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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This entry has made me realise two things:

1. I want to re-watch Aladdin.

2. I have seen a lot of Robin Williams films/shows.
AHAHAH I know, writing this I wanna watch it again and then possibly BAWL when this song comes on. Writing about it triggered my memory of just how touching I found it. <3

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That story is AMAZING. And pretty much exactly how I feel about the song! I hope I didn't come off saying it made me cry because it's a horrid song, lololol.

Thank you for sharing, I must go lavish the author with praise now, eeeeeeeeee.

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7 years ago

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It took a lot of resistance, but Mork has the final, touching punchline effect at the end, HEEE!!!

...You got a lot more out of that song than I did.
Srsly, right? I mean, I had enjoyed the movie and song countless times before; but recently it came up on my mp3 shuffle and I could barely sing out the first stanza before I suddenly got all choked up and teary and I was like "WTF REALLY. A SONG FROM ALADDIN, really!?!? It couldn't be some really meaningful, profound, epic song by some barely-known, artiste, indie singer, it had to be...THE GENIE???"


7 years ago

that's a really interesting way of looking at the song. I've always just seen it as fun, and later, something that I'm very good at singing in karaoke booths :P
i enjoyed your many references. did you see the mrs doubtfire genie in the king of thieves movie?
For sure! I think it was only recently that (my hormones kicked in??) I started thinking "zomg this song. THIS SONG *bursts into tears*". XD When I was younger, it was just a fun romp and a great intro for the genie.

I don't think I've seen any of the other Aladdin sequels, but ahahah, that is hilarious he did a Doubtfire impression! XD
I really should get Aladdin on DVD when it's next re-released.


It's one of my fave, if not my fave Disney animated feature. I think I might have seen it 4 times in theatres.
YESSSSS, it definitely is one of my 'comfort food' Disney movies, one of which I rotate regularly to watch whenever I'm in the mood for something sweet and fun!


May 27 2010, 17:24:49 UTC 7 years ago Edited:  May 27 2010, 17:25:23 UTC

I have never told anyone this I think o_o

There was a week during my time at [$BISTRO] that was so awful, to keep from going to bed a sobbing mess, every night after closing I would come home, have a beer and a smoke, and listen to "Friend Like Me" on my headphones out on the back porch.

The first time, it just happened to come up in Shuffle, but all that energy and humor just tore right through all the bad shit from earlier. I kept it queued up for the rest of that week. That song will always be one of my "never give up" anthems (even though that's not the original intent at all.)
OMG BB, I KNOW THIS FEELING!! I'm pretty sure the first time I burst into tears over this song was when I was enslaved to [video game company] for hours of unpaid overtime and feeling all discombobulated and disconnected from friends and family. Then this randomly came on my shuffle and damned if I didn't completely LOSE IT. The sentiment in it just tore right through me, particularly because it's mixed in with such hopeful, loving joie de vivre via the Genie. Gyah. I had never, ever EVER cared much for the Genie beyond his contribution to the plot/Aladdin's story, but this time, it was just. Yowza.
awwww... :] that was awesome. I never thought about it like that. I guess the idea of one person earnestly trying to convince another person of their affection and love for them is always one that pulls on the heartstrings. :)

Along similar lines, do you like Treasure Planet? Silver's speech about how Jim will one day be great always makes me tear up. ^_____^
EEEEE YOUR ICON KSDJFSDKJRHEHKFJ another film that touches me heart so deeply! Only with Spirited Away, I felt that way the first time I watched it, and my affection just grows deeper with every new viewing. *loves*

YESSSS Treasure Planet!!! I confess I get all choked up during the father-son bonding montage to the crooning of the Goo Goo Dolls, HEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

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It's so true - there are some movies and books where, I know might be problematic somehow and I KNOW there's stuff out there that deconstructs it...but it's so close and dear to my heart/childhood/momentous moment in my life that if I deconstructed it, then *I* would personally get all pear-shaped. And that's painful, oh man.

It's not so much as a 'pretend it's all good AND YOU SHOULD THINK SO TOO' and more of a "I know there's a lot of things wrong with it an if I watched it at the age and experience I have now, I might not like it, childhood! I gotta stay un-jaded about SOMETHING about my childhood!'

HAHA I sang this song at karaoke in New York - ask fiendling and cathybites xDDDDD!

(actually, probably best I wasn't there or else I'd start crying for no apparent reason and then it would be awwwwwkwaaarddddddd LOLOLOLOLOL XD)
If this was facebook, then I would not only like this post, but also share it

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


7 years ago

This is amazing.
*HEE* naww thank you! I'm surprised I was able to articulate it! XD
Disney has made me cry multiple times, oh, yes. Never on Friend Like Me, but often enough that I certainly ain't gonna make fun of you for that one!

1. Little Mermaid- The first glimpse we have of a merperson, just as the opening theme swells gorgeously.

2. Little Mermaid again- When Ariel breaks through the water for her first breath as a human, silhouetted in twilight as her long red hair flings back.

3. Beauty and the Beast- As the Beast begins to transform into the Prince, all magical hovering and light and music.

4. The Lion King- Simba pushing at his unmoving father, trying not to cry, trying not to believe. "Dad, we gotta go."

5. Treasure Planet- The "I'm Still Here" montage. If I ever get around to doing that 35 days of music meme, this song will be in the "My favorite song" spot, I'm not joking.

6. Lilo and Stitch- Stitch alone in the woods, trying to sympathetic magic up a happy ending: "I'm lost." I cried BUCKETS.

7. Finding Nemo- "You heard my son! SWIM DOWN!"
The first glimpse we have of a merperson, just as the opening theme swells gorgeously.

YES YES YES. THROAT CLOSING JUST THINKING ABOUT THIS!! For me, the other moment was the wedding, where her dad comes sailing over on a wave of awesome to be all "I LUV U BB" and Ariel's all "YAY PAPA".

OMG LION KING DON'T EVEN. When the sun beam shines on baby!Simba and all the animals bow because OMG LOYALTY IT SERIOUSLY GETS ME EVERY SINGLE TIME.

The "I'm Still Here" montage.


I think everything in Lilo and Stitch makes me cry, omggggg I just wanna stay home from work and mainline all of these movies now!! XD


7 years ago


7 years ago


7 years ago

I can't say I ever cried watching Aladdin (I remember it coming out at the cinema and we all went as a family to see it, back when going to the cinema was something terribly exciting to do) but when I left home to go to England, I watched Lilo and Stitch and the scene in the hammock where Nani is singing to Lilo when she'd going to give her up- having just said goodbye to my own beloved little sisters, I was trying not to bawl too loudly and disturb the guy sitting next to me on the plane.

But oh, Aladdin, I can almost quote that movie word for word. "And your beard is so... twisted..." PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER in your face, Jafar! Definitely in my top three with Little Mermaid and Robin Hood.
I mean, there are a LOT of sentimental scenes in Disney animations where I'd think "ok, it makes sense that I'd be all *sniffle!* here!" but like. Fifteen years after the movie, randomly listening to the song on my mp3 shuffle and then bursting into tears, LIKE WTF IS UP WITH THAT AHAHAHA HORMONES. XD

I watched Lilo and Stitch and the scene in the hammock where Nani is singing to Lilo when she'd going to give her up- having just said goodbye to my own beloved little sisters, I was trying not to bawl too loudly and disturb the guy sitting next to me on the plane.

Dude, I can't blame you, that scene gets me everytime, I totally know it. Crying just thinking about it, ahahahahaha.

Isn't Aladdin wonderful?? I can't believe that movie was released in 1992! So much long ago than I thought!