how 'bout a little more baklava?
Have some of column "A"
Try all of column "B"
I'm in the mood to help you, dude
You ain't never had a friend like me

Wa-ah-ah, oh my
Wa-ah-ah, No no
Wah-ah-ah, na na na

Can your friends do this?
Can your friends do that
Can your friends pull this out of their little hat?
Can your friends go poof!
(spoken) Well, looky here
Can your friends go abracadabra
Let 'er rip and then make the sucker disappear?

So doncha sit there slack jawed, buggy eyed
I'm here to answer all your midday prayers
You got me bonafide certified
you got a genie for your chargé d'affaires
I got a powerful urge to help you out
So whatcha wish I really want to know
You got a list that's three miles long, no doubt
Well, all you gotta do is rub like so, and oh
Mister Aladdin, sir, have a wish or two or three
I'm on the job, you big nabob

You ain't never had a friend, never had a friend
You ain't never had a friend, never had a friend
You ain't never had a friend like me
Wa-ah-ah, wa-ah-ah
You ain't never had a friend like me. Ha!

30 Days of Me Meme
Day 01 - Your favorite song - Mother Nature's Son, Beatles
Day 02 - Your favorite movie - what I saw, what I'm seeing
Day 03 - Your favorite television program - Southland, Murdoch Mysteries
Day 04 - Your favorite book - what I read, what I'm going to read
Day 05 - Your favorite quote - my mantras
Day 06 - Whatever tickles your fancy - sister's fic, Aja's meta, Deviantart
Day 07 - A photo that makes you happy-my desktop
Day 08 - A photo that makes you angry/sad - Glee
Day 09 - A photo you took - livecast of Ron/Hermione drawing
Day 10 - A photo of you taken over ten years ago - Glockgal photospam
Day 11 - A photo of you taken recently - Hyedie and me, With the Beatles!
Day 12 - Whatever tickles your fancy - Draw Dean Thomas, recs
Day 13 - A fictional book - Neverending Story
Day 14 - A non-fictional book - my confession, Beyond Uhura
Day 15 - A fanfic - [personal profile] bossymarmalade 
Day 16 - A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 - An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18 - Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19 - A talent of yours
Day 20 - A hobby of yours
Day 21 - A recipe
Day 22 - A website
Day 23 - A YouTube video
Day 24 - Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25 - Your day, in great detail
Day 26 - Your week, in great detail
Day 27 - This month, in great detail
Day 28 - This year, in great detail
Day 29 - Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 - Whatever tickles your fancy - comment on DW or on LJ. S'all good!
Tags: friend lurve, meme

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