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If I Never Knew you: Disney’s Forgotten Song

Why wasn't this song included in the movie?

By Samantha ParrishPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
Video from Channel greenmage128

I did a podcast episode for my show The Screen Queen that covered the animated film, Pocahontas. During that time of revisiting one of the major movie loves of my life, I got to elaborate on the lost piece of Disney history.

One of the most beloved pieces was a song that never made it into the movies.

It was a song that no know would hear until the ten-year anniversary DVD was released in 2005.

When I was ten years old, my mom got Pocahontas on DVD, I scoured and soaked in all of the information about this movie even though I was too young to understand it, but my fascination with the production was like watching magic. When I got to the music section, I was confused by the title “The making of If I Never Knew You.”

As the beginning of the special played, the sound of the piano keys caught my attention. This was something different than the other music that I’d ever heard before, and I have not experienced that until that song. The song lived in my heart as the most powerful act of love I'd ever heard.

The song was created as John Smith's comforting words to Pocahontas that he doesn't regret that he met her

Throughout the spotlight feature on the song, the directors, music department, and even Walt Disney‘s brother, Roy E. Disney all expressed their feelings of remorse that they loved the song but they had to make the professional decision to cut the song number.

During the audience testing, the kids in the audience were losing interest during this sad scene. The adults were burdened by the weight of this song. The kids were feeling it and the adults were feeling it too much.

Because of the removal of the song by the decision of the musician, no one got to experience if I never knew you. The only version they were able to get in the film was the instrumental version and the cover version by Shanice and Jon Secada.

Now with the inclusion of the song back in the movie, it made me pose the question.

Have we ever gotten a Disney song as deep as if I never knew you?

Disney songs are usually about the moment in the film. The romantic moments in Disney movies consist of two main characters enjoying their current bliss. They're enjoyable and romantic but they're not deep songs. Now look at the writing of the lyrics like Kiss The Girl or A Whole New World and compare that to If I Never Knew You. We haven't had a Disney song that elaborated on a serious note to talk about how much your life is better because you met the person you love. When it comes down to it. Isn't that one of the definitions of love?

John Smith and Pocahontas being presented as a couple is every level of gross, but look if you look at the song without applying it to the movie, its better But if you apply it to the movie knowing this song is meant for the fictional portrayals of Pocahontas and John Smith, it can be digestible to not apply the logic to it to just take in and appreciate the song for what it did to show the storyline of how heartbroken it can feel to lose someone but not regret that you met them.

To think that an inaccurate representation of Pocahontas gave us one of the most powerful songs that Disney has ever done, and we didn't get to listen to it for ten years.

If you ever get the chance to find any of the behind-the-scenes featurettes about the making of If I Never Knew You. It provides a lot of insight into how far the music has come for Disney and knowing they were set back ten years. Once you listen to it, it makes you appreciate Pocahontas a little more than you did before.

pop culturesong reviewsmovie reviewindustryhistory90s music

About the Creator

Samantha Parrish

What's something interesting you always wanted to know?

Instagram: parrishpassages

tiktok: themysticalspacewitch

My book Inglorious Ink is now available on Amazon!

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