Smile, Smile, Smile! The 10 Best MLP Songs
The hit animated show created by Lauren Faust airing on The Hub network has been very much a love it or hate the fandom show. This is a list of the best MLP Songs! For all the great characterization and superior Flash animation by DHX Media, fans of the show particularly love the music. The score is done up by William Anderson (whom has also worked on X-Men: Evolution and 2003’s Spider-Man) with Daniel Ingram working on the score of the songs (including being nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Original Song). Both work in lots of references to pop culture music cues and are considered by fans to be key to the show’s success.
So get our hooves & ears ready courtesy of DJ-PON3.
Honorable Mentions: “Apples to the Core” by Apple Family & Pinkie Pie, “A True, True Friend” by Mane 6, and “Bats” by Applejack & Fluttershy.
10: “Big Brother Best Friend Forever” – Twilight Sparkle
Episode: Season 2×25 – “A Canterlot Wedding Part 1”
Singers: Rebecca Shoichet w/backup from Shannon Chan-Kent, Ashleigh Ball, Kazumi Evans, and Andrea Libman
This song is the shortest on the list and while the lyrics aren’t deep (at all) the song works in the way the core sentiment of the subject is thrown to the forefront in rather blunt terms. Anybody with an older sibling can probably relate to the sentiment of growing up w/them only to see them go off and lose that relationship over a period of time. The highpoint for the song, for me, is the reprise at the end as Rebecca Shoichet does a good job transitioning from the rather light air of the initial to a sorrowful, forlorn cast at the end to match what has happened plot wise as well with Twilight’s friends and big brother abandoning her.
09: “Find the Music In You/Music In the Treetops Reprise” – Ponytones and Flutterguy/Fluttershy
Episode: Season 4×15 – “Filli Vanilli”
Singers: Marcus Mosley, Kazumi Evans, Jerrica Santos, and Danny Balkwill
Just a fun song relating to dancing and being able to express yourself via your voice. I’m a sucker for vocal harmony and this song delivers right off the bat with an a Capella performance before drifting into variants of a subtle rock backing. The real highlight of the song comes from video animation and seeing Fluttershy’s gradual intensity (vocalizing for Big Mac whom is lip synching thus the reference to Milli Vanilli) with each performance, despite her near crippling stage fright. The end is a fun bonus as well marrying Fluttershy’s initial song with the group ensemble’s piece.
08: “The Flim Flam Brothers” – Flim Flam Brothers and Granny Smith
Episode: Season 2×15 – “The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000”
Singers: Samuel Vincent, Scott McNeill, and Tabitha St. Germain
Credit to Catnipfairy at deviantart
An absolute blast of a song for a debut brother tandem that recently returned in last Saturday’s episode to be a thorn in the Apple Family’s side. They were also probably the first real second tier villains, wanting to take over & shut down the Apple Acres farm for their own Cider making business. The duo have a very late 19th century/early 20th century vibe and that immediately shines through in their song as well, it being essentially a vaudeville sales pitch. The lyrics are mainly the standout right from the get go: Well, lookie what we got here, brother of mine, it’s the same in every town / Ponies with thirsty throats, dry tongues, and not a drop of cider to be found / Maybe they’re not aware that there’s really no need for this teary despair.
The song also has a similar feel and vibe to the classic song from The Simpsons and their Monorail Song from the episode, “Marge vs. the Monorail.”
07: “At the Gala” – Mane 6
Episode: Season 1×26 – “The Best Night Ever”
Singers: Rebecca Shoichet, Ashleigh Ball, Andrea Libman, Shannon Chan-Kent, Kazumi Evans, and The Cypress Singers (Choir)
This song is one of the earliest knockouts and a great example at implementing characterization within the lyrics as each of the Mane 6 ponies have grand ideas of what they’re expecting for the night at the Gala event. The goals range from befriending animals to raising money for Apple Acres to meeting Prince Charming and simply being able to talk with Princess Celestia. The song has a grand, pompous vibe to it befitting the situation along with the chorus provided by The Cypress Singers. The real highlight of the song is the ability to group the ponies together while subtly separating them when they go for their individual moments, especially Rainbow Dash’s up tempo rock piece related to wanting The Wonderbolts to see her. The effectiveness comes from the lyrics in particular as each pony’s goal is clearly spelled out throughout the piece and you can feel how momentous the event is to each one.
06: “Hearts Strong as Horses” – Cutie Mark Crusaders
Episode: Season 4×05 – “Flight to the Finish”
Singers: Michelle Creber, Madeleine Peters, and Claire Corlett
I love the militaristic tinge given to the Cutie Mark Crusaders (Applebloom, Sweetie Bell, and Scootaloo) and the song is an immediate hit boasting their goal in the episode of representing Poynville. Daniel Ingram’s remarked that the song was inspired by a “modern classic from Disney” and it really shows. It’s essentially a 1980’s montage piece (complete with training moments in the video) coupled with an uplifting, heroic, Patriotic song highlighting the necessities of willpower and toughness to do what the characters believe. And it’s all great stuff.
05: “Find A Pet” – Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash
Episode: Season 2×07 – “May the Best Pet Win!”
