Browse by Title
A B C D E F G
H I J K L M N
O P Q R S T U
V W X Y Z #  




The Ugly Duckling

by

Danny Kaye



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Like "The King's New Clothes", this Frank Loesser composition appears in the 1952 adaptation Hans Christian Andersen; the song - sung herein by Danny Kaye as Andersen - is faithful to the original story, which was first published, in Danish, in November 1843, as Den Grimme Aelling.

Although a children's story in spite of the obvious moral at its heart, at least one Andersen biographer has suggested that it is rooted in personal experience, the man himself was a tall, ugly boy with a big nose and big feet, and suffered all too typical childhood cruelties on account of this. Although no one could ever have called Andersen a handsome man, it is a truism that just as beauty is only skin deep, so too does true beauty lie within; Andersen's beauty is of course his literary legacy, which has been translated into all the world's major languages and both entertained and educated successive generations. (Check out a photo of Hans Christian Andersen)
"The Ugly Duckling" has been recorded by numerous artists over the years including by the British character actor, television narrator and one-time recording artist Bernard Cribbins, and by Gracie Fields; the sheet music appears in Songs From The Golden Years Of Gracie Fields, which was published by Chappell of London in November 1975; herein it is copyright Frank Loesser, 1951.

Although Andersen's feathered friend was a swan, whose egg had somehow ended up in a duck's nest, it is a sad fact of life that all too often the little ugly duckling grows up into a great big ugly duck.
Danny Kaye
More Danny Kaye songs
More songs used in movies
More songs inspired by books
More songs about inner beauty
More songs with birds in the title

You have to to post comments.
Chris Wilson of The Flamin' GrooviesChris Wilson of The Flamin' Groovies
Chris talks about writing the Groovies' song "Shake Some Action," and recording it with producer Dave Edmunds.
Cy Curnin of The FixxCy Curnin of The Fixx
The man who brought us "Red Skies" and "Saved By Zero" is now an organic farmer in France.
Christmas SongsChristmas Songs
Rudolf, Bob Dylan and the Singing Dogs all show up in this Fact or Fiction for seasonal favorites.
Antigone RisingAntigone Rising
This all-female group of country rockers were on their way to stardom in the '00s, with a Starbucks deal and major label backing.