Have you already watched the famous Disney movie “The little mermaid” (1989), with the musical scores created by Alan Menken?
The little mermaid is a literary fairy tale written by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The tale was first published in the year 1837 in Denmark as “Den lille havfrue“. The story is about the journey of a young mermaid who is willing to give up her life at the sea as a mermaid princess to gain a human soul to be with a prince.
This story is a tragedy but it has a happy ending. Isn’t it ironic? How can you call an ending, happy?
Moreover, in this movie, there was a sea witch named Ursula, whom Ariel, the mermaid had an agreement to exchange her golden voice and mermaid tail with a human soul and legs. Ursula was the antagonist of the tale, but if you would look at her side of the story; she needed justice.
Ariel, the mermaid was not forced by Ursula to sign the scroll of the agreement for her to have human legs and a human soul. In fact, Ursula was perfectly clear on the terms of service. (She even sang a song about it) Ursula sang about the poor unfortunate souls. The song was written by the Academy-Award winning composer Alan Menken and the late lyricist Howard Ashman.
Poor Unfortunate Souls (Disney)
The only way to get what you want is to become a human yourself
Can you do that?
My dear, sweet child. That's what I do. It's what I live for.
To help unfortunate merfolk, like yourself; poor souls with no one else to turn to
[Verse 1: Ursula]
I admit that, in the past, I've been a nasty
They weren't kidding when they called me, well, "a witch"
But you'll find that nowadays I've mended all my ways
Repented, seen the light, and made a switch
And I fortunately know a little magic
It's a talent that I always have possessed
And here lately, please don't laugh
I use it on behalf of the miserable, lonely, and depressed
Poor unfortunate souls in pain, in need
This one longing to be thinner
That one wants to get the girl
And do I help them? Yes, indeed
Those poor unfortunate souls
So sad, so true
They come flocking to my cauldron
Crying, "Spells, Ursula, please!"
And I help them!
Yes, I do
[Verse 2: Ursula]
Now, it's happened once or twice
Someone couldn't pay the price
And I'm afraid I had to rake 'em 'cross the coals
Yes, I've had the odd complaint
But on the whole I've been a saint
To those poor unfortunate souls
Now, here's the deal: I will make you a potion that will turn you into a human for three days. Got that? Three days. Now listen, this is important: before the sun sets on the third day, you've got to get ol' princey to fall in love with you, that is, he's got to kiss you; not just any kiss, this kiss of True Love. If he does kiss you before the sun sets on the third day, you'll remain human permanently! But, if he doesn't, you turn back into a mermaid and... you belong to me!
[Flotsam and Jetsam the eels gag Sebastian, muffling his cries]
Have we got a deal?
If I become human, I'll never be with my father or sisters again!
But, you'll have, your man
Life's full of tough choices, isn't it? Oh!
And there is, one...more...thing!
We haven't discussed the subject of payment
But I don't have any—
I'm not asking much. Just a token, really, a trifle. You'll never even miss it. What I want from you is... your voice.
You've got it, sweet cakes. No more talking, singing, zip-
But without my voice, how can I—
You'll have your looks! Your pretty face!
And don't underestimate the importance of body language, Ha!
[Verse 3: Ursula]
The men up there don't like a lot of blabber
They think a girl who gossips is a bore
Yes, on land it's much preferred
For ladies not to say a word
And after all, dear, what is idle babble for?
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
Come on, you poor unfortunate soul
Go ahead, make your choice!
I'm a very busy woman
And I haven't got all day
It won't cost much
Just your voice!
You poor unfortunate soul
It's sad, but true
If you want to cross a bridge, my sweet
You've got to pay the toll
Take a gulp and take a breath
And go ahead and sign the scroll!
Flotsam, Jetsam, now I've got her, boys!
The boss is on a roll!
This poor unfortunate soul
Come winds of the Caspian Sea
Et max laryngitis
La voce to me
Moreover, Ursula gave her terms of the service to Ariel. Since what Ariel wanted was to become a human, Ariel became human in the process. As the story unfold, Ursula in turn was supposedly about to marry Prince Eric. But then, Ariel crashed Ursula’s wedding. Ariel had her friends run to King Triton of the sea, Ariel’s father and have had Ursula killed to avoid Ariel’s payment of exchanging her mermaid tail with human legs. Ariel stole an almost married man. Ursula was killed in the process. Ariel together with her family and her friends need to be locked up as accessories to murder.
Matthew 16: 26 ESV
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?