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.
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".
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".
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