Colors of the Wind, by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz, was the 1995 Oscar-winner for Best Original Song from the Disney animated feature film Pocahontas. It also won the Golden Globe in the same category as well as the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Movie. It was also nominated for AFI's 100 years...100 songs, as one of 15 songs from Disney and one of 17 songs from an animated movie to be nominated. The songs that eventually made the cut was: When You Wish Upon A Star (#7), Some Day My Prince Will Come (#19), Beauty and the Beast (#62) and Hakuna Matata (#99).
The song poetically represents the Native American viewpoint that the earth is a living entity where humankind is connected to everything in nature. This song is about Pocahontas' exhortation to John Smith about the wonders of the earth and nature, including the spirit within all living things, encouraging him not to think of them as things he can conquer or own, but rather as beings to respect and live with in harmony. She also urges him to accept humans who are different in appearance and culture and to learn from them.
The first two notes of Alan Menken's melody span a musical interval of a major sixth. Overall, the span of the melody reaches an eleventh. Because the melody spans a slightly larger range than some instruments, such as the Native American Flute, can reach, alternate versions of the melody have been arranged that span a more modest interval. Described as a "stirring anthem to animism", this song is Pocahontas' exhortation to Captain John Smith about the wonders of the earth and nature, including the spirit within all living things, encouraging him not to think of them as things he can conquer or own, but rather as beings to respect and live with in harmony. She also urges him to accept humans who are different in appearance and culture and to learn from them.
There is some debate over where the song begins within the narrative of the movie. The first part sung, when the music technically begins, has Pocahontas talking about how having experience with other races does not necessarily mean understanding them, and has her asking John Smith whether she is the savage between the two of them. As she sings this, she angrily shoves his gun into his hands, implying that that European attitude towards guns, violence, and racism is far more savage than the views that the Native Americans have. Pocahontas then tells John Smith that there is a lot about the Earth he doesn't know. At this point, it is considered that the song actually begins. The first line of the chorus tells of the wolf crying to the "blue corn moon", with the second line varying with the verse context. The phrase "blue corn moon" has no actual meaning in Native American folklore. It was made up by lyricist Stephen Schwartz because he enjoyed the sound of it, being inspired by a Native American love poem that read "I will come to you in the moon of green corn". The second time the chorus is sung in the single version, the second line becomes "Or let the eagle tell you where he's been" from the original "Or asked the grinning bobcat why he grinned," likely because the latter phrase refers to imagery in the movie of a fictitious constellation which resembles a bobcat. The third line tells of singing with the voices of the mountains, as the fourth line concludes with the title imagery of painting with the colors of the wind.
You think I'm an ignorant savage
And you've been so many places
I guess it must be so
But still I cannot see
If the savage one is me
How can there be so much that you don't know?
You don't know...
You think you own whatever land you land on
The Earth is just a dead thing you can claim
But I know every rock and tree and creature
Has a life, has a spirit, has a name
You think the only people who are people
Are the people who look and think like you
But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
You'll learn things you never knew, you never knew
Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon
Or asked the grinning bobcat why he grinned?
Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains?
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?
Come run the hidden pine trails of the forest
Come taste the sunsweet berries of the Earth
Come roll in all the riches all around you
And for once, never wonder what they're worth
The rainstorm and the river are my brothers
The heron and the otter are my friends
And we are all connected to each other
In a circle, in a hoop that never ends
How high will the sycamore grow?
If you cut it down, then you'll never know
And you'll never hear the wolf cry to the blue corn moon
For whether we are white or copper skinned
We need to sing with all the voices of the mountains
We need to paint with all the colors of the wind
You can own the Earth and still
All you'll own is Earth until
You can paint with all the colors of the wind.
Due to the popularity of the song, many versions of it exist by different artists and in several languages. Cover artists include:
- Vanessa Hudgens on Disneymania 5 and Princess Disneymania
- Susana Zabaleta (Latin America Spanish)
- Sara Ramirez
- Simone Egeriis (Danish)
- Edyta Górniak (Polish)
- Daniela Mercury and Kika Tristão (Brazilian Portuguese)
- Rita (Hebrew)
- Susana Félix (Portuguese)
- Sumi Jo (Korean)
- Jennifer Rush (German)
- Fiona Tzavara (Greek)
- Anita Skorgan (Norwegian)
- Daniela Castillo (Chilean Spanish)
- Arja Koriseva (Finnish)
- Winnie Hsin (Mandarin)
- Coco Lee (Mandarin, English)
- Pia Douwes (Dutch)
- Tuba Önal (Turkish)
- Ashanti (feat. Lil' Sis Shi Shi) on Disneymania and Disneyremixmania
- Ning Baizura
- Whitney Houston
- Michael Crawford on The Disney Album
- Christy Carlson Romano on Disneymania 3
- The Chipettes on When You Wish Upon a Chipmunk
- Danielle White
- Peter Broggs
- Peter Moon
- Lea Salonga on Songs from The Screen
- Amy Jo Johnson
- Arturo Sandoval
- Pam Tillis on The Best of Country Sing the Best of Disney
- ACIDMAN, a J-Rock band also played a remixed version of the song for their album Equal
- Gheorghe Zamfir (Instrumental)
- Thia Megia on the tenth season of American Idol (her studio version was released on the iTunes Store as "Colors of the Wind (American Idol Performance) - Single"
- Ivana Wong on Cinema of Love
- Brian Wilson covered "Colors of the Wind" on his album In the Key of Disney, which was released on October 25, 2011.
- Connie Talbot covered this song on her album Beautiful World in 2012.
- Suburban Legends (Ska Punk Cover)
- La Década in "La Década: DisneyManía"
|This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The article or pieces of the original article was at Colors of the Wind. The list of authors can be seen in the . As with Disney Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|
| Pocahontas | Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World | Pocahontas (Original Soundtrack) | Pocahontas (video game)
Characters: Pocahontas | John Smith | Governor Ratcliffe | Thomas | Meeko | Flit | Percy | Wiggins | Grandmother Willow | Nakoma | Kocoum | Kekata | John Rolfe | King James | Queen Anne | Mrs. Jenkins | Uttamatomakkin | Namontack | Redfeather
Songs: The Virginia Company | Steady as the Beating Drum | Just Around The Riverbend | Listen With Your Heart | Mine, Mine, Mine | Colors of the Wind | Savages | If I Never Knew You | Where Do I Go From Here | What a Day in London | Wait 'Till He Sees You | Things Are Not What They Appear | Between Two Worlds