Over the years, countless songs have been scrapped from Disney films, television shows, stage musicals, etc. Many factors have caused this occur (story pacing issues, catering to specific performer strengths, etc.). One Disney character who has had a particularly large number of cut/deleted songs written for her is the villainous sea witch, Ursula, from Disney’s The Little Mermaid (both the film and stage adaptation). Here is a list of her sinister songs that didn’t quite stand the test of time.

P.S. Need help finding musical theatre songs to sing? Check out my professional repertoire guides here.

1. “Silence is Golden”

Disney Dream Team Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman originally wrote this character song for Ursula to sing in the 1989 film. It was ultimately replaced by the now famous “Poor Unfortunate Souls”. The former song was never fully orchestrated or recorded properly, but a demo performed by the songwriters themselves did pop up on an album titled The Music Behind the Magic. A few years back, Geekiarchy did a really neat cover of this ‘lost’ song as well:

2. “Wasting Away”

My personal favorite of the ‘lost’ Ursula songs. This one was originally written for the stage musical adaptation of The Little Mermaid. “Wasting Away” is a fabulous character number by Menken and Glenn Slater. A workshop demo was recorded featuring the amazing Emily Skinner as Ursula (also listen to her fantastic live take on “Poor Unfortunate Souls”). Ultimately, this song was replaced with more of a straight-out cabaret tune to fit Sherie Rene Scott’s strengths better on Broadway (“I Want the Good Times Back”). Interestingly, that song was eventually cut as well (more on that below).

3. “All Good Things Must End”

Yep, it’s another Ursula song cut from The Little Mermaid stage musical early in the workshop process. I’ve always found this one a little more ‘generic’ sounding, so I can understand why it was cut. The song would have been a gloat-heavy, late-show number for Ursula. Here’s the demo featuring the amazing Emily Skinner once again.

4. “I Want the Good Times Back”

If you haven’t kept up with The Little Mermaid musical since its somewhat abbreviated run on Broadway a decade ago, you might not be aware that many changes to the show have occurred in productions around the world since then. Some of the biggest, long-lasting changes were first introduced in a 2012 Dutch production in The Netherlands (of all places). There, Ursula’s big cabaret-style number from Broadway, “I Want the Good Times Back”, was replaced by a new song, “Daddy’s Little Angel”. I personally enjoyed the former as a song, but it never screamed Ursula the Sea Witch to me. As mentioned above, it was mostly included to highlight Sherie Rene Scott’s individual strengths as an actress.

5. “Daddy’s Little Angel”

This one is cheating a bit since “Daddy’s Little Angel” is technically still in the score of the current stage version of The Little Mermaid musical. But for how long? As we’ve seen, Ursula songs don’t tend to last long (with the exception of the now iconic “Poor Unfortunate Souls”). This newish song by Menken and Slater is decent, but I don’t find it particularly memorable. It is a bit more character-specific than “I Want the Good Times Back”, but that sadly comes at the expense of being a less engaging song overall, in my opinion. P.S. here’s a clip with a bit of Emily Skinner singing this.

BONUS: “Gonna Get My Wish”

This one technically isn’t an Ursula song, but it is notable for featuring original Ursula voice actress Pat Carroll on the official recording. The song itself was written for Ursula’s sister, Morgana, to sing in the animated film, The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea. However, it was ultimately cut from the final product (shocker, right?).

P.S. Looking for more deleted/cut Disney song gems? Check out my new Disney Repertoire Guide here.

3 thoughts

  1. I never understood the casting of Skinner or Scott in the role.
    For the part to be even slightly menacing, Ursula needs to be played by a “broad” (or a Drag Queen.)

  2. All Good Things Must End was meant for Ursula when she’s on Land as Vanessa to taunt Ariel. They ended up cutting Vanessa from the story because there was no way to do a costume change from a human to an octopus at the end which in my opinion was just an excuse.

  3. How in the world can you say that “Daddy’s Little Angel” – as brilliant a song as it is – strikes you as more “character specific” to “Ursula the Sea Witch” than ‘I Want the Good Times Back’? The Broadway song introduced by Sherie Renee Scott was not just a showcase for the actress – it ties right in with Ursula’s opening monologue from the 1989 animated film where she talked about all the grand feasts they had when she lived in the palace…..and Sherie’s song also goes into graphic detail about the way Ursula terrorized merfolk and fish folk alike!!!! If that doesn’t scream Ursula to you as she was depicted in the animated film as well as the 90s TV series, what does????

    “Daddy’s Little Angel” sounds like any more generic cartoon villainess song found in a show like the 80s MY LITTLE PONY or MOON DREAMERS. I positively cherish the song, but there’s nothing about it that screams Ursula the Sea Witch character specifically, especially relative to “I Want the Good Times Back”. This new/latest song invents a COMPLETELY new backstory for Ursula, replete with 6 siblings that were not a part of her story before, so how can THIS be more “character specific”?

    You also called “All Good Things Must End” more generic but Ursula always knew a lot about the human world even in the 1989 animated version so it’s still in keeping with the character the world has known since ’89. It’s generic in the sense that it can be performed out of context, but it doesn’t invent a whole new backstory for Ursula unlike “Daddy’s Little Angel” which actually TOTALLY *RECREATES* the character in a way that none of the other songs quite do.

    “Wasting Away” is not the best fit for the character either because it portrays her as the very thing she resents in others – being “miserable, lonely and depressed: PATHETIC!” Emily Skinner makes it work because she’s brilliant but even then some of the lyrics don’t match what we know about Ursula. If all her potions, spells, baubles, shells, ointments and gels mean squat as the song says, then how on earth has she been performing Witchcraft for merfolk as described later in ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’?

    You say “Wasting Away” is your favourite but that’s not true to the character either. When Ursula referred to Wasting away in the animated film, it was clearly a rather ironic one time comment and not the thrust of her whole character.

    In the last analysis, despite “I Want the Good Times” being custom-made for Sherie, it’s actually the MOST specific and in keeping with Ursula the Sea Witch’s character!!!! Just because it’s a Cabaret style number MUSICALLY doesn’t take away from the characterization.

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