A Writer's Journey

August 11, 2014

Silly Love Songs: The Musical Theatre Edition

Filed under: journey,writing — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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You have a favorite love song.

Admit it.

We all have one. That one song we listen to when we need to remember love is possible. Or when we are in love. Or need a good cry. (Because some love songs can be sad).

Me? I have a boatload. Maybe it’s from being a hopeless romantic. Or maybe it’s because I love, love, love musical theater. And that genre has a vast amount of love songs. Naturally, I have my favorites. The ones I listen to over and over, especially when writing. The ones that inspire me.

And I’m going to list my top ten!

Don’t worry, this isn’t just a list post. I’ll explain a little bit about the songs. Enjoy!

1. “All I Ask of You” (Phantom of the Opera). This duet is sung between Christine Daae and Raoul de Chagny on the rooftop of the Paris Opera House after a death. I know, very romantic, right? But the lyrics are beautiful—two people who only want love from the other. This is my favorite Broadway duet. You can hear it here, sung by Sierra Boggess and Hadley Fraser during the 25th anniversary production of Phantom of the Opera.

2. “Something to Believe In” (Newsies). Sung during the second act between Jack Kelly and Katherine Plumber, it’s fast become one of my favorites. While there are a couple wonky lyrics, it’s still a beautiful ballad about the power of having someone who supports you. You can hear it here, sung by Jeremy Jordan and Kara Lindsay. (Warning: There is some dialogue in the song that contain a spoiler for the show).

3. “If I Said I Love You” (The Pirate Queen). Lots of duets, I know. But Broadway is full of them. The Pirate Queen’s Broadway life was short, but this is a gorgeous song about love lasting through obstacles and two people repledging that love to each other. You can hear it here, sung by Hadley Fraser and Stephanie J. Block.

4. “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face” (My Fair Lady). At last, a solo! Called “A love song that isn’t a love song,” this song has withstood the test of time. Professor Higgins comes to the realization that he loves Eliza in an ode to the simple, everyday things we fall in love with when we find the right person. You can hear it here, sung by Rex Harrison.

5. “So In Love” (Kiss Me, Kate). Another solo! We’re on a roll, huh? This one comes from Cole Porter’s take on “The Taming of the Shrew.” Lilli sings this about her relationship with Fred, unaware that she got a gift meant for someone else he’s wooing. She tells him how much she loves him, even if their relationship has had its bad moments (they are divorced after all). He does repeat it later when he realizes he wants her back, expressing how much he loves her as well. You can hear it here, sung by Marin Mazzie from the revival.

6. “If Ever I Would Leave You” (Camelot). Yes, Lancelot sings this to Guinevere, who is married to his friend, King Arthur. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t romantic. Lancelot promises Guinevere his everlasting devotion, expressing how difficult it would be to leave her. You can hear it here, sung by Robert Goulet.

7. “Tonight” (West Side Story). As “West Side Story” is a modern musical take on “Romeo and Juliet,” this song is the balcony scene. And it captures how love can transform everything around us, how the mundane can become spectacular. You can hear it here, sung by Larry Kert and Carol Lawrence.

8. “No Matter What” (Whistle Down the Wind). This musical didn’t last long on Broadway, but I love this song from it. It’s about love conquering the doubts and being one sure thing we can rely on. You can hear it here, sung by Boyzone.

9. “As Long As You’re Mine” (Wicked). Performed in the second act, Elphaba and Fiyero finally give in to the attraction building between them since Act I. Of course, she’s a fugitive and he just ditched the most beloved witch in Oz. But you can’t help but root for these two crazy kids to make it. You can hear it here, sung by Idina Menzel and Norbert Leo Butz.

10. “Hey, There” (The Pajama Game). I love this song. Yes, it’s a man trying to talk to himself out of loving a woman but still realizing he can’t stop. For all her faults, he pines for her. You can hear it here, sung by John Raitt.

Those are my top ten love songs from the Great White Way. I’ll try to release my top ten pop love songs soon. Promise.

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