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Beauty and the Beast (song)

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Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast
Originally performed by
Composer Alan Menken
Lyrics Howard Ashman
Performer(s) Mrs. Potts (Angela Lansbury) (in the film)

Céline Dion and Peabo Bryson (in the credits)

Feature films Beauty and the Beast
Short films
Television programs Phineas and Ferb (briefly)
Once Upon a Time
Attractions Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
Video games Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Quest
Kingdom Hearts II (briefly)
Albums Beauty and the Beast (Original Soundtrack)
The Music of Disney: A Legacy in Song
Classic Disney: 60 Years of Musical Magic - Volume I
Disney's 75 Years of Music & Memories
Disney's Greatest Love Songs
Preceded by Human Again
Followed by The Mob Song
Beauty and the Beast Ballroom Dance02:33

Beauty and the Beast Ballroom Dance

"Beauty and the Beast" is a song by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson. It was written by lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken for Walt Disney Pictures' 30th animated feature film Beauty and the Beast (1991), serving as its theme song. Originally recorded by Angela Lansbury in her film role as Mrs. Potts, it was featured as the final track on the film's soundtrack album, from which it was released on November 16, 1991. Additionally, Dion included the song on her eponymous seventeenth studio album. A pop ballad, it describes the relationship between the film's main characters, Belle and the Beast.

The song has garnered a positive reception from critics, who praised its dual role as both a musical number and a commercial single. The song won several awards, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, Academy Award for Best Original Song and Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media. As a single, it was a commercial success, peaking at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming both Dion and Bryson's second top ten hit in the United States. Its success has been credited with establishing Dion's career as a singer.

The release of the song was accompanied by a music video, directed by Dominic Orlando. Dion and Bryson have performed the song several times live, including at the 64th Academy Awards in 1992 and the 35th Grammy Awards in 1993. Both singers have included the song on some of their respective greatest hit and compilation albums. It has been covered numerous times by various performers. Both American pop group Jump5 and American Idol winner Jordin Sparks have recorded pop renditions of the song for the film's platinum and diamond edition re-releases.

Background and recording


After ordering director Richard Purdum's attempt at adapting Beauty and the Beast into an animated feature film scrapped and restarted, Disney CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg ordered that the film be written in the style of a Broadway musical reminiscent of The Little Mermaid (1989), hiring lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken to write its songs. Ashman and Menken, who had just recently completed scoring The Little Mermaid, had already begun writing songs for their then-upcoming animated project Aladdin (1992). Ashman, who had been recently diagnosed with HIV, was initially reluctant to join the struggling production crew. However, he eventually agreed.

Angela Lansbury provided both the speaking and singing voices of the character Mrs. Potts in the film. She told The Huffington Post that Ashman and Menken had originally written the song in the style of a rock one. Although she enjoyed it, she felt in incapable of recording it because of the unfamiliar style in which it was written. She questioned the songwriters' choice in her, asking them, "Are you sure you want me to do this?" She also felt as though her voice she was not in suitable condition to record "Beauty and the Beast", feeling insecure about having to sustain its several "long, extended notes". Ashman and Menken simply advised her "to sing it the way [she] envisioned it". Ultimately, she successfully recorded it in only one take.


Because the film garnered three separate Academy Award nominations for Best Original Song, producer Don Hahn expressed concern that this would result in a tie. In an attempt to persuade the audience to vote for the film's title song, Disney decided to release it as a single. Menken considered it a "turning point" in his career, explaining that it was the first time one of his compositions was re-arranged for such a purpose. "[Music producer] Walter Afanasieff...molded ["Beauty and the Beast"] into something very different than I ever intended," Menken reflected. "Walter made it his own". Because the studio could not afford a "big singer," they hired Céline Dion, who was virtually unknown in the United States at the time, to record a pop version of it. Fearing she would not draw much attention because of her relative obscurity, Disney hired Peabo Bryson, who was a more popular and successful artist at the time, to record the song alongside her in the form of a duet. Ultimately, it won Best Original Song. Its success is often accredited with introducing her to a worldwide audience and establishing her career as an international recording artist.

