Pocahontas “The Virginia Company” (1995)

pocahontas

In 1995, Disney released Pocahontas, their 33rd animated feature film, and the first Disney film to be based on a real historical person (that being Pocahontas, though the details have been heavily romanticized). To my surprise, I learned that this film received mixed reviews and is in fact considered the “beginning of the end” of the Disney Renaissance. I certainly didn’t get that impression when I saw the film in theaters, but I was only in the first grade at the time, and wasn’t exactly in a position to judge film quality.

Pocahontas “The Virginia Company” (1995)

Whether you like or dislike the film, there’s no denying Pocahontas has another great Disney score, with the songs once again being composed by Alan Menken. And the first song we hear is “The Virginia Company”, a short chorus that introduces the English settlers: Thomas (Christian Bale), the barely adult kid leaving home to make his fortune; Lon (Joe Baker) and Ben (Billy Connolly), two seasoned sailors who are well acquainted with the hero of the film, Captain John Smith (Mel Gibson), a man who’s traveled everywhere and doesn’t think this “New World” will be any different from the others he’s seen. And last, but not least, there’s Governor Ratcliffe (David Ogden Stiers), his manservant Wiggins (also David Ogden Stiers) and his pompous pooch Percy. Ratcliffe is the nominal leader of the expedition and will be Governor of the new colony (but really, he’s just in it to get really rich so he can come back to England and worm his way into the aristocracy).

In “The Virginia Company”, the settlers sing about how this New World is a paradise full of gold and silver, and they’ll all become really rich:

In sixteen hundred seven
We sailed the open sea
For glory, God and gold
And the Virginia Company

For the New World is like heaven
And we’ll all be rich and free
Or so we have been told
By the Virginia Company

So we have been told
By the Virginia Company
For glory, God and gold
And the Virginia Company

On the beaches of Virginny
There’s diamonds like debris
There’s silver rivers flow
And gold you pick right off a tree

With a nugget for my Winnie
And another one for me
And all the rest’ll go
To the Virginia Company
It’s glory, God and gold
And the Virginia Company

They have this view because of the enormous riches the Spanish found when they plundered the New World and discovered the treasures of the Aztecs, the Inca and so on. Still, it is a stirring song to hear, and a good introduction to the story. There will be more Pocahontas in the days to come so stay tuned! -Becky

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5 thoughts on “Pocahontas “The Virginia Company” (1995)

  1. Pingback: Pocahontas “Mine, Mine, Mine!” (1995) | Film Music Central

  2. Pingback: Pocahontas “Steady as the Beating Drum” (1995) | Film Music Central

  3. Pingback: Pocahontas “Listen With Your Heart” (1995) | Film Music Central

  4. Pingback: Pocahontas “Savages, Part I” (1995) | Film Music Central

  5. Pingback: Pocahontas “Savages, Part II” (1995) | Film Music Central

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