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I'll Make a Man Out of You

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"I'll Make a Man Out of You" is a song composed by Matthew Wilder, with lyrics by David Zippel featured in the Disney film Mulan. The featured singer is professional entertainer and singer Donny Osmond singing voice of Captain Li Shang. In some parts its also sung by Mulan (Lea Salonga), Mushu (Eddie Murphy), Yao, Ling, and Chien Po (Harvey Fierstein, Matthew Wilder, and Jerry Tondo respectively). They all had their individual lines.

During the film, this song acts as a training montage. Trainees are shown failing at each drill or exercise—particularly Mulan, whose efforts are sabotaged by her bullying comrades and is eventually told to return home. However, in one last effort, Mulan uses her ingenuity to successfully complete the challenge of climbing up a vertically mounted log with heavy weights attached to each arm by using the tethered objects as a strap around the pole to aid in climbing. In doing so, she impresses her comrades and is allowed to stay. Her feat marks the beginning of improvement in all of the recruits, as well as gaining a new-found camaraderie. From this point on in the song, the individual recruits are shown excelling at tasks that had previously proved daunting. The group as a whole also progresses, exhibiting unity and coordination, where before disorder and confusion reigned. At the end, all the recruits have improved dramatically and successfully complete their training.

The song's title and lyrics are deliberately ironic in light of the fact that Mulan is a woman disguised as a man. The irony is furthered in the film's climax where the song is reprised by an unseen choir when the male soldiers disguise themselves as concubines in order to fool the enemy Huns.

Lyrics

Shang:
Let's get down to business-to defeat the Huns
Did they send me daughters when I asked for sons?
You're the saddest bunch
I ever met
But you can bet before we're through
Mister, I'll make a man out of you

Tranquil as a forest
But on fire within
Once you find your center
You are sure to win
You're a spineless, pale pathetic lot
And you haven't got a clue
Somehow I'll make a man out of you

Chien Po:
I'm never gonna catch my breath

Yao:
Say good bye to those who knew me

Ling:
Boy, was I fool in school for cutting gym

Mushu:
This guy's got 'em scared to death

Mulan:
Hope he doesn't see right through me

Chien Po:
Now I really wish that I knew how to swim

Chorus:
(Be a man)

Shang:
We must be swift as the coursing river

Chorus:
(Be a man)

Shang:
With all the force of a great typhoon

Chorus:
(Be a man)

Shang:
With all the strength of a raging fire
Mysterious as the dark side of the moon

Time is racing toward us
Till the Huns arrive
Heed my every order
And you might survive
You're unsuited for the rage of war
So pack up, go home
You're through
How could I make a man out of you?

Chorus:
(Be a man)

Shang:
We must be swift as the coursing river

Chorus:
(Be a man)

Shang:
With all the force of a great typhoon

Chorus:
(Be a man)

Shang and Chorus:
With all the strength of a raging fire
Mysterious as the dark side of the moon

Chorus:
(Be a man)

Shang:
We must be swift as the coursing river

Chorus:
(Be a man)

Shang:
With all the force of a great typhoon

Chorus:
(Be a man)

Shang and Chorus:
With all the strength of a raging fire
Mysterious as the dark side of the moon

Other editions

A bonus feature on the Mulan DVD features Jackie Chan singing the song in Cantonese and Mandarin.

The stage musical has this song with another called "Lesson #1" (from the second Mulan film) attached to it.

Gallery

Trivia

  • The lyrics "You must be as swift as a coursing river, with all the force of a great Typhoon, with all the strength of a raging fire, mysterious as the dark side of the moon" is similar to an excerpt by Sun Tzu in his treatise "The Art of War". The actual excerpt essentially reads "Swift as the wind, silent as the forest, fierce as the fire, and strong as the mountain."
  • The song was referenced in Marvel's comic "Don't Call Her the Calvary" issue #1.
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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The article or pieces of the original article was at I'll Make a Man Out of You. 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.


v - e - d
Mulan Logo
Media

Films: Mulan | Mulan II | Live-action film | Video
Television: House of Mouse | Once Upon a Time | Sofia the First
Video games: Mulan (video game) | Kingdom Hearts II
Books: Classic Storybook | Graphic Novel | Little Golden Book | Disney's Wonderful World of Reading
Music: Mulan (soundtrack) | Mulan II (soundtrack)

Disney Parks

Disney Animation Building | Fantasy Gardens | Garden of the Twelve Friends | It's a Small World | Voyage to the Crystal Grotto
Entertainment: Cinderella's Surprise Celebration | Disney's Wishes | Disney in the Stars | Ignite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and Light | Mickey and the Magical Map | Mulan, La Légende | The Golden Mickeys
Restaurants: Plaza Inn
Parade: Disney's Stars 'n' Cars... As Never Seen Before | Mickey's Storybook Express | Mulan Parade

Characters

Original: Fa Mulan | Mushu | Cri-Kee | Li Shang | Yao, Ling and Chien Po | Chi-Fu | Shan Yu | General Li | Fa Zhou | Fa Li | Grandmother Fa | Fa Family Ancestors | The Emperor of China | The Matchmaker | Little Brother | Khan | Shang's Horse | Hayabusa the Falcon | Elite Hun Soldiers | Hun Army | Shang's Troops
Sequel: Sha-Ron | Ting-Ting, Su and Mei | Lord Qin

Songs

Original: Honor to Us All | Reflection | I'll Make a Man Out of You | A Girl Worth Fighting For | True To Your Heart
Sequel: Lesson Number One | Like Other Girls | Here Beside Me
Deleted songs: Keep 'em Guessing

Locations

China | Imperial City | Fa Family home | Village

See Also

Disney Renaissance | Sword of Shan Yu

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