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"Under the Sea" is the iconic theme song from Disney's 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid, composed by Alan Menken with lyrics by Howard Ashman and based on the song "The Beautiful Briny Sea" from the 1971 film Bedknobs and Broomsticks. It is influenced by the Calypso style of the Trinidad and Tobago.[citation needed] The song was performed in the film by Samuel E. Wright. The track won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1989.

The song is a plea by the crab Sebastian imploring Ariel to remain sea-bound, and resist her desire to become a human in order to spend her life with Prince Eric, with whom she has fallen in love. Sebastian warns of the struggles of human life while at the same time expounding the benefits of a care-free life underwater. However, Ariel manages to sneak off with the aid of Flounder just before Sebastian's finale.

In 2002, the song was featured in the Square Enix action RPG, Kingdom Hearts as the background music for the Atlantica world. In 2006, the song also appeared in Kingdom Hearts II as part of a minigame where it was rearranged to have parts for Sebastian, Ariel, and Sora. For both appearances, the music was arranged by Yoko Shimomura.

In 2007, the Broadway musical version uses this as the featured production number with the role of Sebastian played by Tituss Burgess. Because Burgess is a tenor (unlike the baritone Wright), the key of the song was raised from B-flat to D. The placing of the song is also moved to after the scene in which King Triton destroys Ariel's collection of "human stuff", where the purpose of the song was to cheer Ariel up.

The song is present throughout all the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts around the world as well as the Disney Cruise Line.

An instrumental version of theme features heavily in the theme of the The Little Mermaid television series, which is a medley of this, "Part of Your World" and "Kiss the Girl."

Lyrics

The Broadway version of "Under the Sea" takes place after Ariel's grotto has been destroyed. Sebastian uses the song to cheer Ariel up. A reprise of the song is also played when Ariel leaves Sebastian.

Ariel, listen to me. The human world, it's a mess.
Life under the sea is better than any'ting they got up there!

The seaweed is always greener
In somebody else's lake
You dream about going up there,
But that is a big mistake
Just look at 'de world around you
Right here on the ocean floor
Such wonderful things surround you
What more is you lookin' for?

Under the sea
Under the sea
Darling it's better
Down where it's wetter,
Take it from me!

Up on the shore they work all day,
Out in the sun they slave away
While we devotin'
Full-time to floatin',
Under the sea!

Down here all the fish is happy
As off through the waves they roll
The fish on the land ain't happy
They sad 'cause they in their bowl

But fish in the bowl is lucky
They in for a worser fate
One day when the boss get hungry...
Guess who's gon' be on the plate?

Uh-oh!
Under the sea
Under the sea
Nobody beat us
Fry us and eat us
In fricassee

We what 'de land folks loves to cook
Under the sea we off the hook
We got no troubles,
Life is the bubbles!
Under the sea (under the sea)
Under the sea (under the sea)

Since life is sweet here,
We got the beat here
Naturally
Naturally-y-y-y

Even the sturgeon an' the ray
They get the urge 'n' start to play
We got the spirit
You got to hear it
Under the sea!

The newt play the flute
The carp play the harp
The plaice play the bass
And they soundin' sharp
The bass play the brass
The chub play the tub
The fluke is the duke of soul (Yeah)

The ray he can play
The lings on the strings
The trout rockin' out
The blackfish she sings
The smelt and the sprat
They know where it's at
An' oh that blowfish blow!

(Instrumental bridge)

Yeah!
Under the sea
(Under the sea)
Under the sea
(Under the sea)
When the sardine
Begin the beguine,
It's music to me
(Music is to me)

What do they got? A lot of sand
We got a hot crustacean band
Each little clam here
Know how to jam here
Under the sea!

Each little slug here
Cuttin' a rug here
Under the sea!

Each little snail here
Know how to wail here
That's why it's hotter
Under the water!
Ya we in luck here
Down in the muck here
Under the sea!

SEA CREATURES
The newt play the flute
The carp play the harp
The plaice play the bass
And they soundin' sharp
The bass play the brass
The chub play the tub
The fluke is the duke of soul

SEBASTIAN
Yes he is!

