For Glory, God & Gold (& The Virginia Company): Revisiting Disney’s Pocahontas

When I was younger, I watch a LOT of Disney movies. Aladdin, Snow White, Beauty & The Beast, Cinderella. Well, let’s just say I watch them enough till I can pretty much do a word by word play of all these movies. Hehe. My favorites are Beauty & The Beast and Aladdin. I’ve just found out that Beauty & The Beast won like a bajillion awards back when it was released. Stockholm Syndrome aside, they have the most amazing songs!

Anyway, the point of this post is actually Pocahontas. I watched this in 1996 which means, I was about 10 years old. I liked it back then, but it didn’t leave as big as an impression on me like Beauty & The Beast or Aladdin did. I suppose it was not as brightly coloured since it was going all natural and earthy, and I guess I found a little hard relating to it.

The biggest theme of Pocahontas was greed, which I guess I knew of but haven’t seen too much of. The other two movies dealt with the theme of trying to break free, and being different from normal conventions, something all little girls can relate to.

So I have been listening to Pocahontas songs the past few weeks and I have a new found appreciation of them. It was very advanced and ahead of its time and I have some favorite choice lyrics that I kept on thinking about.

1. Colours of the Wind

When I was little I used to wonder about “the blue corn moon”. It doesn’t make sense I thought cause the moon doesn’t look like corn! I found this letter from here, apparently written by the lyricist, Stephen Schwartz.

Dear Sir,

I have been trying to find what a Blue Corn Moon represents in Indian Lore. Can you please help me with this information?

Thank you,

Lloyd Sparks

Dear Mr. Sparks,

Thanks for your interest. I feel somewhat guilty to have to tell you that the phrase “blue corn moon” has no actual meaning in Indian lore. I made it up because I liked the sound of it. Its basis is this: in preparation for doing the lyrics to POCAHONTAS, I read a lot of Native American poetry. One of the phrases I came across, in a love poem, was, “I will come to you in the moon of green corn.” (The Native Americans called their months “moons” and named them according to something that happened seasonally, such as the arrival of green corn.) The phrase stuck in my head, but I didn’t think the lyric : “Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the green corn moon” really worked, because of the association of the moon and green cheese, plus the “ee” sound in it, etc. So I changed it to blue corn moon, which I thought had a nice resonance to it because of the phrase “blue moon” and the fact that there are things like blue corn tortillas, etc. Even though it’s not authentic, and actually implies Southwestern tribes rather than the Northeastern Algonkians of Pocahontas, I used it in the lyric and it obviously served me very well. This is probably far more than you wanted to know, but that’s the derivation of the phrase, for whatever it’s worth to you.


Stephen Schwartz

Haha! Doesn’t that just answer your question?!

Other phrases I love from the song:

“If the savage one is me, how can there be so much that you don’t know?”

And my personal favorite, something that if I’m still a teacher I’d use to explain difference between words and meaning,

“You can own the Earth and still all you’ll own is earth until you can paint with all the colors of the wind”

2. Just Around The Riverbend

Gosh I love this song!

“To be safe we lose our chance of ever knowing, what’s just around the riverbend”

Something about it makes me want to go and just travel and do whatever! Like as if my destiny is somewhere out there JUST AROUND THE RIVER BEND!!!!!!

3. If I Never Knew You

This song is so appropriate for Pocahontas. In fact it’s appropriate for all Disney love stories, which makes it appropriate for all love stories. Simple notion of “if I never knew you”. Come and imagine yourself, what your life would be if you’ve never met your significant other?

In the 10th year Anniversary of Pocahontas, Disney released a DVD and in it is Mel Gibson singing this song. Hehe.

I thought this movie was also groundbreaking for Disney as it finally shows the world as seen from two perspectives equally. The Indians and the White People. I mean, usually Disney movies are incredibly white-centric, for example in “Savages”. I guess that’s pretty hard for a 10 year old to understand.

One thought on “For Glory, God & Gold (& The Virginia Company): Revisiting Disney’s Pocahontas

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