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God Help the Outcasts

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"God Help the Outcasts" is a song from Disney's 1996 animated feature film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The soft ballad was written by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz and recorded by American singer and actress Heidi Mollenhauer in her film role as the singing voice of Esmeralda for a scene inside Notre Dame after she sees how Quasimodo and her people are treated by society. After finishing singing the song a parishioner confronts Quasimodo mistakingly thinking he's causing trouble in which Quasimodo accidentally knocks over a candlestaff and flees back to the bell tower. Esmeralda sees this, terrified at what the parishioner has done and follows Quasimodo. The parishioner then attempted to prevent her and Djali from following him, but the Archdeacon intervenes and prevents him from proceeding any further.

It replaced another song, "Someday," which was cut when the directors wanted a quieter song in a cathedral. A pop version of "Someday", with slightly altered lyrics, is performed over the movie's credits. A pop cover of "God Help the Outcasts" was recorded by American entertainer Bette Midler and is featured on the film's soundtrack, though it is not used in the movie itself. It is 3:26 minutes long and Track 16 - the final track The film version is track 5 on the film soundtrack and is 3:45 minutes long. Extra voices were provided by Brian Cummings, Debi Mae West, and Lisa Russo.

Production

The song was adapted for the German stage version of the animated film, known as Der Glöckner von Notre Dame. Stephen Schwartz said "the scene...with all its candles and projected recreation of Notre Dame, I thought was absolutely stunning".

Stephen Schwartz explains that "The song 'Someday' was originally written for the Disney animated feature THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME as a possible replacement for the song 'God Help the Outcasts'. Ultimately, we went with the other song instead", though adds that "since everybody liked 'Someday' as well, it was then used as an end title credit for the film". While both songs find a home in the musical version ("in the stage version, 'Someday' is used towards the end, when Esmeralda is being led to execution"), in the film, both songs took place at the same point in time - "Esmeralda's first entrance into Notre Dame cathedral [where she is both] awed by the serenity and splendor of the place [and] brings with her a bitter and acute awareness of the injustice of her situation and that of her people and the less fortunate of society in general".

Lyrics

Esmeralda:
I don't know if You can hear me,
Or if You're even there.
I don't know if You would listen
To a gypsy's prayer.
Yes, I know I'm just an outcast,
I shouldn't speak to You.
Still, I see Your face and wonder...
Were You once an outcast, too?

God help the outcasts,
Hungry from birth,
Show them the mercy
They don't find on earth,
God help my people,
We look to You, still.
God help the outcasts,
Or nobody will.

Parishioners:
I ask for wealth
I ask for fame
I ask for glory to shine on my name
I ask for love I can possess
I ask for God and His angels to bless me!

Esmeralda:
I ask for nothing
I can get by.
But I know so many
Less lucky than I.
Please help my people,
The poor and downtrod.
I thought we all were
The children of God.
God help the outcasts,
Children of God!

Esmeralda:
I don't know if You can hear me,
Or if You're even there.
I don't know if You would listen
To a gypsy's prayer.
Yes, I know I'm just an outcast,
I shouldn't speak to You.
Still, I see Your face and wonder...
Were You once an outcast, too?

God help the outcasts,
Hungry from birth.
Show them the mercy
They don't find on Earth.
God help my people,
They look to You, still.
God help the outcasts,
Or nobody will.

Quasimodo:
God help the outcasts,
Hungry from birth.
Show them the mercy
They don't find on Earth.

Parishioners:
I ask for wealth
I ask for fame
I ask for glory to shine on my name
I ask for love I can possess
I ask for God and His angels to bless me!

Esmeralda:
I ask for nothing,
I can get by.
But I know so many
Less lucky than I.
Please help my people,
The poor and downtrod.
I thought we all were
The children of God.