SEBASTIAN & SEA CREATURES
The ray, he can play
The lings on the strings
The trout rockin' out
The blackfish, she sings
The smelt and the sprat
They know where it's at
An' oh, that blowfish blow!

Under the sea
Under the sea
When the sardine begin the beguine
It's music to me
What do they got, a lot of sand?
We got a hot crustacean band

SEBASTIAN
Each little clam here know how to jam here, Under the sea
Each little slug here cutting a rug here, Under the sea
We got a hot crustacean band here, Under the sea
Each little snail here know how to wail here
That's why it's hotter under the water
Ya, we in luck here down in the muck here
Under the...

See, child, that's what I'm talking about!
You got to put your back into it. Ariel! Hello? Uh oh.

Single release

The song was released as a 12" single in 1990 by Walt Disney Pictures / Hollywood Records. The record listed the artist as "Sebastian C."

US 12" Single (ST-ED-66621A-SP)
  1. "Under the Sea (Atlantic Ocean Single Mix)" - 3:36
  2. "Under the Sea (Jellyfish Mix)" - 5:20
  3. "Under the Sea (Mermaid Dub)" - 3:27
  4. "Under the Sea (Pacific Ocean Single Mix)" - 3:10
  5. "Under the Sea (Polka Dot Bikini Mix)" - 5:33
  6. "Under the Sea (Sub Dub)" - 3:46

Other Appearances

Kingdom Hearts II

"Under the Sea" appears as part of Sebastian's Musical minigame in Atlantica. It is sang by Sebastian, Sora, and Ariel. Its story-related appearance alludes to Ariel's discovery of Prince Eric's statue and wish to see the human world, similarly to how it's used in The Little Mermaid.

Cover versions

  • In 1995, Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song in their album, When You Wish Upon a Chipmunk. However, The Walt Disney Company did not sponsor nor endorse the album.
  • Mannheim Steamroller covered the song on their 1999 album, Mannheim Steamroller Meets the Mouse.
  • It is often performed by Suburban Legends during their live performances. The band performed frequently at Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort in their early years, and still often play at Disneyland's Tomorrowland Terrace. The song appears on their 2012 album, Day Job.
  • The song is also covered by the A*Teens for Disneymania, by Raven-Symoné for DisneyMania 3 by Booboo Stewart for Disneymania 7 and later by Kate Ryan for DisneyMania 8. A remix of Raven's version is also featured on DisneyRemixMania.
  • The song is covered by the band Squirrel Nut Zippers on their album The Best of Squirrel Nut Zippers as Chronicled by Shorty Brown.
  • The Brazilian singer Diogo Nogueira made a Portuguese version of the song ("Aqui no Mar", something like, 'Here at Sea') in a samba style on the album Disney Adventures in Samba.
  • Powerglove was originally going to include a power metal version of the song on their second studio album, but Disney denied the rights to the song.[citation needed]
  • On 2012 album Disney - Koe no Oujisama, which features various seiyus covering Disney songs, this song was covered by Miyu Irino
  • In 2013, Alex Day covered the song for his album Epigrams and Interludes.

