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"Part of Your World", and its Importance to Howard's Legacy

edited November 2014 in Songs
I have to say, I consider “Part of Your World” to be the single greatest song that Howard EVER wrote. It is also one of the greatest anthems (songs that carry the central theme of the story in them) in animation history, alongside “Colors of the Wind” (POCAHONTAS), “Circle of Life” (THE LION KING), “I Will Always Return” (SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON), “Reflection” (MULAN), and “When You Believe” (THE PRINCE OF EGYPT).

“Part of Your World”, to my mind, really gave the Disney Renaissance its voice, particularly in that it rekindled the tradition of animated musicals that had really begun with SNOW WHITE, and has recently been revived again with THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, TANGLED, and FROZEN; knowing this makes it all the sadder to know that Howard died so young, and at the zenith of his career. So much so, in fact, that I cannot listen to his rendition of the song- from the CD “Howard Sings Ashman”- (while looking at images of him on Google, simultaneously) without bursting into tears. Hearing his voice, and seeing his face, in tandem, just breaks my heart. However, I take comfort in knowing that, since Howard’s death, Alan Menken (whom I consider to be the greatest composer EVER, and I know was Howard’s dearest friend) has continued to bring some essence of Howard to all of the other projects he has worked on since Howard's passing (POCAHONTAS, TANGLED, HOME ON THE RANGE, NEWSIES, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, ENCHANTED, HERCULES, etc.), thus further lending credence to the ancient Egyptian belief that states, “To speak the name of the dead is to make them live again.”

So, Howard, if your spirit can read this, I wish for your legacy to continue to capture people's imaginations for thousands of generations to come. May you always be "Part of Our World".
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