Lyrics and composition

The song is a romantic pop ballad. Damon Smith of the Chichester Observer described the its melody as "haunting," while Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum referred to Lansbury's rendition as a "lullaby". Commonly identified as the film's theme song, its lyrics describe the relationship between the film's two main characters, Belle and the Beast, and specifically addresses how it has managed to transform them, allowing their friendship (and later, love) to grow. One reviewer writing for wrote that the song serves its purpose in the film by "offering a sure sign of romance between" Belle and the Beast.

Tale as old as time
True as it can be
Barely even friends
Then somebody bends

Just a little change
Small to say the least
Both a little scared
Neither one prepared
Beauty and the Beast

Ever just the same
Ever a surprise
Ever as before
Ever just as sure
As the sun will rise

Tale as old as time
Tune as old as song
Bittersweet and strange
Finding you can change
Learning you were wrong

Certain as the sun
Rising in the east
Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the Beast

Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the Beast

Certain as the sun
Rising in the East
Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the Beast

Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the Beast
Ah, ah, ahh


During the film, the song is performed by Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts, and is heard whilst Belle and the Beast dance in the castle ballroom. Another version is performed by Céline Dion and Peabo Bryson at the end of the film. This was also the version released on a CD single and is also included on Dion's self-titled album (1992). A music video, directed by Dominic Orlando, was released in January 1992.[1]

  • Lansbury, Dion, and Bryson all performed the song live on stage during the 64th Academy Awards. Dion and Bryson performed it also at the Grammy Awards in 1993.
  • In 2002, the song was covered by the group Jump5 and placed on the CD, Disneymania.
  • In 2005, Julie Andrews selected the song for her album Julie Andrews Selects Her Favorite Disney Songs.
  • A brief minor version can be heard in the score of Enchanted, which, not coincidentally, was also composed by Alan Menken.
  • In 2009, the CD Disney's Dream Pop: Tribute to Tokyo, the song is covered by the group Bright.
  • In 2010, Jordin Sparks recorded her cover version of the song and filmed an accompanying music video with director Philip Andelman.

Once Upon a Time

In the first episode of the fourth season of the ABC fantasy drama series Once Upon a Time, Mr. Gold plays the song when he dances with Belle.

Kingdom Hearts II

"Beauty and the Beast"
Beauty and the Beast KHII

An arrangement of the song created by Yoko Shimomura plays during the finale of the episode at the Beast's Castle when the Beast and Belle are dancing on the courtyard of the castle.


The song was very successful on the charts around the world, becoming Dion's first international hit. The single reached number 9 in the U.S. (number 8 on the Hot 100 Singles Sales and number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay) and hit top 10 in Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. It was certified gold in the U.S. for selling over 500,000 copies, and platinum in Japan (100,000 copies sold). Thanks to its success, the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack was certified 3x platinum in the U.S., for selling over 3,000,000 copies.


The song won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1992, marking Menken and Ashman's (posthumously) second win after the 1989 award for "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid. A couple of months before, it had also won the 1992 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. It also went on winning two Grammy Awards in 1993, for the Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media and the Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The song was also nominated for two other important Grammys: Record of the Year and the Song of the Year. In Canada, it won a Juno Award for the Single of the Year.

Formats and track listings

Worldwide CD single

  1. "Beauty and the Beast" – 4:04
  2. "The Beast Lets Belle Go" (Instrumental) – 2:19

Canadian CD maxi single

  1. "Beauty and the Beast" – 4:04
  2. "The Beast Lets Belle Go" (Instrumental) – 2:19
  3. "Des mots qui sonnent" – 3:56
  4. "Délivre-moi" (Live) – 4:19

Official Versions

  1. "Beauty and the Beast" (Radio Edit) – 3:33
  2. "Beauty and the Beast" (Album Version) – 4:04
  3. "Beauty and the Beast" (Instrumental) – 4:07

Charts and Certifications


Chart (1991) Peak
Canadian Record's Retail Singles Chart 2
Canadian Record's Contemporary Hit Radio Chart 21
Canadian RPM Top Singles 23
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary 1
US Billboard Hot 100 9
US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 3
Chart (1992) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 17
Belgian Singles Chart 25
Dutch Singles Chart 18
Irish Singles Chart 12
Japanese Singles Chart 67
New Zealand Singles Chart 8
UK Singles Chart 9

Year-end Charts

Chart (1992) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 64


Country Certification
Japan Platinum
United States Gold


The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Beauty and the Beast (song).



