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“If I Can’t Love Her”: A Poignant Look At An Unfortunate Disney Character

It’s #SongLyricsSunday! I am super excited about this week as it is all about musical songs. And you know me, I LOVE MUSICALS soooooooooooooooooooooooo much! I have mentioned songs from Starlight Express and Sailor Moon musicals. I could just perform a bunch of songs for you on this #SongLyricsSunday because I love musicals. (My dream when I was 15 was to be on Broadway but I didn’t want to wait tables and wait for that slim chance, especially during a recession).

Recently, I have been watching Disney’s Beauty and the Beast for the millionth time. Everyone knows the beloved title song as well as “Be Our Guest” with Jerry Orbach. But, I didn’t choose those songs because my favorite songs from this classic Disney production is “If I Can’t Love Her” and “Home” from the Broadway musical.

Though “Home” speaks to me in volumes and the message inside the lyrics resonant, I ultimately choose “If I Can’t Love Her”. Why? Read on to find out!

(This is part of a #SongLyricsSunday challenge, which is hosted by Jim at An Unique Title For Me. Anyone can join! Details on how to participate are found at the end of this post!)

And From My Tortured Shape

“If I Can’t Love Her” was written to close the first act of the Beauty and the Beast. It happens after Belle stumbles on the magical rose in the forbidden West Wing, only to be scared off by the Beast. Realizing his mistake, The beast decides that he is a monster that can’t be loved.

Tim Rice

Written by Tim Rice (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Chess, Aladdin, The Lion King, and Aida) and composed by Alan Menkin, “If I Can’t Love Her” is a poignant look at the unfortunate beast. Sure, you can say he deserved this fate due to his beat-like behavior.

But, if if you take a deeper look at the character of the Beast, especially in the 2017 live-action movie and the musical, you see much more behind the fur as the Beast had a troubled childhood and never knew how to express his feelings. Glen Keane, the supervising animator, said it the best: he is “a twenty-one-year-old guy who’s insecure, wants to be loved, wants to love, but has this ugly exterior and has to overcome this.[1]

Final Thoughts

“If I Can’t Love Her” is one of my favorite songs from the musical as it adds depth to the Beast and his character. I also love how Terrence Mann portrays the Beast (but I love Mann anyways, especially in Cats).

Check out “If I Can’t Love Her” below and let me know what you think below!

Here is the (abbreviated) press reel of Terrance Mann singing the song;

Lyrics for “If I Can’t Love Her”

And in my twisted face
There’s not the slightest trace
Of anything that even hints of kindness
And from my tortured shape
No comfort, no escape
I see, but deep within is utter blindness

As my dream dies
As the time flies
Love a lost illusion
Cold and driven
To this sad conclusion

No beauty could move me
No goodness improve me
No power on earth, if I can’t love her
No passion could reach me
No lesson could teach me
How I could have love her and made her love me too
If I can’t love her, then who?

Long ago I should have seen
All the things I could have been
Careless and unthinking, I moved onward
No pain could be deeper
No life could be cheaper

No point anymore, if I can’t love her
No spirit could win me
No hope left within me
Hope I could have loved her and that she’d set me free

But it’s not to be
If I can’t love her
Let the world be done with me.

BONUS: Here is “Home”, my other favorite song from Beauty and the Beast: The Musical. I really want to perform this song because it has so many emotions and a message that really hits home for me.

If you want to participate, here are the rules:

  • Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not.
  • Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
  • Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
  • Ping back to this post will eventually work, as long as you are being patient, but you can also place your link in the comments if you don’t like to wait.
  • Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
  • Feel free to suggest future prompts.
  • Have fun and enjoy the music.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Jim Adams

    It is nice to be able to see more behind the fur. I don’t find his face all that upsetting, but those horns are really unattractive. I think that I watched a cartoon of Beauty and the Beast a long time ago, but the Disney production looks real nice. Thanks for sharing again Amy.

  2. Jill

    Beauty and the Beast is definitely one of favorites.

  3. Caramel

    Such sad lyrics… <3 It's a very moving song.

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