Colors of the Wind

Writer: 
Stephen Schwartz & Alan Menken
Year: 
1995
Voices: 
Women's four part
Ranges: 

Tenor: D4 - D5
Lead: A3 - E5
Bari: A3 - B4
Bass: D3 - D4

This is the theme from the sound-track of the Disney film Pocahontas. Presenting the eponymous heroine's Native American philosophy of respecting nature and living in harmony with it. It starts out in a stark minor verse, but as it moves into the major, the critique of colonialism gradually transmutes into an inspirational animistic vision.

The song has been subject to some ethical debate. Is the representation of Native American culture unhelpfully caricatured? Does the Disneyfication of the narrative romanticise what was actually a story of genocide and colonialism? Or does the song succeed in its critique of the dominant culture that actually produced it?

How an audience feels about these questions rests, to a significant extent, in the hands of the performers - in how you frame, and how you deliver the song. I am keeping in my list for now, but if you're thinking of singing it, please read the article in this link first, and figure out your place of truth to sing from.