Quasimodo:
God help the outcasts

Esmeralda:
God help the outcasts,
Children of God

Quasimodo:
Children of God

Esmeralda / Quasimodo
Children of God

I don't know if You can hear me,
Or if You're even there.
I don't know if You will listen
To a humble prayer.

They tell me I am just an outcast,
I shouldn't speak to You.
Still, I see Your face and wonder...
Were You once an outcast, too?

God help the outcasts,
Hungry from birth.
Show them the mercy
They don't find on Earth.

The lost and forgotten,
They look to you, still.
God help the outcasts,
Or nobody will.

I ask for nothing,
I can get by.
But I know so many
Less lucky than I.

God help the outcasts,
The poor and downtrod.
I thought we all were
Children of God.

I don't know if there's a reason
Why some are blessed, some not.
Why the few you seem to favor,
They fear us, flee us, try not to see us.

God help the outcasts,
The tired, the torn,
Seeking an answer
To why they were born.

Winds of misfortune
Have blown them about.
You made the outcasts,
Don't cast them out.

The poor and unlucky,
The weak and the odd.
I thought we all were
The children of God.

Critical reception

The New York Times said "The score, with lively music... and nicely agile lyrics, soars to sanctimonious heights with the lifting, catchy power ballad God Help the Outcasts", and added that it was "a sure thing for next year's Oscar show". Unfortunately, none of the songs from Hunchback were nominated the Academy Award for best original song.

Going Home to Heaven called the song "a bolder stroke than [the Disney team] had ever done before", and says that the messages of this piece, along with Hunchback songs like "Sanctuary" and "The Bells of Notre Dame" are "very powerful".

Gallery

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v - e - d
The-hunchback-of-notre-dame-logo
Media
Films: The Hunchback of Notre DameThe Hunchback of Notre Dame IIVideo

Television: House of MouseEsmeralda
Video games: The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Topsy TurvyKingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Music: Soundtrack
Books: Big Golden BookClassic StorybookDisney's Wonderful World of Reading

Disney Parks
Disney Animation BuildingStitch and Friends Summer Surprise

Entertainment: Animazment - The MusicalDisney Classics: The Music & The MagicOne Man's Dream II: The Magic Lives On!The Golden MickeysThe Hunchback of Notre Dame: A Musical AdventureThe Hunchback of Notre Dame: Festival of Fools
Restaurants: Clopin's Festival of Foods
Parade: The Hunchback of Notre Dame Topsy Turvy Cavalcade
Firework: Disney Dreams!World of Color
Halloween: Disney's Not-So-Scary Halloween ShowHappy HallowishesIt's Good To Be Bad With The Disney VillainsRe-Villains! Halloween ParadeThe Disney Villains Halloween ShowtimeVillains Mix and Mingle

Characters
Original: QuasimodoEsmereldaClaude FrolloPhoebusVictor, Hugo, and LaverneClopinArchdeaconAchillesDjaliQuasimodo's motherQuasimodo's fatherOld PrisonerSnowballBrutish and Oafish GuardFrollo's soldiers

Sequel: MadellaineZephyrSarousch

Songs
Original: The Bells of Notre DameOut ThereTopsy TurvyHumiliationGod Help the OutcastsThe Bell TowerHeaven's LightHellfireParis BurningA Guy Like YouThe Court of MiraclesSanctuaryAnd He Shall Smite the WickedInto the SunlightSomeday

Sequel: Le Jour D'AmourAn Ordinary MiracleI'd Stick With YouFa la la la Fallen In LoveI'm Gonna Love You
Musical: Balancing ActRest and RecreationRhythm of the TambourineTop of the WorldEsmeraldaCity Under SiegeOut of Love (Reprise) • Dance of the GypsiesMade of StoneGrand Finale
Deleted Songs: In a Place of MiraclesAs Long As There's a MoonSomeday

Locations
ParisNotre Dame de ParisPalace of JusticeCourt of Miracles
Miscellaneous
MusicalDisney Sing Along Songs: Topsy TurvyThe Making of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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