“Noble Maiden Fair (A Mhaighdean Bhan Uasal)” Soundscape

Curator's Note

The harp begins with a chillingly elegant melody and the violin joins in, speaking to the listener, setting a soft but playful tone. I see the harp as representative of Queen Elinor whereas the free spirited fiddle represents Merida and her desire to cast off the bonds of society’s expectations. Quite simply, Brave is yet another Freaky Friday- the tale of a spoiled brat of a child and a mother who means well, but simply cannot understand where her daughter is coming from. The difference is that Merida becomes the only Disney princess not to have a love interest and that’s why this song is so revolutionary. It’s a love song, yes, but a love song between mother and daughter, not two lovers. I connect strongly to the song and the plot simply because I know what it’s like to be the irritating teenage child and not realize that you’re being pigheaded until it’s nearly too late. The song begins with Queen Elinor alone, but a younger, sweeter Merida joins in towards the end of the piece.

Emotionally, I feel a sort of comfort when listening to this song. It’s sweet and the lyrics to the song are aptly fitted for the situation. The song begins with the Noble Maiden as a young child and calls for the moon and sun (which can be construed as her mother and father) to guide her as she grows up to be a noble maiden. However, while nobility can mean a station, being noble is a characteristic that must be learned by many young teens, as Merida does throughout the course of the film. Queen Elinor, for all her lack of understanding teenage hormones holds true nobility. She manages to retain her dignity and grace, even as a bear. The nobility lies not in the eating with a knife and fork, but rather the unfaltering support she gives Merida during the whole affair. Furthermore, Queen Elinor does her best to retain her identity during the period of her transformation, not only as a Queen, but also as a mother. She retains her love for her daughter despite all the crazy things that Merida puts her mother through. Furthermore, Merida is the only Disney Princess who does NOT get paired up with a love interest over the course of the film and still isn’t bound to a man by the end of her film. This is what makes her so special, despite her hard-headed nature and other flaws. She doesn’t conform to what is expected of her, but proves that by holding her own and proving her maturity, it is possible for her to make her own dreams come true, without relying on a man to make them happen for her.

Comments

Kate Morgan's picture

I like your take on Brave,

I like your take on Brave, but I still had two problems with the movie as a whole: 1.) The question presented is still about marriage, as opposed to a woman just doing something awesome and being an awesome woman, and makinh choices about her love life if it suits her. 2.) Queen Elinor is still a bear for most of the film. It’s no better than Tiana being a frog for most of hers. Representation and screen time is crucial.

That said, it is still leaps and bounds better than most Disney fare, and I liked how you related to it.

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