Beauty and the Beast

Angela Lansbury, Disney

About Beauty and the Beast

"Beauty and the Beast" is a song written by lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken for the Disney animated feature film Beauty and the Beast (1991). The film's theme song, the Broadway-inspired ballad was first recorded by British-American actress Angela Lansbury in her role as the voice of the character Mrs. Potts, and essentially describes the relationship between its two main characters Belle and the Beast, specifically how the couple has learned to accept their differences and in turn change each other for the better. Additionally, the song's lyrics imply that the feeling of love is as timeless and ageless as a "tale as old as time". Lansbury's rendition is heard during the famous ballroom sequence between Belle and the Beast, while a shortened chorale version plays in the closing scenes of the film, and the song's motif features frequently in other pieces of Menken's film score. Lansbury was initially hesitant to record "Beauty and the Beast" because she felt that it was not suitable for her aging singing voice, but ultimately completed the song in one take. 


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Tale as old as time
True as it can be
Barely even friends
Then somebody bends

Just a little change
Small to say the least
Both a little scared
Neither one prepared
Beauty and the Beast

Ever just the same
Ever a surprise
Ever as before
Ever just as sure
As the sun will rise

Tale as old as time
Tune as old as song
Bittersweet and strange
Finding you can change
Learning you were wrong

Certain as the sun
Rising in the east
Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the Beast

Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the Beast

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Angela Lansbury

Dame Angela Brigid Lansbury (born October 16, 1925) is an English-American-Irish actress who has appeared in theatre, television, and film. Her career has spanned seven decades, much of it in the United States, and her work has attracted international acclaim. Lansbury was born to Irish actress Moyna Macgill and English politician Edgar Lansbury, an upper-middle-class family in Regents Park, central London; her paternal grandfather was the British Labour Party leader George Lansbury. To escape the Blitz, in 1940 she moved to the United States with her mother and two brothers, and studied acting in New York City. Proceeding to Hollywood in 1942, she signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and obtained her first film roles, in Gaslight (1944) and The Picture of Dorian … more »

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Written by: Howard Elliott Ashman, Alan Menken

Lyrics © Walt Disney Music Company

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

4 facts about this song

Angela Lansbury Version
1. Angela Lansbury, known for her acting career in film, television, and theater, was the original artist of "Beauty and the Beast". She voiced the character Mrs. Potts in the 1991 Disney animated film of the same name. 2. Lansbury's rendition of the song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and the Grammy for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television. 3. The song was also nominated for a Golden Globe and the Award for Best Recording for Children. 4. Angela Lansbury performed the song live at the film's premiere event. She received a prolonged standing ovation.
Celine Dion Version
1. Canadian singer Céline Dion and American singer Peabo Bryson recorded a pop version of "Beauty and the Beast" for the film's soundtrack. This version is also heard in the film's end credits. 2. Dion’s version of the song peaked at # 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, and # 3 on the Adult Contemporary Chart. 3. The Dion-Bryson rendition also won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
Disney's Influence
1. "Beauty and the Beast" serves as the theme song for Disney's 30th animated feature film Beauty and the Beast. 2. The song was written by lyricist Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken. 3. The song's melody has been incorporated throughout the entire soundtrack of the Disney film, establishing it as the iconic love theme.
John Legend Version
1. In 2017, ahead of the release of the live-action version of "Beauty and the Beast", Ariana Grande and John Legend performed a cover of the song for the film's soundtrack. 2. The music video for Grande and Legend's version reached over 400 million views on YouTube, making it one of the most viewed Disney soundtrack song videos. 3. John Legend's version did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100, unlike the original and Dion's version.

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