"A Whale of a Tale" lyric discrepancies?


Tannerman

Member
Like many of you, I picked up the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea DVD and have been enjoying it. We all love the signature song, A Whale of a Tale. After watching the movie, I pulled out my copy of Classic Disney, Vol. 1. Track 17 contains what appears to be a studio recording of this song. What's interesting is that there is a discrepancy in lyrics for verse 3 for some reason. Take a look at the lyrics from the original movie:
A Whale of a Tale

CHORUS
Got a whale of a tale to tell ya, lads
A whale of a tale or two
'Bout the flappin' fish and the girls I've loved
On nights like this with the moon above
A whale of a tale and it's all true
I swear by my tattoo

VERSE 1
There was Mermaid Minnie, met her down in Madagascar
She would kiss me, any time that I would ask her
Then one evening her flame of love blew out
Blow me down and pick me up!
She swapped me for a trout

REPEAT CHORUS

VERSE 2
There was Typhoon Tessie, met her on the coast of Java
When we kissed I bubbled up like molten lava
Then she gave me the scare of my young life
Blow me down and pick me up!
She was the captain's wife

REPEAT CHORUS

VERSE 3
There was Harpoon Hannah, had a face that made you shutter
Lips like fish hooks and a nose just like a rudder
If I kissed her and held her tenderly (Held her tenderly)
There's no sea monster big enough
To ever frighten me!

REPEAT CHORUS
The CD recording contains the following alternate set of lyrics:
VERSE 3
Then there was Harpoon Hannah, had a look that spelled out danger
My heart quivered when she whispered "I'm there, stranger"
Bought her trinkets that sailors can't afford (Sailors can't afford)
And when I'd spent my last red cent
She tossed me overboard!
Any guess as to why there is a difference?
 

Hrothgar

Member
Perhaps it was considered politically incorrect to demean poor Hannah's looks. I mean, is it her fault that she was genetically predisposed to have a proboscis that could steer a ship?

Poor, poor Hannah... :'(
 

s8ntmark

Member
Forgive my missspellings, Im trying to type through the tears...

:'(
 

SharonKurland

Active Member
Like it's so politically correct to have Typhoon Tessie commiting adultery? To say nothing of all the blowing that was going on.......

-Sharon-
 

X-S Tech

Active Member
My guess would be that several verses were written for the song, some of which we probably didn't hear. Perhaps both were recorded for the film and communication with the music department wasn't as good as it could be, thus the alternate version being released.

What I wanna know is what does the line, "I'm there stranger mean?" I never got this.
 

SharonKurland

Active Member
Well PERSONALLY, I can think up some VERY adult-rated stuff that it could have to do with, but it's Disney...it can't be . But if something was coming....a present or some grapefruits from Tampa or a person on vacation or something like that...eventually they get there.

"I'm there stranger." Hmmmm...I'm glad she was happy. That she had arrived, I mean.

OK I'll shut up now. But you'll probably never think of that song in quite the same way again .

-Sharon-
 

dtats

Member
Being more familiar with the verse contained in the CD release, I always had a strong impression of what Harpoon Hannah might have looked like, judging solely from the way Kirk says that phrase, "I'm there, stranger." This inspired visualization was not pretty.

The thought of someone with Kirk's growly tone whispering this line in my ear is not too appealing. But , then again, I suppose all those days at sea can do strange things to some guys. :-X

Kirk's tone does suggest, however, why she was referred to as "Harpoon Hannah." ;)
 

SharonKurland

Active Member
Y'know...we could start a WHOLE NEW THREAD, just about Innuendos in Disney Music. It's on topic and everything!

It's a small world after all...
 

dtats

Member
Right, and we'd need another thread for those verses that didn't make it into the final cut. As mentioned previously, there may have been alternate verses that were written, yet not included in the versions we all know and love.

For example, the theme of this song revolves around the various girls this sailor has met in his various sea-going adventures. Well, I would think that he very well might have also had encounters with Syphilis Sally, Chancre Sherry, Gonorrhea Gwendolyn, and Herpes Hermine.

Imagine what some of the verses must have sounded like... :D
 

Hrothgar

Member
You forgot Crabby Abby and Appalonia Laws, better known to her her friends and lovers as "App The Clap."

I'm going to Hell. ;)
 

dtats

Member
"You forgot Crabby Abby and Appalonia Laws, better known to her her friends and lovers as "App The Clap."

I'm going to Hell. "


Well then, bring some beer with you--the cooler is just about empty. ;)

"Then there was Syph'lis Sally, met her down near Ankara;
After I'd kiss her, I'd see the doc to get a shot.
Then one visit, I nearly lost it all;
A m?nage ? trois with App the Clap
cost me my left _ _ _ _!"

Oh, man, I'm in trouble now. 8)
 

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