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Fathoms Below
from the musical The Little Mermaid
Originally performed by
Composer Alan Menken
Lyrics Howard Ashman
Performer(s) Ship's Chorus
Length 1:41
Albums
Preceded by
Followed by Daughters of King Triton
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Prince Eric during Fathoms Below

Fathoms Below is the first song heard in musical 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

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 skin
And 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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