Other Versions

Performer(s) Title(s) Translations(s) Language
عبدالله سعد (Abdullah Sa'd) "جوا المحيط" "Inside the ocean" Arabic
André Filho "Aqui no Mar" "Here in the Sea" Brazilian Portuguese
Сава Пиперов (Sava Piperov) "В морския свят" "In the maritime world" Bulgarian
Michel Comeau "Sous l'océan" Canadian French
葉振邦
(Yip Jan Bong)
Cantonese
Vicente Borland "Bajo el Mar" Castilian Spanish
Dražen Bratulić "Na morskom dnu" Croatian
Zdeněk Hruška "Pod hladinou" Czech
Thomas Eje "Havet er skønt" Danish
Freddy Gumbs "Diep in de zee" Deep in the sea Dutch
Tom Wentzel (1990 version)
Antti Pääkkönen (1997 version)
Finnish
Henri Salvador (1989 version)
Christophe Peyroux (1998 version)
"Sous l'océan" "Under the Ocean" French
Joachim Kemmer (1990 version)
Ron Williams (1998 version)
German
Γιάννης Παλαμίδας (Giannis Palamidas) (1991 version)
Γιώργος Πετρόχειλος (Yiorgos Petrohilos) (1998 version)
Greek
אלי גורנשטיין
(Eli Gorenstein)
Hebrew
Hindi
Gábor Vass "Ringat a víz" Hungarian
Egill Ólfasson "Í grænum sjó" "The green sea" Icelandic
"Bawah Laut" "Under the Sea" Indonesian
Ronny Grant "In fondo al mar" Italian
上條恒彦 (Tsunehiko Kamijō) "アンダー・ザ・シー"

(Andā za Shī)

"Under the Sea" Japanese
김 준
(Kim Jun)
Korean
Michael Cruz "Bajo el Mar" "Under the Sea" Latin American Spanish
"Bawah Laut" "Under the Sea" Malay
謝文德 (Xie Wen-De) Mandarin
Helge Jordal "Her må du bli" "Here you have to be" Norwegian
Emilian Kamiński "Na morza dnie" "On the Sea Bottom" Polish
Pedro Malagueta "No Fundo do Mar" Portuguese
Putonghua
Valentin Teodosiu "Într-un ocean" "In an ocean" Romanian
Исмаил Зиядзаде
(Ismail Ziyadzade)
Russian
Michal Hudák Slovak
Per Myrberg "Havet är djupt" "Under the Sea" Swedish
Tamil
? (1991 version)
สรรเสริญ โภคสมบัติ (Sanrasoen Pokkhasombat) (1998 version)
Thai
Deniz Yılmaz Turkish

Parodies

In 1991, this song was parodied by musician Tom Smith with his song, "On The PC". This song was re-written in 1999 as "PC99".

The song was parodied on the TV show Kappa Mikey where Mikey tries to convince a squid to live on land with him.

The song was parodied on the TV show Bobby's World as "Underwater the Fish Don't Stink". The context was a dream of Bobby's in which he was a fish and his Uncle Ted was a merman - it turned out Bobby was having the dream because he was sleeping outside and the lawn sprinklers had turned on.

The song was also briefly parodied in the Tiny Toons movie How I Spent My Vacation.

The song was parodied on the TV show The Simpsons in the episode "Homer Badman," in a sequence where Homer Simpson imagines living under water (eating all of the characters from The Little Mermaid) to escape the protesters and media circus who have accused him of sexually harassing a college coed.

The song in part inspired the song "That's How You Know" from Enchanted, which also had music by Menken.[citation needed]

It is parodied as "On the Wii U" and whatever Nintendo console.

On a 2011 episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Tina Fey, a mermaid princess (Fey) sings another version called "Below the Waves" with her sea-animal friends: a crab resembling Sebastian (Kenan Thompson), two salmon (Abby Elliot and Vanessa Bayer), a seahorse (Paul Brittain) and a manta ray (Fred Armisen).

The song, as well as a majority of other factors in the film, was parodied in an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy in which Billy's character goes swimming and encounters a small yellow crab who sings a song for him entitled "Under the Ocean" in a style remniscent the scene of Sebastian singing the song for Ariel.

