I'll Make a Man Out of You

Thursday, October 01, 2015


source: here

Hey ho! Welcome to October! Before starting to talk about this month’s post theme, I would like to share one thing or two. Well, October used to be a suck and sh*tty month for me, however, I really really really hope that this year will be different. So please please please, dear October, be good with me, okay? Okay now, about this month’s theme, like I’ve promised before, it will be the second part of Male Special. Yesss, still will be full of testosterone this month! I name it Male Special Part 2: Ways of Being A Man, for this month’s posts will revolve around “a man who’s going solo”, whether it’s song review of a male singer, a list of hottest male actors, or anything related to a man who brings out the woman in me (if you know what I mean). Anyway, here for the first post is a song in which I got the inspiration for this theme, titled “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You”, taken from the soundtrack of Disney’s legendary animation movie, “Mulan”.

Tranquil as a forest, but on fire within. Once you find your center, you are sure to win. You’re a spineless, pale, pathetic lot, and you haven’t got a clue. Somehow I’ll make a man out of you.” –Donny Osmond, I’ll Make A Man Out Of You [OST. Mulan]

Released on June 2nd 1998, “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” is a song performed by American singer Donny Osmond for Walt Disney Pictures’ 36th animated feature film, “Mulan”. Appearing on the film’s soundtrack album “Mulan: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack”, it was written by composer Matthew Wilder and lyricist David Zippel. “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” is a pop rock orchestra track with up-tempo military-style melody, performed by Captain Li Shang (the character of which Osmond provided the singing voice for) during a rigorous training montage in which his young and inexperienced soldiers attempt to justify their worth.

"Mulan: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack" album cover - source: en.wikipedia.org

Lyrically, “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” is suitedly written for the boot camp sequence of the film. The scene revolves around Shang’s attempt to train and transform his squadron of incompetent buffoons into a team worthy of the Imperial Army. “Let’s get down to business to defeat the Huns. Did they send me daughters when I asked for sons? You’re the saddest bunch I ever met, but you can bet before we’re through. Mister, I’ll make a man out of you.” Even though at first, he had no idea how to make it through, he decided to do his best in training them. Given his own experiences as the best soldier, Shang gives his all. “Tranquil as a forest, but on fire within. Once you find your center, you are sure to win. You’re a spineless, pale, pathetic lot, and you haven’t got a clue. Somehow I’ll make a man out of you.” Of course, there are times when he just wants to quit and give it up with all the dispiritedness of his troops. However, the war is coming.
“Time is racing toward us till the Huns arrive. Heed my every order and you might survive. You’re unsuited for the rage of war, so pack up, go home, you’re through. How could I make a man out of you?” On the other hand, Shang’s soldiers are feeling the pressure too. Hence again, the war is coming, in any time now, closer than ever. “I’m never gonna catch my breath. Say goodbye to those who knew me. Boy, was I a fool in school for cutting gym? This guy’s got them scared to death. Hope he doesn’t see right through me. Now I really wish that I knew how to swim.” In the end, men who were never expected to do something are the men who actually able to do the unexpected. Under his hard work, Shang’s soldiers are made and ready for the war. “Be a man, you must be swift as a coursing river. Be a man, with all the force of a great typhoon. Be a man, with all the strength of a raging fire. Mysterious as the dark side of the moon.”
“I’ll Make A Man Out Of You” also features appearances by Lea Salonga as Mulan, Eddie Murphy as Mushu, and Harvey Fierstein, Jerry Tondo and the songwriter Matthew Wilder himself as Yao, Chien Po, and Ling, respectively. The song has received mostly positive reviews from film and music critics, some of whom dubbed it as the film’s best song, while also praising Osmond’s performance. Although it was still considered as underrated compared to other big hit from the film’s soundtrack, “Reflection”, many covers and parodies of this song had been made. For me personally, this song, as well as its boot camp sequence, is a classic!

Be a man, you must be swift as a coursing river. Be a man, with all the force of a great typhoon. Be a man, with all the strength of a raging fire. Mysterious as the dark side of the moon.” –Donny Osmond, I’ll Make A Man Out Of You [OST. Mulan]



“Let’s get down to business to defeat the Huns
Did they send me daughters when I asked for sons?
You’re the saddest bunch I ever met, but you can bet before we’re through
Mister, I’ll make a man out of you

Tranquil as a forest, but on fire within
Once you find your center, you are sure to win
You’re a spineless, pale, pathetic lot, and you haven’t got a clue
Somehow I’ll make a man out of you

I’m never gonna catch my breath, say goodbye to those who knew me
Boy, was I a fool in school for cutting gym? This guy’s got them scared to death
Hope he doesn’t see right through me, now I really wish that I knew how to swim

Be a man, you must be swift as a coursing river
Be a man, with all the force of a great typhoon
Be a man, with all the strength of a raging fire
Mysterious as the dark side of the moon

Time is racing toward us till the Huns arrive
Heed my every order and you might survive
You’re unsuited for the rage of war, so pack up, go home, you’re through
How could I make a man out of you?”

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