  • Every single verse of the song has five syllables.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The article or pieces of the original article was at Beauty and the Beast (Disney song). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Disney Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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Beauty and the beast logo

Films: Beauty and the Beast | The Enchanted Christmas | Belle's Magical World | Beauty and the Beast (2017 film)
Television: Sing Me a Story with Belle | Belle's Tales of Friendship | House of Mouse
Books: The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince | Marvel Comics | The New Adventures of Beauty and the Beast | Time Flies! | Sittin' Pretty! | Tale as Old as Time: The Art and Making of Beauty and the Beast | Classic Storybook | Disney's Wonderful World of Reading | Golden Look-Look Book | Golden Sight 'n' Sound Book | Little Golden Book
Games: Beauty and the Beast (video game) | Belle's Quest | Roar of the Beast | A Board Game Adventure | Kingdom Hearts II | Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days | Disney Infinity | Disney Infinity: 2.0 Edition
Music: Beauty and the Beast (Original Soundtrack)

Disney Parks

Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage | Be Our Guest Restaurant | Enchanted Tales with Belle | Animazment - The Musical | The Golden Mickeys


Original: Belle | Beast | Lumière | Cogsworth | Mrs. Potts | Chip Potts | Chef Bouche | Villagers | Maurice | Philippe | Gaston | LeFou | Bimbettes | Sultan | Wardrobe | Fifi | Enchantress | Monsieur D'Arque | Wolves | Music Box | Gaston's buddies | Pierre | Palanquin
Enchanted Christmas: Angelique | Forte | Fife
Belle's Magical World: Webster | Crane | Le Plume | Witherspoon | Chandeleria
Deleted Characters: Clarice | Marguerite | Belle's sisters | Belle's suitors
Comic and Storybook Characters: Countess de la Perle | Thunder |


Original: Prologue: Beauty and the Beast | Belle | Gaston | Be Our Guest | Something There | Human Again | Beauty and the Beast | The Mob Song
Broadway: No Matter What | Me | Home | How Long Must This Go On? | If I Can't Love Her | Maison Des Lunes | A Change in Me
Enchanted Christmas: Stories | As Long As There's Christmas | Don't Fall in Love
Belle's Magical World: A Little Thought | Listen With Our Hearts


Beast's Castle | Library | Belle's Cottage | Village | Ballroom | The Black Forest | Tavern | The West Wing


The Enchanted Rose | Enchanted Mirror | Maurice's Machine

See Also

Beauty and the Beast (musical) | Disney Renaissance

v - e - dKingdom Hearts Series

Kingdom Hearts + Final Mix | Chain of Memories | Re:Chain of Memories | Kingdom Hearts II + Final Mix | 358/2 Days | Birth by Sleep + Final Mix | coded | Re:coded | Dream Drop Distance | HD I.5 ReMIX | χ [chi] | HD II.5 ReMIX | Unchained χ | HD II.8 Final Chapter Prologue | Kingdom Hearts III

Incorporated Films and shorts

Alice in Wonderland | Aladdin/The Return of Jafar | Beauty and the Beast | Big Hero 6 | Cinderella | Fantasia | Hercules | The Hunchback of Notre Dame | Lilo & Stitch | The Lion King | The Little Mermaid | Mickey, Donald and Goofy: The Three Musketeers | Mulan | The Nightmare Before Christmas | Peter Pan | Pinocchio | Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl | Sleeping Beauty | Steamboat Willie | Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs | Tangled | Tarzan | Tron/Tron: Legacy | The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh


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Dearly Beloved | Simple and Clean | Sanctuary | Mickey Mouse Club March | Swim This Way | Part of Your World | Under the Sea | Ursula's Revenge | A New Day is Dawning | Destati | Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo | He's a Pirate | Beauty and the Beast | This is Halloween | It's a Small World | Night on Bald Mountain | Winnie the Pooh | The Sorcerer's Apprentice | The Pastoral Symphony


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