Tag Archives: The Girl You Left Behind

An American Tail: Fievel Goes West “The Girl You Left Behind” (1991)

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An American Tail: Fievel Goes West “The Girl You Left Behind” (1991)

The first sequel to Don Bluth’s beloved-if-somewhat-disturbing An American Tail is an underrated gem of a story that follows Russian immigrant mouse Fievel Mouskewitz and his family as they immigrate to the wild West to make a better life than the one they have in New York City. Predictably, Fievel is separated from his family during the journey and he must race to catch up to their new home in Green River before the nefarious Cat R. Waul (John Cleese) fulfills his dream of turning all the mice into mouse burgers via a giant mouse trap.

One of my favorite sub-plots in this story is that of Tanya, Fievel’s older sister. With a gorgeous singing voice, Tanya is filled with dreams of becoming a great actress or a singer (or both) but her mother won’t hear of it. It’s not until Cat R. Waul happens to hear her singing to herself one day (“Dreams to Dream”) that Tanya is given a chance to realize her dream of becoming a performer. She’s taken to the local saloon and made up into a show girl by Miss Kitty (Tiger’s on-again off-again girlfriend) and is then thrust onto the stage where she has to perform for a saloon full of cats! Tanya’s nerves almost get the better of her, but with a little encouragement from Miss Kitty, she lets out a glass-breaking note that leaves the entire room staring at her in awe, and then the real fun begins!

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“The Girl You Left Behind” is one of my favorite animated songs that doesn’t come from a Disney film. It was created by the late James Horner and features the vocals of Cathy Cavadini (aka Blossom from The Powerpuff Girls). In this song, Tanya entertains the cats by singing about “the girl you left behind” and how they shouldn’t let her go.

Do you… do you ever miss…

Do you ever miss the girl…you left behind?

Is the girl you left behind out there tonight romancin’?

Makin’ eyes at someone else and singin’, is she dancin’?

Only the girl you left behind is real when you’re sleepin’

Puts the teardrops in your eyes from secrets she is keepin’

Happy just playin’ a tune and dance the whole night away

Hope the girl you left behind will be there for you someday

Lonely is the wind that blows, you know you’ll always miss her

Lonely is a lover’s heart, if only you could

Kiss her, kiss her, kiss her

Tanya’s debut takes place while Chula (Cat R. Waul’s tarantula henchman) is hunting Fievel to eliminate him as a loose end (he knows about the cats’ plan to kill all the mice). The poor mouse tries time and time again to get his sister’s attention but she’s so caught up in her performance that she doesn’t notice.

Chula is a sadistic tarantula with a high aversion to pain (just listen to his dialogue during the scene where he gets sprayed with Miss Kitty’s perfume). At one point, he corners Fievel and sings a demented version of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” that goes like this: The itsy bitsy spider caught a mouse in his web/The itsy bitsy spider BIT OFF THE MOUSE’S HEAD!

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All the girls you left behind could fill up California

Please don’t leave them too darn long, I think I oughta warn ya

Absence makes the heart go cold and makes a heart to wander

If you stay there by their sides, you’ll feel their hearts grow fonder

Cats:

Hope you see her someday

Hope I find my way

Back to the girl I left behind

Tanya:

So tell me you will never roam

Cats:

(We swear we won’t go roaming)

Tanya:

You’ll be by your fireside

Cats:

(We’ll all be home sweet home and kiss her, kiss her, kiss her)

Tanya:
So where’s the girl you left behind?

Cats:
She’s waitin’ for her sister

We won’t stop until we’re home we’ll hug and hug and kiss her

I’ll find the girl

I’ll find the girl

I’ll find the girl

I’ll find the girl

All:
You’ll (I’ll) find the girl

You’ll (I’ll) find the girl you (I) left behind

Tonight! Tonight! Tonight!

That’s right

Alright!

I can’t lie, as a little kid, I used to pretend I was Tanya putting on the performance of a lifetime. I wanted to put a big feather in my hair and dress up too (*sighs* good times…) What do you think of “The Girl You Left Behind”? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day 🙂

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