Saturday, June 11, 2016

Disney Song #2: A Cowboy Needs a Horse

To Listen:  Song / Cartoon

The Facts:
  • Composers: Paul Mason Howard, Billy Mills
  • Year: 1956
  • Key: D Major

Heard In: 
"A Cowboy Needs a Horse"

This is the shocker of the countdown -- in fact I can feel your surprise emanating from your computer to mine across the interwebs.  It's a surprise because it's a little known song in the great wide world of Disney music, but today it gets its moment in the sun.

The song comes from the eponymous Disney cartoon which I saw at an early and impressionable age on the Disney Channel cartoon shows I used to watch regularly.  When listening to it now I'm transported to another place and time -- it's hard to explain, but it's like a place of youthful and magical bliss.  And in general I'm a fan of the gentle Western lullaby -- in that regard it's a bit reminiscent of the memorable City Slickers score or Don't Fence Me In.  Almost makes me want to find a trusty steed and go for a ride on the open range under the starry skies.

The original version of this song is obviously a bit dated, but that doesn't diminish my enjoyment of it (it also helps that D Flat Major is one of if not the best key signatures).  Nevertheless, I believe that in the right hands, a modern arrangement with a full orchestra could knock this one out of the park.  In fact, it would go nicely in the first scene of the movie version of my book The Nightingale Moon when Nightingale is riding through the American desert.  Once Disney buys the movie rights to the book and starts production, we'll be all set!

It was fun to rewatch the cartoon (linked above) after not having seen it in probably 30 years.  It's not exactly politically correct by today's standards in its portrayal of Native Americans, but fortunately society has at least progressed in some ways in the last 60 years.

Well, that's 75 Disney songs officially in the books.  Only one more to go -- what will it be?!

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