Singers: Andrea Libman and Ashleigh Ball
A blast influenced by a song from the 1967 version of Dr. Dolittle and it was one of the songs nominated for a Daytime Emmy (the other being “Becoming Popular (The Pony Everypony Should Know)” from Season 2×09).
The background music is heavily influenced by “Ride of the Valkyries” and the song is a surprisingly effective piece at showing Fluttershy’s joy and knowledge of the animal kingdom including my favorite bit of the song: RD “Otters and seals do not fly” / FS “Maybe not, but I’ve seen this particular seal catch ten feet of air when he breaches the water!” [seal barks] / RD “That’s it. I’m outta here.”
What also really works throughout the piece is the natural give and take between Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash with Dash using a lot of sarcastic wit and gradually growing enthused while Fluttershy is simply offering any and all animals she can think of as a result of her delight (to the point that Rainbow Dash ends up with too many options and can’t decide.)
04: “This Day Aria Parts 1 and 2” – Queen Chrsyalis and Princess Cadance
Episode: Season 2×26 – “A Canterlot Wedding Part 2”
Singer: Britt McKillip
Holy Crap. This is understandably a lot of people’s #1 song from the show and it is as close, thus far anyway, as the show has come to throwing out a monstrously great Disney-esque song. Influenced by a small scene near the end of The Little Mermaid, Britt McKillip kills it 7 different ways from Monday through Sunday. She manages to change up her voice just enough for both characters that they feel wholly separate while making it easy for the listener to distinguish the two. I cannot give enough praise to her here as the singing of the lyrics: No I do not love the groom / In my heart there is no room / But I still want him to be all mine is purely hair raising in a good way. Also a fun fact bonus for geniuses is that Arias are generally for solo singers and McKillip performing both roles technically still makes this an Aria.
03: “Winter Wrap Up” – Mane 6
Episode: Season 1×11 – “Winter Wrap Up”
Singers: Rebecca Shoichet, Ashleigh Ball, Andrea Libman, Shannon Chan-Kent, Kazumi Evans
This was an instant favorite because it’s arguably the most ear-wormy, catchy thing that has ever come out of Daniel Ingram’s head on this show. The chorus is so catchy that Pinkie Pie’s alluded to it in the episode, “Bats!” with two quick lines. This is also the earliest song season wise and does a great job instantly catching characterization before the song really gets going (Pinkie Pie referencing playing, Rarity referencing fashion) and it does a great job focusing on the tasks of each of the Mane 6 ponies as well. Twilight Sparkle has a rare chance to stand out as well and shows off how she’s still adjusting to Ponyville and desires to fit in: I have to find my place / And help with all of my heart / Tough task ahead I face / How will I do without my magic / Help the Earth pony way / I wanna belong so I must.
02: “The Art of the Dress” – Rarity
Episode: Season 1×14 – “Suited For Success”
Singer: Kazumi Evans
Rarity is best pony (ignore Trixie over at Equestria Daily) and this song is an absolutely gorgeous character defining song. Rarity is busy making dresses for each of the other Mane 6 and we see her initial delight gradually dissolve as more requests & demands are put upon her while we see the stress starting to get to her as well: Hour by hour, one more change / I’m sewing them together, take great pains / Fluttershy, you’re putting me in a bind / Rainbow Dash, what is on your mind? / Oh my gosh, there’s simply not much time / Don’t forget, Applejack’s duds must shine. Anybody whom has worked under deadlines or with demanding customers can instantly empathize with Rarity here and Kazumi Evans does a great job with her vocals on this track. Another fit of genius bonus as the song is influenced by Steven Sondheim’s song, “Putting It Together,” from his musical, Sunday In the Park With George.
01: “Smile Song aka Smile, Smile, Smile” – Pinkie Pie
Episode: Season 2×18 – “A Friend In Deed”
Singers: Shannon Chan-Kent and Andrea Libman
Best song ever! If you ever need a summation of Pinkie Pie’s character, this song manages to hit every single note necessary and then some including a fun group chorus at the end. The song is lively and energetic from the first word on and Shannon Chan-Kent smacks a grand slam here with her vocal performance. I adore songs that reveal or sum up a character and this does so perfectly: I like to see you grin (Awesome!) / I love to see you beam (Rock on!) / The corners of your mouth turned up is always Pinkie’s dream (Hoof bump!) / But if you’re kind of worried / And your face has made a frown / I’ll work real hard and do my best to turn that sad frown upside down. The highlight of the song is that it does the theme perfectly to the point that no matter the mood, I can’t help but smile at the pure unbridled enthusiasm and honesty put forth through the lyrics.
So there we have it, my Top 10 MLP: FiM songs. The fact that several songs from the most recent Season cracked the list proves that Daniel Ingram and the staff behind the show have no plans of slowing down their greatness. Agree? Disagree? Have your own Top 10? Share them below!
Also credit to H.A.K.’s Top 15 Songs list for influencing me to make up my own list.
You can also purchase the Official 11 Song Soundtrack from ITunes as well.
Credit to Mihaaa at deviantart for feature image.