Menken On New “Beauty and the Beast” Music

Fans of Disney’s 1991 animated classic “Beauty and the Beast” might find a couple of unfamiliar tunes in the upcoming live-action take on the property opening in March. Academy Award winning composer Alan Menken spoke with EW this week to discuss some of the new songs he wrote for the film – three in particular.

First is “Our Song Lives On” which is sung a few times. The first by Belle’s father (Kevin Kline) singing as he’s completing a music box. Belle reprises it later on, and then it plays a third time over the end credits with a famed and as yet unannounced artist doing their take.

The second song is “For Evermore,” a semi-replacement for “I Can’t Love Her” from the Broadway show which has several songs that aren’t a part of the film. Menken describes it thus:

‘For Evermore’ is this moment where the Beast now loves Belle, and he realizes that she misses her father, and he acknowledges she’s no longer a prisoner, and when she sees her father’s in trouble, he says, ‘Go to him, go.’ And he voluntarily lets her go. He’s basically singing about how he now knows what love is, as he watches her leave, and he’s climbing up the turret of the castle as she recedes into the distance, just watching her go further and further away.”

The third and final new song is “Days in the Sun” which is tipped to be the big awards hopeful. Belle sings the song one late night as everybody in the castle remembers better days.

That’s not all though. Menken confirms that Audra McDonald, who plays Madame De Garderobe, sings the opening number as part of the prologue which takes place before he’s turned into the Beast.

Unheard Howard Ashman lyrics left over from Disney’s original animated film will also be used in the film, mostly in the “Gaston” number. Menken says:

“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 risque — not risque sexually, but risque 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.”

Bill Condon helms the new “Beauty and the Beast” which stars Dan Stevens, Emma Watson, Luke Evans and Josh Gad and opens in cinemas on March 17th 2017.