The “Keep Hoping” Song

In my article about the Disney composers, I mentioned “When you wish upon a star”. Which is, in a lot of ways, the conclusion song of Pinocchio, but it is so much more than that.

This type of songs is a speciality of Disney – lyrics which centre around the concept that if you hold on your faith, something good will eventually happen to you. The concept creeps in a lot of songs – most obviously in the “I want” Song “A Dream is a Wish your Heart makes”:

“No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.”

But there are also songs which are written for the sole purpose of conveying Disney’s message of optimism. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves has “With a Smile and a Song”,  The Rescuers “Someone’s waiting for you”, aso. They are rarer than one might think, but I think there are enough to deserve an own category. Especially since this is the very core of most Disney movies, as voiced in Disney’s anathema:

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you.

I really love the line “makes no difference who you are”. Disney’s message of hope is for everyone, no exceptions.

If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do.

I think the part a lot of people overlook is “if your heart is in your dream”. Just wishing isn’t enough. This has to be something your heart is set on. And if your heart is set on something, it is more than just the star which will help you out. The star will give you the hope you might need, but you still have to keep trying.

Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing

And yet another condition on getting your wish fulfilled: You have to be a loving person. You give to the world and the world will give back to you eventually.

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through.
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true.

It might sound like a bolt promise, but isn’t it true? That sometimes life just gives you a break? Some say the song is foolish for promising that wishing upon stars is solving all of your problems. Disney even felt the need to clarify in “The Princess and the Frog” that just wishing isn’t enough, you need to work towards you dreams, too. But I never felt that the song claimed that life is that easy. To me it was always an anathema of hope. And while it is by far not my favourite tune, it is nevertheless a song I can fully get behind. We all need a little bit of hope in our lifes.

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