It’s time to head up, up and away with our very first #DMDISTHEME Week! That’s right, we’re kicking off weeks inspired by attractions around the Disney parks, with music, recipes, tips and posts all themed around those rides and experiences. Our first theme is ‘When I See An Elephant Fly’ inspired by Dumbo The Flying Elephants, an absolute classic Disney ride that we’ve had the chance to ride in both Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.
So buckle yourself in and prepare for take off!
To kick things off is our new weekly Spotify Playlist. Each week we’re going to change the content of this list to tunes inspired by the current theme. You’ll find music from the rides, the films and also songs that we think fit the theme, so make sure you subscribe to never miss out on each of these curated playlists! We’ll also explain our choices for these tunes in a blog post.
Without further ado on that front, here’s this week’s playlist “When I See An Elephant Fly” and our reasoning behind this flighty song selection.
- When I See An Elephant Fly- Cliff Edwards & The Hall Johnson Choir
This classic song from the film Dumbo opens our playlist. A flying elephant? Never! Prepare to clamber aboard your own Dumbo to show those crows a thing or two.
- A String Of Pearls- Glenn Miller
Dumbo had it’s cinematic release in the UK on February 8, 1942, and on that same day the number 1 song was ‘A String Of Pearls’ by Glenn Miller and his orchestra. The jazzy tune will get your toes tapping, and makes us feel like we’ve been transported back into historic footage of Disneyland, where everything is a little more dapper, albeit black and white
- It’s Carnival Time- Elvis Presley
We’ve tried to capture a bit of the carnival spirit with this song by Elvis from the film Roustabout, and what a lovely, lively tune it is!
- Yankee Doodle- Paul Eakin’s World Famous Calliopes
Is there anything that evokes the sound of the fairground or the circus more than calliopes? We’ve gone with something very patriotically American to bring to life the sound of these (often steam driven) instruments so integral to the circus soundscape.
- Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 In B Flat- Freddy Martin & His Orchestra
Just as Glenn Miller was topping the charts on Dumbo’s cinematic release in England, Freddy Martin and his orchestra were topping the charts on the day of Dumbo’s cinematic debut, October 23, 1941. Another jazzy little tune that transports you right back in time!
- Come Fly With Me- Frank Sinatra
We thought we’d stick to the jazz theme but take to the sky with this classic from Frank Sinatra. We can’t help but think how wonderful it would be to do a few laps on Dumbo with this song playing in the background. We’d just glide, starry eyed.
- Chattanooga Choo-Choo- Glenn Miller
Glenn Miller was on to something good across 1941 and 1942, and this song found itself topping the charts for long periods of time between the two years that represented Dumbo’s release on both sides of the Atlantic. We also thought with Casey Jr being a prominent feature of Dumbo that this tune was rather fitting too.
- Pink Elephants On Parade- Disney Studio Chorus
Here comes the trippy scene from Dumbo that we all remember, probably more than the rest of the plot of the film. And let’s face it, if you’ve spun around enough times on the ride, you might be seeing some pink elephants on parade too! We couldn’t let this one slip by, it had to feature on the playlist.
- Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite- The Beatles
Dumbo clearly wasn’t the only one having odd circus delusions as we shift into this track by The Beatles. The carnival atmosphere is back along with a host of other strange lyrics and characters from the midst of the Sgt Pepper’s album.
- Fly Me To The Moon- Tony Bennett
Having safely emerged from our strange dream phase, it’s time to take off again, this time at a much more relaxed pace with the sultry vocals of Mr Tony Bennett flying us high into the stratosphere. A perfect come down song after our crazy adventure with Pink Elephants and Beatles.
- Barnum and Bailey’s Favorite- Karl King and the United States Army Band Pershing’s Own
It’s time for a bit of a classic circus march, and it’s the big boys Barnum and Bailey that return us to this world. You can’t help but feel as though you’re in the middle of a grand tent, the action about to unfurl before you. Acrobats, trapeze artists, and a parade of giant elephants! This is the world of Dumbo.
- It’s Only A Paper Moon- Cliff Edwards
Barnum and Bailey feature briefly in this one as well by Cliff Edwards, who you may recognise as the singer of When I See An Elephant Fly. Actually Cliff Edwards has a long Disney history, he’s also behind such hits as ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ and ‘Give A Little Whistle.’ We thought we’d pay tribute to his work and include this track, a lovely, classic ditty.
- Shine- Lew Brown, Buck and Bubbles, and the Hall Johnson Choir
Just as Cliff Edwards sang the lead in When I See An Elephant Fly, he was backed by the Hall Johnson Choir, who also feature in this classic Hollywood tune. We thought we’d bring you a little more of their signature sound, which we love!
- The Screamer- Fred Jewell & the Air Combat Command Heritage Band Of America
Just when you might have been thinking ‘Hey I think they’re stumbling too far from the tracks with this’ we pull you right back onboard with another classic circus march. The Screamer has all those classic march elements once again, and we feel lends itself to being the soundtrack for a ride even more so than a circus. You can imagine pushing your Dumbo high into the air with the crescendos and dropping him once again with those low notes!
- Up, Up And away- The 5th Dimension
Sure it’s about balloons technically, but there’s something so joyously flighty about this song, we can’t help but feel like we’re whizzing through the air without a care in the world when this song is playing. We hope you’ll forgive us the balloon reference for that!
- The Flight Test/When I See An Elephant Fly Reprise- Hall Johnson Choir, Cliff Edwards
Time to bring it home, and what a perfect song to do it with. Take your last few spins as Dumbo tests out his flying skills, and those singing crows are back to put a little button on the playlist for us!
Listen along to the playlist below, or open it in your own Spotify player by clicking here and don’t forget to subscribe to the playlist, as it will be changing on a weekly basis to feature songs based around that week’s theme!
Photos featured in this post were taken by us and come from our November 2015 trip to Disneyland Paris!
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