1. “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid
“If only I could make him understand. I just don’t see things the way he does…”
Yes, if only. But you can’t. Not today. So… that’s why we’re gonna start off with this one. Does it feel like you’re about to jump in your first fight of the holidays with him (your father, uncle, grandfather, brother, it doesn’t really matter) and worse yet, he just picked you up at the airport? Well, no problem. Take a deep breath and dive underwater with this one and let this song be your escape. Under the sea, forget him for a moment. Put your earbuds in and sing or hum your way to your happy place, a secret lair of thingamabobs.
2. “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” from The Lion King
These first two songs are similar takes on the same idea – one features a boy and the other’s a girl singer. Other than that. Samesies samesies. And you know what? It’s 2013. Y’all go on and use whatever song works for you. The key is if you feel like you’re waiting to wearing the crown and it’s getting you down, bump your noggin along with Simba or Ariel and relax your stress.
3. “Let’s Go Fly A Kite” from Mary Poppins
Keep in mind wherever you are for the holidaze, a successful time and a happy time, both of those outcomes will be a product of your attitude. Keep a simple song like this one close at hand. When you feel stress tightening sphincters, as Mr. Banks would urge you, it’s best if you remember how important your family is. Y’know, before you get to so fed up you tell everyone to go f…fly a kite… up to the highest heights…
4. “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from Mary Poppins
Doubling down on our wonder-gurl, Mary P. This one’s right as rain when it comes to releasing pain and suffering and those deep down body aches, the ones that come from long car rides home after shopping with your mother. Rather than engage in any petty fights born of exhaustion and irritation, rather than snipe, just swipe your finger on your smartphone and sing-along with this! Mary Poppins is practically perfect for every situation.
5. “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas
This one’s good for those times when you just can’t hear another fucking word about politics from your tv news-loving, talking-head-misquoting uncle. If you wanted to watch Fox News you would, on your own. Playing “telephone” with your uncle and Fox News is just about the worst party game ever. Well, calm down. This song’s for you. Let Pocahontas sing to your heart. Let her ask those questions you must swallow. It’ll be okay.
6. “I’ll Make A Man Out of You” from Mulan
Yes, it’s likely gonna get real tough at times. Travel and family, and families traveling together, that shit’s gonna get hectic. Don’t go into it ill-prepared. You need to train your ass hard like Mulan. You might need to watch this song four or five times in a row to just get your mind right. I don’t know how your family is. But heck, your family might be the best part of your trip — you guys might be one constant Brady Bunch lovefest, and if so, then you might need this song to toughen you up for when it’s time to say goodbye. Either way, if you need to get tougher. Mulan’s here to inspire you.
7. “Prince Ali” from Aladdin
Always been partial to this perfectly swag tune for the swingiest urchin from the streets of Arabia, your man and mine, Prince Ali. Might is he. Ali Ababwa. This will also be my theme song for the duration of the holidaze. My family will get to hear me hum this song so often they’re gonna start to think of it as Christmas music.
8. Can You Feel the Love Tonight from The Lion King
One great part of coming home for the holidaze is bumping into that special someone and the sparks are still there; or maybe, now they’re there for the first time. The important part is there are combustible, fire-starting sparks. And you need to do something about them. This song’s for you and for those moments. Help take the edge off but keep the spirit burning. And keep it sexy, keep it safe, and then get freaky with your “I’ve-always-wanted-to-do-this” moment. The Thanksgiving weekend nights can be super romantic. I’m just sayin’.
9. “Bare Necessities” from The Jungle Book
And then there are those times when instead of romance you find mischief with those friends you can reliably raise some hell with. Well, this song here, it’s the perfect one to soundtrack some simple old fashioned fun. Like it’s a great one to hum before a midnight skinny-dip; that is, if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere warm enough where people do such things. And if you do, what are you waiting for? You should probably be taking your clothes off.
