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Fathoms Below
The Little Mermaid 1989 CD
Ship's Chorus
Released December 13, 1989
October 14, 1997 (Re-release)
October 3, 2006 (Special Edition)
Recorded 1988-89
Length 1:41
Label Walt Disney Records
Produced by Alan Menken
Howard Ashman

"Fathoms Below" is the first song heard in Disney's 1989 feature film, The Little Mermaid. It was written by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. It introduces the film and the legend of the merfolk from the perspective of sailors reciting to Prince Eric.

LyricsEdit

I'll tell you a tale of the bottomless blue
And it's hey to the starboard, heave ho
Look out, lad, a mermaid be waiting for you
In mysterious fathoms below
Heave ho
Heave ho
Heave ho
Heave ho
Heave ho
In mysterious fathoms below

Broadway VersionEdit

The Broadway version of Fathoms Below takes a page of lyrics from the original song which Howard and Alan recorded, but managed to squeeze in extra lyrics where both Eric and Grimsby sang.

The scene opens with the crew tending to their duties on their ship, as they sing about those Fathoms Below.

I'll tell you a tale of the bottomless blue
An' it's hey to the starboard, heave ho! Brave sailor, beware, 'cause a big 'uns a-brewin' Mysterious fathoms below! Heave ho!

I'll sing you a song of the king of the sea An' it's hey to the starboard, heave ho! The ruler of all of the oceans is he In mysterious fathoms below! Fathoms below, below!
From whence wayward westerlies blow! Where Triton is king And his merpeople sing In mysterious fathoms below!

Shortly after, Eric joins in on the song. PRINCE ERIC The salt on your skinAnd the wind in your hair
And the waves as they ebb and they flow!
We’re miles from the shore
And guess what – I don’t care! GRIMSBY As for me, I’m about to heave ho! The crew then begins to recite a song of King Triton, whom Grimsby states is nothing but superstition, while the crew says otherwise. I’ll sing you a song of the king of the sea An’ it’s hey to the starboard, heave ho! The ruler of all of the oceans is he In mysterious fathoms below!

The king of the ocean gets angry An’ when he gets angry, beware! I’m tellin’ ya, lad, when King Triton is mad How the waves’ll buck, rock to and fro! Hold on, good luck, as down you go! Eric then hears a beautiful singing off in the distance. Grimsby then explains to him that he must return to court to claim his crown, but Eric refuses to listen and instead chooses to pursue the singing voice while the crew sing one last verse of warning to Eric. There’s mermaids out there in the bottomless blue An’ it’s hey to the starboard, heave ho! Watch out for ‘em, lad, or you’ll go to your ruin in mysterious fathoms below!

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