Compass of Your Heart

Compass of Your Heart

Episode 37

This week’s podcast we are talking about Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage and why it’s such a favorite of those visiting Tokyo Disney Sea. You may want to see the show notes for this part of the podcast on Disney at Play. We also study the attraction’s anthem, Compass of Your Heart, and looks at the personal meaning one can draw not only from the song, but from changes made to the attraction after it opened. You can find the podcast to this episode here on Podbean and here at iTunes.

Do You Love Disney Music?

I love Disney music. I have all my life. And the music I play is a score to my life.

Ask me my favorite song, and I will surrender my top twenty. Zip-a-Dee-Doo Dah and When You Wish Upon a Star are mandatory. Many will Recognize tunes like Chim Chim Cheree, it’s a small world, and Second Star to the Right. Others, like Age of Not Believing, Lavender Blue and Very Good Advice may not, unless you are a big fan like me.

But there is one that is a near anthem to my life’s philosophy. It is called Compass of Your Heart. It is the signature melody of Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage. Few know it. I didn’t until I visited Tokyo DisneySea. Here is the attraction below:

You can also click here to my Disney at Play site to see a review of that attraction and why the attraction is in itself so wonderful.

This song is written by Alan Menken, whose contribution to the Disney music catalog is phenomenal and astonishing. The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Newsies, Pocahontas, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Enchanted, Tangled and the list goes on. But as legendary as he is, few know about Compass of Your Heart.

Because it is sung in Japanese in the attraction, it’s difficult to know exactly the words. There is a short version Alan Menken sings at a D23 concert where the words vary a little. Another version below is from what seems to be a formal concert put on by Tokyo Disney that is sung in English. You can see the lyrics below.

Solo performed by C. J. Roche.

Lift your sails to the heavens and fly with the breeze!
Steer straight towards the horizon and seek brand new seas!
Life’s awaiting you out there, and if you sail true, you may find a priceless treasure out there too!

Tides may turn you and toss you and storms may arise!
Harm may stand in the path where your destiny lies!
Just reach out for a friend when you’re lost and astray
Let the compass of your heart show you the way!

Life is the greatest adventure!
There is no map, there’s no chart!
But if you seek life’s great treasure, follow the compass of your heart!

More than gems…More than gold…One good deed’s worth more than wealth untold.

Life is the greatest adventure!
There is no map, there’s no chart!
But if you seek life’s great treasure, follow the compass of your heart!

More than silks… more than spice… kindness is a gift beyond all price…

Come the end of your journey at last you will know
That great treasure you hunted, you found long ago!
It’s not diamonds or rubies or silver or jade
No, the treasure is the lifelong friends you’ve made!

When you arrive home safe and sound, look at the friendships you have found…Richer by far than at the start…

Life is the greatest adventure!
There is no map, there’s no chart!
But if you seek life’s great treasure…
…follow the compass of your heart!

There is an additional verse from Disney Wiki that is found between those two verses sung above. They too echo the same sentiments found in the entire song.

As the winds of your fortune propel you along
Always steer to the right, or you’ll drift to the wrong
Help all those who need helping, no matter their size
For the compass of your heart leads to your prize!

A Different Sinbad

When Tokyo DisneySea opened, the attraction was originally named Sinbad’s Seven Voyages. While the animatronics were basically the same, Sinbad was portrayed as someone who was out to conquer the Seven Seas. It was a darker version–think “it’s a small world” characters meets “Pirates of the Caribbean”.

The first version had this poster. Note the bird attacking Sinbad.

It was more about pillaging than pleasing. It was emphasizing conquering over collaborating. As such, it didn’t fare well. After a story revision in 2007, the attraction was renamed Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage.

A second, cheerier version of the poster is now shown.

In the revised attraction, Sindbad appears younger and is joined by a new loyal tiger cub, Chandu (the sales in Chandu plush probably more than make up the costs for revising this attraction). This version is when the new song was introduced by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater.

A map in the queue previews Sinbad’s journey. Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

In this version Sinbad is given a hero’s sendoff to sail the Seven Seas in order to support the village. They wish him well on his journey. In his pursuits he helps others along the way, and in return, they help him.

  • As Sinbad sets sail he is warned by wise men of rough seas ahead.
  • Mermaids save Sinbad and Chandu from the storms as he is ship-wrecked.
  • He saves the magical birds of Rukh Island from pirates trying to hack into their blades.
  • With a magical feather given to him from one of the birds, he frees a giant from his dungeon cell.
  • The giant rewards Sinbad with gold and treasure.
  • Sultan receives enchanted musical instruments from a sultan whose land has been overthrown by wild monkeys.
  • He subdues the monkeys with a musical jam session and all are awarded with a boat load of bananas.
  • A whale helps Sinbad in carrying his treasures back home.
  • Sinbad shares his abundance with others as he returns to the village.

It’s curious, because those individuals seen as his adversaries in the original version, turn out to be his advocates as he shows care and concern toward them. He is heralded as he returns to the village with treasures, but those treasures are not nearly as great as the friendships he has made along life’s journey.

Souvenirs for Your Organization:

There are powerful messages in the simplicity and beauty of this storybook attraction. They are messages that can be applied to your life, whether at work or play:

  • Do you find real value in the relationships around you?
  • How good are you at getting directions from your heart?
  • Are there friends you need to reach out to when you’re lost and astray?
  • Do you work from a spirit of abundance or a spirit of pillaging?
  • Who could be turned from adversary to advocate?
  • What are you doing to make life your greatest adventure?

Often a summary message is found at the end of an attraction at Tokyo Disney Sea. This is the one that bids you farewell at Sinbad’s Storybook Voyage:

Photo by J. Jeff Kober.

J. Jeff Kober

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