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A Whale of a Tale

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"A Whale of a Tale" is the only song featured in Disney's film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. It was sung by Ned Land (Kirk Douglas). It was included in Disney Sing Along Songs: Under the Sea.

In the film

The song is first heard near the start of the film. It starts immediately after a conversation between Ned, Conseil, and Pierre Aronnax aboard the ship. Ned takes a guitar and steps onto the deck. It attracts the attention of several of the crewmen, who listen excitedly. It is immediately after Ned finishes it that the Nautilus is finally encountered.

While the full song is only performed once, it is frequently referenced throughout the film. After improvising a guitar out of a turtle shell, Ned is seen twice performing portions of it: the first he sings part of the chorus in an effort to hide the fact that he had been stealing treasure, in the second, he is heard singing the end of it, which he had been playing with Esmeralda. There is also an instrumental version that is played as background music in some scenes.

Lyrics

Got a whale of a tale to tell ya, lads
A whale of a tale or two
'Bout the flappin' fish and the girls I've loved
On nights like this with the moon above
A whale of a tale, and it's all true
I swear by my tattoo

There was Mermaid Minnie
Met her down in Madagascar
She would kiss me
Any time that I would ask her
Then one evening, her flame of love blew out
Blow me down and pick me up!
She swapped me for a trout

Got a whale of a tale to tell ya, lads
A whale of a tale or two
'Bout the flappin' fish and the girls I've loved
On nights like this with the moon above
A whale of a tale, and it's all true
I swear by my tattoo

There was Typhoon Tessie
Met her on the coast of Java
When we kissed, I...bubbled up like molten lava
Then she gave me the scare of my young life
Blow me down and pick me up!
She was the captain's wife

Got a whale of a tale to tell ya, lads
A whale of a tale or two
'Bout the flappin' fish and the girls I've loved
On nights like this with the moon above
A whale of a tale, and it's all true
I swear by my tattoo

There was Harpoon Hannah
Had a face that made you shudder, lips like fish hooks...
And a nose just like a rudder
If I kissed her and held her tenderly

Crew member with deep voice:
Held her tenderly-y-y-y

There's no sea monster big enough
To ever frighten me

Got a whale of a tale to tell ya, lads
A whale of a tale or two
'Bout the flappin' fish and the girls I've loved
On nights like this with the moon above
A whale of a tale, and it's all true
I swear by my tattoo

While playing with Esmeralda, Ned creates an additional verse which describes his feelings towards Captain Nemo:

There was Old Man Nemo
Fed his crew on worms and fishes
Eels for breakfast, slimy cold and seawood dishes
When they ate it, they knew it wasn't meat
But eat they did with a scent
Of smelling like a reef

Then there was Harpoon Hannah
Had a look that spelled out danger
My heart quivered when she whispered "Hi there Stranger"
Bought her Trinkets, That sailors can't afford

Crew member with deep voice:
Sailors can't affo-o-o-ord

And when I spent my last red cent
She tossed me over board

Got a whale of a tale to tell ya, lads
A whale of a tale or two
'Bout the flappin' fish and the girls I've loved
On nights like this with the moon above
A whale of a tale, and it's all true
I swear by my tattoo

Trivia

References


v - e - d
20000-leagues-under-the-sea-50eddde2ad815
Media
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea | Operation Undersea | Captain Nemo (film) | Video
Disney Parks
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage | 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Tokyo DisneySea attraction) | Les Mystères du Nautilus
Characters
Ned Land | Pierre Aronnax | Conseil | Captain Nemo | Esmeralda | Giant Squid | Nautilus' First Mate | Captain Farragut | John Howard | Billy | Coach Driver | Abraham Lincoln's First Mate | Casey
Locations
San Francisco | Vulcania
Transportation
Nautilus
Songs
A Whale of a Tale

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