10. “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid
Maybe you’re home for the holidays for the first time since going off to college. You may feel weird about going out to party back in your hometown. Well, you know what? Fuck all that noise. Go out and have some fun! Yes, it’s going to be weird. But it’ll also probably be epic fun and furnish you with some rare memories … so get your ass out there! But first, listen to this song, shake off some of the weirdness, and it’ll help you get ready to party like a teen like it ain’t no thing.
11. “Hakuna Matata” from The Lion King
If you’re still worried about going out and seeing old friends wearing their new identities, all of you somehow the same yet also so very different; well, relax into this song and remember “no worries” is your philosophy. You’ll have a great time. Just relax and remember: Hakuna motherfuckin’ Matata, man.
12. “Chim Chim Cher-ee” from Mary Poppins
Here is a bit of the light kiss of lady luck to get you in the mood for “family fun night,” or maybe it’s afternoon bowling with your grandfather, or wrapping presents while looking at pics on Facebook with your aunt. Humility is a key to happiness. So be lucky as can be, and sing this little jingle to yourself to keep your smile fresh.
13. “The Gospel Truth” from Hercules
If you’re having a diva moment. Go big with this one and let The Muses hit you with some gospel sisterhood to keep your shit together. No one needs you splitting at the seams, so keep it together with a little help from The Gospel Truth.
14. “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from The Little Mermaid
If you feel veins bulging in your face. Time out! It’s time to take a break. If you have to be alone, go to the bathroom. Take out your smartphone and let Ursula calm your ass down. Take pity on those poor unfortunate souls that fuck with a badass sea witch. Sing along. Get it out. And remember you’d rather be Ariel than Ursula. As much as you may want don’t go badass sea witch on those poor unfortuante souls, you need to be the heroine of your story. So hang out for an emergency cool-down moment with Ursula in the bathroom. Will she really help you? Of course.
15. “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast
If you and your family are hosting others for the holidaze, this one goes out to you. You’re gonna have to go that extra mile, or two, or seventeen. You know it, I know it, your family dog knows it. So don’t fight it. Embrace it. Be patient. And let this song be your holiday mantra. G’luck!
16. “I Wanna Be Like You” from The Jungle Book
There comes a time during the holidaze when you might find yourself wishing you where someone else … possibly someone else, someone who is far away from where you are. That’s cool. We’ve all been there, desperately wanting to be anywhere else. Lucky for you this song is the Disney version of dream therapy. I wanna be like you … person in the car at the traffic light about to drive away in the other direction… I wanna be like you. Or maybe you just need a good beat for you feet. Either way. This one’s for you.
17. “I Won’t Say I’m In Love” from Hercules
“No man is worth the aggravation.” Then why does he drive you crazy?
And why does your family keep asking? And your friends, too? You don’t want to say! You knew they would all ask you. But you don’t even know the answer yourself. You just don’t want to cry your heart out. Well, you got it bad. And the only thing you know is it feels like they are going to keep asking if … you’re in love. Is it love? Goddamnit! Wait — Hold up! Hey! I got the song for you. Put it on with no delay! This shit right here is about to make your day. (btw, you are.)
18. “Not in Nottingham” from Robin Hood
And try as you might to stay up and bright, you just might sing the blues a time or two during these holidaze. This can be a sad time, some say the saddest time of the year; if you’re on a bummer, let this one from Robin Hood cradle you like the arms of a country momma. It’ll be okay. Maybe just not in Nottingham.
19. “Almost There” from The Princess and the Frog
Sometimes life feels like a slow slog through a swamp of our own making. Be patient. If someone in your family keeps constantly criticizing you while you’re home, or an old friend won’t stop teasing you, or maybe you just have a really long bus ride with your booze-breath brother-in-law to look forward to, no matter what the reason, let this song remind you… you’re almost there.
20. “The Circle of Life” from The Lion King
Lastly, it’s all one thing. Always remember you’re not the center, nor are you the outside. You’re one long rad moment in the circle of life. All you gotta do is keep rolling. ‘Cause life will keep going along. Don’t let it crush you. For now, let this song sweeten your day, or your night; let this sunrise wash over you and burn away irritation and short temper. It’s all gonna be okay. You just gotta roll with it.
It’s the circle of life.