Meg and the Muses vs Cheetah Girls By Sam Devotta | November 16, 2016 at 1:00 PM
“I Won’t Say I’m in Love” Writers: Alan Menken, David Zippel Original Release Date: May 27, 1997
Hercules is an underrated Disney movie and more people need to appreciate this scrawny dude’s transformation from zero to hero. But also, let’s give a shout out to Herc’s love interest Meg who is all sorts of awesome.
In this scene, Meg is refusing to admit that she has a thing for a (literal) Greek god, and, like any self-respecting lady in a Disney movie, decides to sing about it. Accompanied by the five Muses who made it into the movie (in classic mythology, there are traditionally nine of these ladies), Meg pours out her emotions, alternating between fantasizing about how delightful it would be to be loved by Herc, and stomping her foot in anger at the very thought. It has a fifties doo-wop vibe to it, especially with the Muses’ harmonizing, and I dare you not to grab the nearest hairbrush and do your best diva impression. The best part is the very end when Meg finally, reluctantly, admits that maybe she does have a thing for Hunkules, because it’s so sweet. Naturally, that’s right when Hades shows up again and bursts her bubble, reminding her that she’s working for him…but let’s focus on the ship-py feels I get from this scene instead. I know the movie veers away from the mythology (where Hercules ends up killing Megara in a fit of madness) but in doing so, Disney gave me one of my favorite couples so I can’t be too mad.
The Cheetah Girls slow it down for their version, employing more handclaps and less harmonizing than the Muses. It’d be pretty hard to mess this tune up so it’s still fun, but because their voices are so much higher than Susan Egan (aka Meg), I feel like it lacks the power of the original. You could hear Meg’s frustration at herself and the Muses for even suggesting that she has a thing for Herc, while this version makes it sound like she’s already accepted it and is just feigning ignorance. This version also plays up the “pop” aspect of the song, making it sound more radio-friendly for contemporary times (by “contemporary”, I mean 1997 when the movie came out), while the original has an older, classic R&B sound that never really goes out of style (like Meg’s beautiful purple chiton).
Personally, I prefer the Disney take because I love the movie so much, but if you’re a big girl-group fan, The Cheetah Girls’ version should be right up your alley.