VILLAIN SONG: A song sung by or partly by a villain or a song about a villain.
Be prepared – The Lion King
This is Scar’s finest hour, his plans are set in motion and his dream and vision is clear, so why not sing a camp over dramatic song with choreography inspired by the Nazi’s. So what does the song achieve? We already have a good handle on Scar’s character and motives but this songs lays it out clearly for us. “A shining new era” Scar genuinely believes he has been robbed of a rightful place on the throne. It also reveals just how many hyenas are in his gang and how they can walk in very straight lines which is an asset to any army. There is of course Scar’s fabulous hair flick (or should that be a mane flick) that makes this a fabulously dramatic villain song.
Poor unfortunate souls – The Little Mermaid
Oh Ursula, she’s bad to the bone. Another baddy getting their claws (or tentacles) into the child of the King! This time it’s a seduction song to convince Ariel to sign away her voice in return for legs. So what does the song achieve? Well, it gets Ursula what she wants and it tells us a bit about Ursula’s reputation, her back story, and we know as an audience not to trust her. She’s clearly a baddy from her look, her voice and the fact she has her own song! Then when we realise that Ariel will sign we know that only bad things are to follow and that Ursula will never let Ariel get away with winning. That makes this an excellent villain song perfectly setting up the trepidation that follows Ariel’s transformation.
Gaston – Beauty and the beast
Unlike the last two villains Gaston’s motive is jealousy and fear. His song is sung by Le Fou who is his little henchman/best friend to cheer Gaston up when Belle refuses his proposal of marriage. The song is a narcissists dream “No-ones (insert verb here) like Gaston”. So what does the song achieve? It is a character song; it reinforces just how arrogant and awful Gaston and the yes men who surround him are. It also highlights that Beast and Belle and her Dad are considered outsiders who don’t fit into their social norms because they do not behave like them and also it’s a foreshadowing of the mob mentality that will eventually support Gaston in the attack on the Beast. It’s a very catchy song that has a more jaunty tone than the other two, mainly as it’s not sung by the villain and isn’t about his evil plots just about vanity and stupidity.
Villain songs come in various shapes and sizes, large Broadway numbers or one man and a piano. Some of them can send chills and be genuinely scary and others are a loud camp pleasure. There are a few villains who escaped without having a song which is a shame, a villain’s song is always something to look forward to in a Disney film.