Under the Sea

Samuel E. Wright

About Under the Sea

"Under the Sea" is a popular 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" from the 1971 film Bedknobs and Broomsticks. It is influenced by the Calypso style of the Caribbean which originated in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Reggae, which originated in Jamaica. The song was performed in the film by Samuel E. Wright. The track won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1989, as well as the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media in 1991. 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, his plea falls on deaf ears, for Ariel leaves before the end of the song. 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. 


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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 the 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?

Under the sea
Under the sea
Nobody beat us
Fry us and eat us
In fricassee
We what the 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)
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
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

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

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Samuel E. Wright

Samuel E. Wright (born November 20, 1946) is an American actor and singer. He is best known as the voice of Sebastian in Disney's The Little Mermaid, for which he provided the main vocals to "Under the Sea", which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Wright also played the part of Mufasa in the original cast of The Lion King on Broadway and voiced Kron the Iguanodon in Disney's 2000 CGI film Dinosaur. more »

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Written by: Alan Menken, Howard Elliott Ashman

Lyrics © Walt Disney Music Company

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind

23 facts about this song

Movie Origin
"Under the Sea" was featured in the 1989 Disney animated film "The Little Mermaid." It is performed in the film by the character Sebastian, voiced by Samuel E. Wright.
Musical Composer
The song was composed by Alan Menken, a well-known American musical theatre and film score composer. He has won several Academy Awards for his music in Disney films.
Award-winning Song
"Under the Sea" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1990.
Role of Lyrics
The lyrics for the song were written by Howard Ashman. Ashman and Menken collaborated on a number of successful Disney songs.
The song is set to a Caribbean beat, reflective of Sebastian's character who is a Jamaican crab.
Chart Success
"Under the Sea" reached the number 13 spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
Impact on Disney Films
The success of "Under the Sea" helped to establish the blueprint for successful Disney film songs. It was followed by other catchy, upbeat tunes like "Be Our Guest" and "Hakuna Matata."
Role in the film
In the movie, the song plays a pivotal role. It is sung by Sebastian to Ariel in an attempt to discourage her from becoming human and leaving the underwater kingdom.
"Under the Sea" remains one of Disney's most popular and enduring songs, enjoyed by both children and adults alike.
Live Performances
Samuel E. Wright performed the song live at the 62nd Academy Awards where "Under the Sea" won the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Cover Versions
Numerous artists have covered "Under the Sea," including the A*Teens, Raven-Symoné, and Jessie J for various Disney compilation albums.
Use in Attractions
"Under the Sea" is featured prominently in several Disney park attractions, including "The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure" rides at both Disney California Adventure and Magic Kingdom.
Inclusion in Musical
"Under the Sea" was included in the Broadway musical adaptation of "The Little Mermaid" and was performed by Tituss Burgess, who played Sebastian.
Inclusion in Video Games
The song is included in a number of Disney video games, including "Kingdom Hearts" and "Just Dance: Disney Party."
Role in Pop Culture
"Under the Sea" continues to be a significant song in pop culture. It has been referenced and parodied in various television shows, movies, and other media.
Origin Facts
"Under the Sea" is an iconic song from the Walt Disney Pictures animated feature film, "The Little Mermaid". - The song was written by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman.
Performer Facts
The song is performed in the movie by Samuel E. Wright, who voiced the character of Sebastian, a Caribbean crab. - Wright became famous for his role as Sebastian and the song "Under the Sea" is often directly associated with him.
Commercial Facts
After its release in 1989, it reached immense popularity and continued to be a popular song for Disney. - The song has been covered by multiple artists, and became a popular choice at events, especially children's parties or Disney-related events.
Award Facts
"Under the Sea" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1989. - It also received a Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television in 1991.
Cultural Impact Facts
The song played a huge role in the success of the film, contributing to The Little Mermaid's cultural impact. - The catchy tunes and engaging lyrics allowed "Under the Sea" to become an effective tool in relaying the film's themes and messages to its viewers.
Production Facts
"Under the Sea" was recorded using a full orchestra, complete with trumpets, saxophones, flutes, and a steel drum to create its distinctive Caribbean sound. - The song's production was heavily influenced by calypso and reggae music, showcasing Menken's ability to integrate various styles and genre influences into his compositions.
Symbolism Facts
The song symbolizes a celebration of underwater life, as its lyrics encourage Ariel, the mermaid princess, to appreciate the beauty of her undersea home rather than yearning to live on land.
Recognition Facts
In 2019, it was announced that the song would be reimagined by artist Shaggy for a live production of The Little Mermaid. - "Under the Sea" remains one of Disney's most recognizable and beloved songs, more than 30 years after its original release.

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