Since its release nearly 20 years go, the 1998 version of The Parent Trap has stayed a constant in my list of all-time favorite films. The updated version of the 1961 classic encapsulates everything great about my childhood—Leo DiCaprio, summer camp, and the possibility that girls like myself could pull off nearly unthinkable feats.
While this film truly has it all—talented actors, a great script, and a legendary director—it’s the soundtrack that takes it to the next level for me. Instead of trying to be hip, The Parent Trap soundtrack combines classics with some obscure yet fitting songs—all of which create a musical accompaniment that doesn’t try too hard and ends up being cool anyway. That is why I bring you, in no particular order, a list of the songs from the soundtrack (that were actually played during the film) and why they fit perfectly with each scene:
“L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole
Right away, we can tell The Parent Trap starring Dennis Quaid, Natasha Richardson, and Lindsay Lohan is going to be a first-rate film. This Nat King Cole classic sets the tone early, and that tone is an instant Disney classic.
“The Happy Club” by Bob Geldof
You might think a newer movie like this would try and capitalize on the hot, current music of its respective year of release, but you’d be wrong. The Parent Trap brings out an early 90’s Bob Geldof song, “The Happy Club.” And the jam—in the truest sense—is wonderfully matched to the camp setting with it’s energetic na-na-nas and upbeat melody.
“Soulful Strut” by Young-Holt Unlimited
How could you watch this scene and not want to reenact an awesome BFF handshake with your super-cool butler? This moment needs no lyrical accompaniment—just a jazzy tune that fits perfectly with the quick, bold movements.
“Top of the World” by Shonen Knife
This song is a punk-pop remake of the 1972 Carpenters’ “Top of the World,” and is a delightful update that fits the cool vibe of this film.
“Bad to the Bone” by George Thorogood & The Destroyers
Personally, I’ve always disliked this scene because of what happens when Hallie wins. (Spoiler alert: Annie loses the bet and ends up jumping into the camp lake sans clothing, only to realize that Hallie and her bunkmates have stolen her clothes). That’s some real mean girl stuff there, which is only bolstered by the use of this song. Regardless, it fits with the scene, so props to whomever chose it.
“Do You Believe in Magic” by The Lovin’ Spoonful
Again with the classic tunes! Seriously, so much respect for this soundtrack. There’s something nostalgic, feel good, and truly magical about a musical montage where Hallie and Annie learn about each other’s lives.
“There She Goes” – The La’s
Hallie tours the sights of London in her cab, and it’s one of the greatest music montages in cinematic history. It captures that certain feeling of excitement and enchantment that only happens when you’re traveling somewhere new for the first time.
“Here Comes the Sun” by Bob Khaleel
Hallie meets her mother for the first time, and no other song could do this scene justice than “Here Comes the Sun.” Not only equipped with a great melody, this song channels the genuine excitement that comes along with the anticipation of finally being able to obtain something you’ve always wanted. In this case, Hallie meeting her mother for the first time.
“Never Let You Go” by Jakaranda
Hallie continues her awesome rendezvous with her mother by accompanying her on a fashion photoshoot while this little known but incredible song is playing in the background. Is it just me or did anyone else want to fly to London and rock a pale blue suit while dancing with some random supermodel? Just me? Okay.
“Suite From The Parent Trap” by Alan Silvestri
This instrumental piece appears throughout The Parent Trap, and every time I hear it I well up a little bit. Why? Because it’s the perfect instrumental piece—sentimental, fun, memorable. I can’t explain it, but again, this movie is everything to me, so …
“(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons” by Linda Ronstadt
Nothing says, “rekindle the romance” quite like this classic Linda Ronstadt number, especially when it’s the song that played the night Nick and Elizabeth met. Hallie and Annie did their research, and re-sparked what once was with assistance from this song (as well as Grandfather, Chessie, and Martin.)
“This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole
If you wanted full circle, you’ve got it with this song. Not only is it a tune all about love, but it’s also sung by Nat King Cole’s daughter, Natalie Cole. Also, talk about a great wedding jam.
Which song from The Parent Trap soundtrack is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!