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Poor Unfortunate Souls
Ursula's song
Composer Alan Menken


Lyrics Howard Ashman


Performers Ursula (Pat Carroll)
Feature Films The Little Mermaid


Television Programs Unknown


Video Games Unknown


Albums The Little Mermaid - An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack

Classic Disney - Volume I

McDonald's Celebrates Disney Music - Volume 2: Rascal Songs

Disney's Greatest - Volume 3

Disney Villains: Simply Sinister Songs


Preceded by Unknown


Followed by Unknown


"Poor Unfortunate Souls" is a song from the Walt Disney Pictures animated film The Little Mermaid. Written by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken and performed by Pat Carroll, it is sung to Ariel by Ursula. In a style that combines Broadway Theatre with Burlesque, Ursula uses it to seduce Ariel into trading her voice for the chance to temporarily become human and be with Eric.

A short melodic reprise of the song is featured later in the original Disney movie being sung by Vanessa, Ursula's alter ego, voiced by Jodi Benson (as she had stolen Ariel's voice).

Lyrics Edit

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 (True? Yes)


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 (Pathetic)


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


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


[dialogue interupption]


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 prattle 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on a lady who's withdrawn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 get's 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 the bridge, my sweet, you've got the 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!

"Poor Unfortunate Souls" is also noteworthy for Ursula's incantation at the end of the song actually being sung, rather than merely recited. Accompanied by Gothic organ music, the spell features words somewhat twisted from normal everyday words, only strung together extremely quickly:

Beluga Sevrgua, come winds of the Caspian Sea

Larynxes Glacydis Ad max Laryngitis la voce to me

(Now Sing)

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