In the original version of the song (see lyrics below) the soldiers keep their minds off the pains of marching by "talking" about their dreamgirls as fitting to what the society of the time believes women should be, much to the distaste of Mulan, as "Ping", who was momentarily outcasted for his/her taste for the kind of girl who is smart and speaks her mind openly. Of course, being one-of-the-guys at the time, Ling, Chien-Po, and Yao couldn't stop fooling around for "Ping's" amusement (only Yao managed to make Ping/Mulan smile, by secretly calling Chi Fu a "mama's boy"). The song stops just as Ling, Chien-Po, and Yao were about to start a snowball fight with Ping/Mulan, but the sight of a destroyed village darkened the mood.
The refrain to the song in Mulan II is sung after the war is over, and the trio find an enemy they cannot beat: the Matchmaker, who threw them out and calls them a lost cause for love, then before slamming the door on them (and throwing the teapot at Ling) she tells them not to come back until they "get personalities"! All Yao wanted was a girl who worships the dirt he walks on (which is saying a lot on account of his ape-like structure and permanent black eye). Ling asked for a girl who loves to laugh but "tells it to him straight" in thinking him a god. Chien-Po wants the kind of girl who'd cook for him morning, noon, and night, and not mind if he picks off of her plate. Figuring they do not need the "snooty dragon lady" and that they could find soul mates for themselves, the trio sing the new version of the song in their first attempt to win a woman's heart, only for Ling to get beaten up when a lady was disgusted by his chopstick-nose-trick, and while mourning their failure over lunch, they end up kicked out of a restaurant for (accidentally) starting a bar-fight. The song ends there, just before Mulan and Shang give those three the assignment of being bodyguards for three princesses (who eventually, become the girls of the trio's dreams...and more!)
Army:For a long time, we've been marching off to battle Yao:In our thundering herd, We feel a lot like cattle Army:Like the pounding beat, Our aching feet aren't easy to ignore Ling:Hey! Think of instead, A girl worth fighting for
Mulan: Huh? Ling:That's what I said, A girl worth fighting for
I want her paler than the moon With eyes that shine like stars Yao:My girl will marvel at my strength Adore my battle scars Chien Po:I couldn't care less what she'll wear Or what she looks like It all depends on what she cooks like Beef, pork, chicken Army:Mmm!
Yao:Bet the local girls thought you were quite the charmer Ling:And I'll bet the ladies love a man in armor Army:You can guess what we have missed the most Since we went off to war Ling:What do we want? Army:A girl worth fighting for
Yao:My girl will think I have no faults Chien Po:That I'm a major find Mulan:Uh...How 'bout a girl who's got a brain Who always...speaks her mind?
(beat) Yao, Ling and Chien Po: Nah!
Ling:My manly ways and turn of phrase are sure to thrill her Yao:He thinks he's such a lady killer
Chi Fu:I've a girl back home who's unlike any other Yao:Yeah, the only girl who'd love him is his mother Army:But when we come home in victory, they'll line up at the door Ling:What do we want? Army:A girl worth fighting for Ling:Wish that I had All:A girl worth fighting for
(whistle) A girl worth fighting --
Ling: Well, I don't need her to be all smug and snooty Yao: I got a plaque right here that says I've kicked Hun booty Chien-Po: We have everything we dreamed we'd find when we came back from war All: "Yeah!" Everything but...
-A girl walks by and Yao, Ling and Chien-po wait for her to go so they can continue their song- All: "...a girl worth fighting for"
Ling: My girl would laugh at all my jokes, but tell it to me straight Yao: She'll rub my head when I get sick Chien Po: And let me pick off of her plate
If Ling can find a girl who likes his chopstick nose trick Yao: Oh, he'd better just propose quick!
Ling: Well, I have to say, based on today, I'm cranky Chien Po: [spoken] I'll just spend my life with you two Yao: Pass the hanky! Ling: And there's no-one there to steal my chair Yao: Or twirl around the floor Ling: I would be true All: To a girl worth fighting Chien-Po: [spoken] I'd make fondue! All: For a girl worth fighting Yao: [spoken] I'd even kiss you! All: For a girl worth fighting... for.
This is one of the few songs that end abruptly.
This is also one of the few songs that was reprised in a sequel.
A tiny excerpt of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture appears before the song (in the original film) ends abruptly.