Changed Lyrics

edited March 2013 in Disney
A general place to talk about Disney changing Howard's lyrics, for one reason or another. But, also, a place for me to ask for clarification.

I go into greater detail here (justinhoskie.tumblr.com/post/44118769701), but, basically, someone on Tumblr claimed that, after the release of Aladdin, Disney changed a line in "Prince Ali" from “Strong as ten regular men, down on one knee!” to “Strong as ten regular men, definitely!” due to possible homosexual undertones. I don't believe it's true, since the "definitely" version appears on the demo (and, in my opinion, sounds better), "down on one knee" is heard earlier in the song, and "definitely" is included in the booklet for the original version of the soundtrack, released at the same time as the film. The only reference to this that I can find online is on the Wikipedia article for the soundtrack, with the note “[citation needed]” following it.

Does anyone know if this is true, or is it just another internet rumor?


  • I have no idea but I have never heard this before. Sounds like a rumor to me, and don't trust Wikipedia (the whole reason I started the website was because someone kept putting up, falsely, that Howard's original name was not Ashman. It was crazy.
  • Thanks for the response, Sarah! It does sound like a crazy internet rumor, I just thought I'd ask. I tend to trust Wikipedia on articles that are big and constantly monitored, but I just take the very basic info for largely unmonitored ones. Especially for lines that are followed with "[citation needed]".

    Now, on to the discussion. What does everyone thing of Disney changing Howard's lyrics, for one reason or another?

    Personally, I'm fine with it if they have a good reason. Take the most famous example, "Arabian Nights." I don't think Howard was saying that people in the middle east really cut of your ear if they don't like your face. The film takes place in a fictional land centuries ago. Look up what my people, the English, did centuries ago as punishment, and you would cringe. But it would be hard for little kids (both actual children and adults with one's brain) to conceptualize that quickly. So, Disney decided to play it safe.
  • "Strong as ten regular men, down on one knee" doesn't even make that much sense and I haven't heard that rumour ever, so I'm glad to hear it's probably fake. ;)

    As for Disney changing lyrics...

    I don't mind the changes at all when it comes to "Arabian Nights". The line (and whole first verse in the original demo) is, or at least could be interpreted as, incredibly racist (though I doubt that was ever the *intention*). And Aladdin WAS originally supposed to be set in Baghdad; In "Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim", there's a line that says "Four guys out making our music in Baghdad." and that original "Arabian Nights"-verse coupled with that specific geographical setting? ...Yeeeaaah, that wouldn't go well and I'm very glad they decided to change it.

    (Just for full disclosure: I'm in no way saying Howard was a racist or anything along those lines, I'm talking about JUST the song here.)

    Can't remember anything else that got changed clearly right now (but then, it IS 2 AM), though, so I can't voice my opinion about other instances where they changed lyrics.
  • edited March 2013
    I listened to the soundtrack incessantly as a kid, and I only remember "Stronger than ten regular men, definitely!" and "Genuflect, show some respect, down on one knee!".
  • Update: I was able to find a workprint online for the movie, and the line is "definitely."
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