9. CHEERIO, GOODBYE, TOODLE-OO, HIP HIP
Film: 101 DALMATIANS
LINK TO THE SONG
An unusual choice for our ninth position. Cheerio is a song you probably have never heard, or even heard of. In fact it never made it into the final movie – it was cut for reasons of space. It has one hell of a competition within the 101 Dalmatians and I was torn between this one and Cruella De Vil’s song, which is also fantastic.
Ultimately I opted for Cheerio if only because it is, to my knowledge, the only war song in the entire Disney canon. The lyrics are those of marching soldiers who go to war, claiming their affection for the friends they leave behind and telling their loved ones (mothers or partners) that they shall always be faithful to them. Thus, the hip and delightful tune has an undertone of melancholy which, if you listen closely, is really quite cutting. The subtext – and a very strong subtext at that – is in the speaker’s unstated words, the ‘I may not come back’ that hovers at the tip of the tongue and at the back of the mind of every soldier – and this explains the vein of sadness behind a music and text which is, in appearance, vibrantly cheerful. Here is a surprisingly touching, very subtle song, and its contingent anonymity is not quite enough to rob it of a legitimate position on this list.