The Little Mermaid will have lyric changes to include consent

The Little Mermaid will have lyric changes to include consent

Both ‘Kiss the Girl’ and ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’ will see amended lyrics. 

At this stage it feels as if we have been waiting forever for the live action version of The Little Mermaid to hit our screens. 

Halle Bailey was first announced as Ariel in July 2019, but we didn’t get our first teaser trailer of the Disney adaptation until September last year. 

Luckily, we only have mere weeks to wait now as the film is slated for a 26 May release date, and we’re starting to find out exactly what changes we can expect to see on the big screen - including lyric changes to include consent.

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In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, the film’s composer Alan Menken revealed that there would be tweaks to the lyrics of some of our favourite songs, including “Kiss the Girl” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls”. 

“There are some lyric changes in ‘Kiss the Girl’ because people have gotten very sensitive about the idea that [Prince Eric] would, in any way, force himself on [Ariel],” Menken said. 

We assume the lyrics he is talking about include the chorus which goes: “Yes, you want her / Look at her, you know you do / Possible she wants you too / There is one way to ask her / It don't take a word / Not a single word / Go on and kiss the girl.”

These lyrics suggest that Prince Eric doesn’t need Ariel’s verbal consent to kiss her, which of course he does, but there’s the slight issue of the fact that she cannot speak. 

“We have some revisions in ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’ regarding lines that might make young girls somehow feel that they shouldn’t speak out of turn,” Menken added. “Even though Ursula is clearly manipulating Ariel to give up her voice.”

This could reference the lyrics near the end of the song when Ursula sings: “Come on, they're not all that impressed with conversation/ True gentlemen avoid it when they can/ But they dote and swoon and fawn/ On a lady who's withdrawn/ It's she who holds her tongue who gets a man.” Eeek.

Both of these songs were written between 1987 and 1989 for the original Little Mermaid soundtrack, making them over three decades out of date, so it’s probably time they had some updating.

Halle previously revealed that she was recording both new and old songs for the film, so it’s likely we can expect some new numbers on the soundtrack as well. Bring on May already.