Trivia

  • Just as the Broadway version has this song placed after King Triton destroys Ariel's grotto, in The Little Mermaid Jr., the song is sung right after "Part of Your World" before Ariel first encounters Prince Eric.
    • Both of these placements could be due to the addition of the song "She's In Love".
  • The music is heard in the Phineas and Ferb episodes "Lawn Gnome Beach Party of Terror" and "Out of Toon". "Phineas and Ferb Hawaiian Vacation" parodies the song with A-Prime Calypso in Part 1.
  • The music is briefly heard during Aladdin just before Genie turns Aladdin into a prince. During this segment, the Genie opens a recipe book to find a supposed recipe for a prince and comes upon "Alaskan king crab," a snippet of "Under the Sea" playing as he pulls Sebastian from his finger.
  • The song is on Disc 1 of the UK release of Now That's What I Call Disney.
  • At least 12 known species of fish are mentioned in the song, even though it is entitled "Under the Sea", the fish mentioned are a mix between freshwater and marine.
  • This song is the only song in the Disney Renaissance to be both a main and ending song and use the same singer and melody in each use. Starting with Beauty and the Beast and its titular song, the main and ending covers are sung by different people.
  • The dolphin who loops around during the song is likely a cameo of Breaker, a character who was cut from the final film.
  • In the sing along version of this song, the first part was sung twice and after Sebastian sang "an' oh that blowfish blow!" the first chorus line was sung a third time.
  • In the official comic adaptation for The Little Mermaid, the song was instead incorporated into dialogue.

Gallery

Wikipediafavicon Under the Sea on Wikipedia

v - e - d
The Little Mermaid - 2013 Logo
Media
Films: The Little MermaidThe Little Mermaid II: Return to the SeaThe Little Mermaid: Ariel's BeginningThe Little Mermaid (live action film)Video

Television: Little Mermaid's IslandTV seriesHouse of MouseOnce Upon a TimeA Poem Is...
Video Games: NES gameSega Genesis GameAriel's Story StudioKingdom HeartsKingdom Hearts: Chain of MemoriesKingdom Hearts IIThe Little Mermaid 2: Pinball FrenzyDisney's The Little Mermaid: Magic in Two Kingdoms
Books: Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea WitchOfficial Comic AdaptationDisney ComicsBig Golden BookClassic StorybookDisney's Wonderful World of ReadingGolden Sight 'n' Sound BookLittle Golden BookThe Little Mermaid's Treasure ChestDisney Princess Beginnings
Marvel Comics: Sink or SwimAll that GlittersThe DaredevilfishWhirlpool WorldMy Dinner with CrustaceaRoom at the PalaceThere Goes the NeighborhoodGone With the WavesThe Sea Horse TournamentThe Sorrowful Sea MonsterThe Wrong QueenOf Myths and MermaidsAriel and the Lobster's Loot
Music: Original Walt Disney Records SoundtrackThe Legacy CollectionThe Little Mermaid: Songs from the Sea

Disney Parks
Mermaid LagoonDisney's Art of Animation ResortAriel's GrottoAriel's PlaygroundArt of AnimationBlowfish Balloon RaceDisney Animation BuildingFairy Tale ForestFlounder's Flying Fish CoasterIt's a Small WorldJumpin' JellyfishKing Triton's Carousel of the SeaMermaid Lagoon TheaterMickey's PhilharMagicScuttle's ScootersSorcerers of the Magic KingdomStorybook Land Canal BoatsThe Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea AdventureThe WhirlpoolVoyage to the Crystal Grotto

Entertainment: AnimagiqueAnimazment - The MusicalDisney's Dreams: An Enchanted ClassicDisney's WishesDisney Classics: The Music & The MagicFantasmic!Feel the MagicGolden Fairytale FanfareKing Triton's ConcertMermaid Lagoon Theater "Under the Sea"Mickey's Magical CelebrationMickey and the Magical MapMickey and the Wondrous BookSummer BlastThe Golden MickeysVillains Tonight!Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Restaurants: Ariel's GrottoSebastian's Calypso Kitchen
Shops: Kiss de Girl FashionsMermaid MemoriesMermaid TreasuresPrince Eric's Village MarketScuttle's Shiny Things
Parade: Celebrate A Dream Come True ParadeDisney's Magical Moments ParadeDisney on ParadeFestival of Fantasy ParadeMickey's New Year's Eve ParadeMickey's Soundsational ParadePaint The Night ParadeSpectroMagicStitch's Summer Dance BashThe Wonderful World of Disney ParadeWalt Disney's Parade of Dreams
Firework: Celebrate the MagicDisney Dreams!Disney in the StarsDisneyland ForeverHappily Ever AfterIgnite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and LightMagic, Music and MayhemWorld of Color
Halloween: Happy HallowishesRe-Villains! Halloween ParadeThe Villains WorldVillains Night Out! Chapter 2

