BootLeg Betty

BetteBack June 21, 1996: Songs from ‘Hunchback’

Syracuse Herald Journal
June 21, 1996

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Knigh^Ridder News Service With Broadway turning revivals of things like “The King and I” and “Show Boat,” the Disney film is the last remnant of what used to be commonly known as~”the Broadway musical.”

With each new Disney film comes a million-plus selling album and, usually, Grammy Award winning accolades, as well as an Oscar for best song. So which tune will you be humming?

Here’s a program of the “Hunchback of Notre Dame” songs:

The Bells of Notre Dame: Sung by Clopin, it starts as a gentle waltz and builds in intensity. The six-minute song is designed to set the story’s mood and aura.

“Out There’s: Quasimodo’s song about a world he longs for — a world outside his belltower.. Composer Alan Menken said; “It was the first song we wrote for ‘Hunchback,’ and, for me, it!s the song that comes from inside the heart.

“Topsy Turvy”: The film’s upbeat song. This should be the “Under the Sea” or the “Be My Guest” number, but, at least upon first hearing, it isn’t in the same category. It’s sung by the characer of Clopin at the “Feast of Fools” with a crowd of 7,000 onlookers.

God Help the Outcasts”: Esmeralda’s ballad, sung while she is in the church, is sung in the film by Heidi Mollenhauer. An alternate, pop, version (not heard in the film) has been recorded by Bette Midler. The ballad expresses a plea for the poor and downtrodden. The producers, clearly, hope it will have a crossover effect beyond the film’s plot

“Heaven’s Light”: Tom Hulce, as Quasimodo, sings of his impressions of the beautiful Esraeralda: This is contrasted with: And the Oscar contender? (Drum roll): The ballad “Out There” will steal the thunder, not the upbeat “Topsy Turvy.”

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