It is sung by Tamatoa as he arrogantly flaunts what he believes to be his most beautiful qualities, particularly his shiny shell. Moana kicks off the song as a distraction to buy Maui time to reclaim his fish hook, but Tamatoa eventually discovers this, setting off a battle between the two titans. During the climax of the song, Tamatoa reveals himself to be bioluminescent.
Well, Tamatoa hasn't always been this glam
I was a drab little crab once
Now I know I can be happy as a clam
Because I'm beautiful, baby
Did your granny say listen to your heart?
Be who you are on the inside?
I need three words to tear her argument apart
Your granny lied
I'd rather be shiny
Like a treasure from a sunken pirate wreck
Scrub the deck and make it look
I will sparkle like a wealthy woman's neck
Just a sec
Don't you know
Fish are dumb, dumb, dumb
They chase anything that glitters
Oh, and here they come, come, come
To the brightest thing that glitters
Mmm, fish dinners
I just love free food
And you look like seafood
Well, well, well
Little Maui's having trouble with his look
You little semi-demi-mini-god
Ouch! What a terrible performance
Get the hook! (Get it?)
You don't swing it like you used to, man
Yet I have to give you credit for my start
And your tattoos on the outside
For just like you I made myself a work of art
I'll never hide, I can't, I'm too
Watch me dazzle like a diamond in the rough
Strut my stuff, my stuff is so
Send your armies but they'll never be enough
My shell's too tough, Maui man
You could try, try, try
But you can't expect a demigod
To beat a decapod (look it up)
You will die, die, die
Now it's time for me to take apart
Your aching heart
Far from the ones who abandoned you
Chasing the love of
These humans who made you feel wanted
You tried to be tough
But your armor's just not hard enough
Now it's time to kick your heinie
Ever seen someone so
Soak it in, cause it's the last you'll ever see
C'est la vie mon ami, I'm so
Now I'll eat you so prepare your final plea
Just for me
You'll never be quite as shiny
You wish you were nice and shiny
- Artist David Bowie served as inspiration for the song, specifically in Jemaine's theatrical performance and vocals.
- "C'est la vie, mon ami" is French for "That's life, my friend."
- In the demo version of the song, Tui was the relative that Tamatoa mocked, instead of Gramma Tala.
- Lin-Manuel Miranda jokingly subtitled the song "Sebastian's Revenge," describing it as The Little Mermaid song "Les Poissons" in reverse as the latter song features a human trying to eat a crab, while the former features a crab trying to eat a human.
- The song is referenced in Ralph Breaks the Internet as Moana's casual outfit has the words #SHINY and a picture of Tamatoa on it.
- The song serves as a dark foil for Moana's journey of self-acceptance as it praises outer beauty and even mocks the purpose of Moana's journey.
- Clement, Jemaine (November 12, 2016). ""It was written by @Lin_Manuel and definitely a Bowie influence."" (Tweet). Twitter.
- Snetiker, Marc (January 11, 2017). "10 fun facts about Moana that will make you say ‘Wow, what a fun Moana fact'" (Article). Entertainment Weekly.