Characters
Original: ArielFlounderSebastianScuttlePrince EricKing TritonUrsulaFlotsam and JetsamKing Triton's DaughtersMaxGrimsbyCarlottaChef LouisUrsula's GardenGlutThe Seahorse HeraldHaroldMerpeople

Sequel: MelodyTip and DashMorganaCloak and DaggerUndertowHammerhead SharkAlexFlounder's guppiesBaby PenguinUrsula and Morgana's mother
Prequel: Queen AthenaMarina Del ReyBenjaminThe Catfish Club BandStevieElectric Eels
Little Mermaid's Island SandyScales
TV Series: UrchinGabriellaOllieDudleyPearlPearl's motherMantaLittle EvilDr. VileDanielMoraySimonLobster Mobster and Da ShrimpThe SorceressGlowfishEbb and FloEmpreror Shargaand the SharkaniansOctopidBrain SpongeZeusSpot the Killer WhaleCrab ScoutsHans Christian AndersenMr. and Mrs. Clambakersfield and their babiesLuckyThorKid SquidAugustusStormy the Giant SeahorseSorcerer BlowfishPenny the CatThe Magical Wishing StarfishApolloArchimedesSeaclopsNeptune
Comic Book: ScallopaIndigoAunt CrustaceaSir FigmondFlooglefishMarlin the MagicianSnapperJasonCalibanKing ProteusAriadnePiraniaCeliaJennyScarface the SharkProfessor Thelonius PaxxShanaKing HaroldPrincess PenelopeCaptain CutlassAquariusAbaloney Kid

Episodes
Season One: "Whale of a Tale" • "The Great Sebastian" • "Stormy" • "Urchin" • "Double Bubble" • "Message in a Bottle" • "Charmed" • "Marriage of Inconvenience" • "The Evil Manta" • "Thingamajigger" • "Red" • "Beached" • "Trident True" • "Eel-Ectric City"

Season Two: "Resigned to It" • "Calliope Dreams" • "Save the Whale" • "Against the Tide" • "Giggles" • "Wish Upon a Starfish" • "Tail of Two Crabs" • "Metal Fish" • "T'ank You For Dat, Ariel"
Season Three: "Scuttle" • "King Crab" • "Island of Fear" • "Land of the Dinosaurs" • "Heroes" • "The Beast Within" • "Ariel's Treasures" • "A Little Evil"

Objects
Prince Eric's StatueTridentUrsula's CauldronUrsula's NecklaceMelody's locketQueen Athena's music boxDinglehopperRoyal Ship
Locations
AtlanticaAriel's Secret GrottoUrsula's LairPrince Eric's CastleThe Wedding ShipMorgana's Ice Cave
Songs
Film: Fathoms BelowDaughters of King TritonPart of Your WorldUnder the SeaPoor Unfortunate SoulsLes PoissonsKiss the GirlDown to the SeaFor a MomentTip and DashHere on the Land and SeaJust One MistakeJump in the Line (Shake Senora)I Remember

TV Series: Just a Little LoveYou Got to be YouThe Edge of the Edge of the SeaThe Lobster Mobster's MobThe Beddy Bye BluesSing a New SongIn HarmonyThis is the LifeYou Know I KnowNever Give UpYou Wouldn't Want to Mess with MeThe Sound of LaughterDaring to DanceJust Give Me a ChanceEvil Lullaby
Musical: She's in LoveHuman StuffPositoovityI Want the Good Times BackDaddy's Little AngelHer VoiceThe World AboveThe ContestIf OnlyBeyond My Wildest DreamsSweet ChildOne Step CloserAll Good Things Must End
Deleted: Silence is Golden

See Also
MusicalThe Disney AfternoonDisney Sing Along Songs: Under the Sea