Little Mermaid song voted best Disney tune ever – but fans aren’t happy

A close up of Ariel from The Little MermaidDisney

The Little Mermaid is known for her voice, and now she’s known for having the best Disney song, according to Billboard.

Disney and musical numbers tend to go hand in hand. Everyone has varying opinions on the songs of each movie, and whether you love “Circle of Life” or hate “Hakuna Matata,” Disney has at least managed to make its music culturally significant.

Now, in the wake of Disney’s 100 year anniversary, the popular music publication Billboard has put together a list titled “The 100 Greatest Disneyverse Songs of All Time,” which ranks the best Disney songs from movies, shows, and theme park rides alike.

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While the list was published a while ago, it has since gone viral on social media, due to the negative response to said ranking. But which songs were allowed on the list, and which number was ranked first? Spoiler alert: It’s from The Little Mermaid.

Part of Your World is ranked the best Disney song

Last month, Billboard created a list of the top 100 best Disney songs. Starting from Frozen 2’s “Into the Unknown” at 100, the list goes through the company’s past century of iconic music, including the soundtrack of The Little Mermaid.

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Now, if you know the history of The Little Mermaid, you’ll know how important the music was. Created by the late, great Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, the movie fully established the Disney renaissance by its adaptation of Broadway musical techniques, spectacle numbers, and, of course, the incredible voice of Jodi Benson.

Fans may also know that at one point, Disney wanted to cut the film’s classic “I Want” song, that being “Part of Your World.” Which is ridiculous to think of now, as that’s the song ranked #1 by Billboard.

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As described by the publication, “An anthem for anyone who’s ever longed for autonomy, ‘Part Of Your World’ is set amidst the film’s coming love story, but it, like The Little Mermaid itself, is ultimately a treatise on personal freedom and how without it, all the thingamabobs in the world don’t actually matter.

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“At this early point in the movie there’s no way Ariel, sheltered by circumstance and rebellious by nature, can foresee how choppy the seas are about to become — and so the song rightfully, thrillingly embodies a spirit of tremendous optimism, hope, adventure and desire, functioning as the launch of a quest for knowledge and experience that will ultimately transform her both physically and spiritually.

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“And the song arguably hits even harder in 2023, amidst a cultural climate where personal freedoms are being systematically stripped from so many bright young women and countless other folks who are very much sick of swimming, ready to stand.”

Disney fans aren’t happy about the ranking

If you’re curious about any of the other entries, here’s the Top 20:

  1. Part of Your World – The Little Mermaid
  2. Let It Go – Frozen
  3. It’s a Small World (After All) – It’s a Small World
  4. Be Our Guest – Beauty and the Beast
  5. When You Wish Upon a Star – Pinnochio
  6. A Whole New World – Aladdin
  7. The Mickey Mouse March – The Mickey Mouse Club
  8. The Climb – The Hannah Montana Movie
  9. A Spoonful of Sugar – Mary Poppins
  10. Breaking Free – High School Musical
  11. Circle of Life – The Lion King
  12. We Don’t Talk About Bruno – Encanto
  13. Cruella de Vil – 101 Dalmatians
  14. The Bare Necessities – The Jungle Book
  15. Remember Me – Coco
  16. A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes – Cinderella
  17. Colors of the Wind – Pocahontas
  18. Once Upon a Dream – Sleeping Beauty
  19. DuckTales – Duck Tales
  20. I 2 I – A Goofy Movie

Now, music is subjective, and there are so many songs in the Disney canon that there’s bound to be a song left out that you believe deserves more praise.

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The internet has certainly made this clear in its response to Billboard’s article, as TikTok – specifically the one below – was flooded with angry replies.

But even if you don’t agree with every ranking on the list, we can all understand that “Part of Your World” was bound to end up somewhere in the ranking, and rightly so.

The Little Mermaid is currently playing in cinemas. Read more of our The Little Mermaid coverage here.

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