We knew that the old classic songs would be there and that there would be new music as well, but that there are Howard Ashman lyrics from Disney’s original animated film that will be used in the upcoming live-action movie is great news.
The unused lyrics will be mostly in “Gaston,” causing a bunch of people to stumble and look around in confusion when they try to sing along, I’m sure. Here’s how Alan Menken, the composer behind the original film and this one, described the lyrics to EW:
In “Gaston,” we had a treasure trove of lyrics that Howard had written that we did not put in the movie. In many cases they were a little bit risqué — not risqué sexually, but risqué in terms of sensibility. We all felt ready to have these lyrics. When Bill [Condon, director] found out about those lyrics, he said, “Oh my god, can we please look at that, because it would be a wonderful way to add an extra freshness to the movie. So, yes, you’re going to hear some unheard Howard Ashman lyrics.
More risqué than “every last inch of me’s covered in hair” or “when I was a lad I ate four dozen eggs, every morning to help me get large”? Okay, we’ll take them, then!
It’s nice that Ashman’s going to contribute lyrics from beyond the grave, since the original Beauty and the Beast movie was his last project and was dedicated to him. And while “Gaston” is a comedy song, director Bill Condon said that there will be another new Ashman lyric hiding in the new film. He called it a “surprise at the end” and added, “I don’t want to give that away, but it’s a really gorgeous lyric that we found.”