The Sideshow

Dads sing tune from ‘Little Mermaid’

The Sideshow

Being a father (especially to a young girl) comes with certain duties, one of which is listening to "The Little Mermaid" soundtrack until the tunes take up permanent residence in the cerebellum.

Behold a group of fathers who embrace the awesome responsibility. This group of manly men sings (in some cases, not well) "Part of Your World," the classic tune from the animated Disney flick. The video, which features firefighters, doctors, construction workers, and Marines, was originally posted at Life of Dad.

We spoke with the video's co-creators, Tom Riles and Patrick Quinn, who are brothers-in-law. Riles, who is the farmer in the video but not a farmer in real life, said his role came about by necessity. "We needed somebody to sing that final line, and we were at a pumpkin patch the day before the video was released. That's where the fake farmer was created. First time I ever husked corn."

Quinn, who is married to Riles's oldest sister, actually came up with the idea while on a bike ride: "Besides all of my music, I have princess songs and kids' stuff on my iPod for when we are on long car rides." He found that he would often re-listen to the Disney songs for his kids. "Once you have a daughter, no matter how tough, thuggish, or introverted you might be, you're going to play princess with reckless abandon in front of others knowing that if anyone sees you they're going to understand. Especially if that someone is another dad."

Riles gives credit to his sisters. "My sisters all loved 'The Little Mermaid' growing up, and I must say, the Disney films of that generation were the best." Most of the men in the video have kids, and those who don't have nieces who "made sure they knew all the lyrics."

Why did Riles and Quinn choose to put the video on the Web? "Dads today can be tough and masculine, Riles said, "but we will also do anything to make our kids happy. Even if that means singing a really girlie song and putting it on the Internet."

The singing talent varies, something Quinn is well aware of. "The janitor in the video is clearly the best singer of us all by a looooooooong shot. We asked him if he could sing and he said, 'I guess I can sing a little.' Then he started and put us all to shame. "Oh, you can only sing 'a little,' Pavarotti??"

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