Tag Archives: Alan Menken

Fast times at Agrabah

“Let’s duet in ways that make us feel good”

–from “Let’s Duet” in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

Al, I’m loving the peacock feather. Does it symbolize anything? And, Jasmine, that flower is so pristine and rare. But why don’t you have it later in the movie?

On one non-eventful day in high school, I was driving around with friends E and L. As per usual, I was doing the actual driving and E was in control of the music. On this particular occasion she picked “A Whole New World” from Aladdin. While E, L and I were chatting and singing along, I listened closely to the lyrics for probably the first time. After a couple of minutes, I had an (at the time) earth-shattering epiphany: this song is all about sex. Aladdin is making the case for going to Pound Town in a way only bested by Billy Joel’s pleading to Virginia in “Only the Good Die Young.”

So, dear reader, I will share my findings with you within the lyrics below. Aladdin’s verses are in blue, Jasmine’s are in red, the couple’s duets are in purple and my commentary is in italicized black. I know a rhetorical criticism of a beloved, innuendo-laden song is quite a break from my normal musings on the Outside Girls and women’s issues. Well, this song is surprisingly sex-positive for a 1992 children’s movie. Plus, I’ve been watching a lot of Inside Amy Schumer and Broad City and am ready to flex my dirty joke muscles. Amy, Abbi, Ilana: please take note.

Look, I also know this movie and song are 23 years old and there’s a solid chance some smarter, quicker writer has already covered this topic. Guess what? I don’t care. These are still my thoughts and ideas. I am ready (better late than never) to share it with the whole new world:

I can show you the world → He’s starting out confident and cocksure. Tee-hee.
Shining, shimmering, splendid  Much better than anything you’ve ever felt before
Tell me, princess, now when did
You last let your heart decide?  And by heart, I mean your hormones. And…other                                                                                        stuff.

I can open your eyes → I mean, unless you want to keep them closed
Take you wonder by wonder → And he’s not talking about Stonehenge. Also, he’s gonna                                                                        take her.
Over, sideways and under → Someone’s been brushing up on the Kama Sutra
On a magic carpet ride → I don’t need to tell you what carpet means, do I? At least he                                                                  compliments it, I guess.

A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view → Dude, I am the king
No one to tell us no or where to go → AKA no parents to lecture us about STDs/pregnancy                                                                                or stopping us from going for it in the house
Or say we’re only dreaming → Because our love is REAL! That’s what you want to hear,                                                                          right?

A whole new world
A dazzling place I never knew → Because you sure are more experienced than me!
But when I’m way up here, it’s crystal clear → Hold up. Is Jasmine having an out of body                                                                                                   experience? Or is she just on top?
That now I’m in a whole new world with you → Aw, they’re sharing this adventure. Just like                                                                                                   Romeo and Juliet.
(Now I’m in a whole new world with you)

Unbelievable sights → The male anatomy!
Indescribable feelings → O! O! O! How do you like me? How do you like me?
Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling → Roll, roll, roll in the hay
Through an endless diamond sky → Someone call Rihanna, because Jasmine sure is                                                                                        shining bright

A whole new world
(Don’t you dare close your eyes) → Al’s giving Jasmine some pointers here
A hundred thousand things to see → And to do!
(Hold your breath, it gets better)  → Jesus, someone sure thinks he’s God’s gift

I’m like a shooting star → Because she feels release, get it?
I’ve come so far → She’s come a long way, baby. Ahem.
I can’t go back
To where I used to be → No she cannot. At least that’s what I learned in my abstinence-                                                           only health class.

A whole new world
Every turn a surprise → This gift just keeps on giving

With new horizons to pursue
Every moment gets better → Aladdin was right, man!

I’ll chase them anywhere
There’s time to spare → Who’s up for Round Two?
Let me share this whole new world with you → For tonight

A whole new world → Of sex
A whole new world → Of sex
That’s where we’ll be → Well, maybe not “we,” per se. But definitely someone and me.
That’s where we’ll be → Because I’m sure I’ll feel this way about him forever
A thrilling chase → Right into bed
A wondrous place → For the body and the mind
For you and me → And they bring it right back to love. It is Disney, after all.

Birds do it, bees do it 

(Image #1 courtesy of confusedmatthew.com; #2 courtesy of ishareimage.com)