Finally, here we are. The last installment. Like the top of any list I put together, sometimes the order here changes, but these remain my favorite songs from musicals pretty consistently.
10. Somewhere — West Side Story
Classic. Hundreds of singers have recorded their own version of this song, take your pick. Here’s one of my favorites. For good measure I’ll also include a link to Babs singing it.
9. You Must Love Me — Evita
Written for the movie and not appearing in the original stage version, “You Must Love Me” is my favorite song from this musical. I sort of got obsessed with it, first thanks to the music, second thanks to a trunk in my aunt’s spare bedroom that had stamps from Italy and Argentina on it. She had all kinds of stories to tell me about both places. By my math, she was down there when all this Eva Perón business was kicking off.
This is a live performance of the song by Lea Salonga, because it is hands down the most beautiful version of the song I’ve ever heard.
Deep in my heart, I’m concealing
Things that I’m longing to say
Scared to confess, what I’m feeling
Frightened you’ll slip away
8. Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again — Phantom of the Opera
7. People Will Say We’re In Love — Oklahoma!
It’s just so sweet. And the reprise whenever Curly proposes to Laurey is wonderful, too.
“Gracious, what’d I wanna marry you fer?”
6. All I Ask of You — Phantom of the Opera
I can almost get past the fact that this is Christine and Raoul singing this and not Christine and the Phantom. Have I mentioned that I hate Raoul?
5. I Dreamed A Dream — Les Miserables
4. Du bist meine Welt (I Was Born to Love You) — Rudolf – Affaire Mayerling
I discovered this musical a few years ago whenever I was trying to find out what happened to a favorite song from another musical (that’s coming up further into this post). In the past I’ve listened to quite a few German operas, but never a modern musical. This one is great. It’s the story of Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria and his affair with Baroness Marie Vetsera. If you aren’t familiar with the story, I suggest reading up on it because the whole thing is pretty interesting. It’s not that these events changed the course of history or anything, but they certainly changed who was directly impacted.
Because I’m kind, I’ve snipped the end of this clip. You can click through and watch the entire thing on Youtube, but I wanted to spare you all the ending.
If German isn’t your idea of a good time, here’s the studio recording (by the same actors) of a…sorta poor English translation of the song. I mean, I know they had to make it rhyme and all that, and the sentiment in this song is nice, but something is missing. And the arrangement is kind of awful.
3. Music of the Night — Phantom of the Opera
Nothing to explain here. I’ve loved this since I was very little and had no idea what any of this story was about. I know…this isn’t Michael Crawford. For a lot of people he is the Phantom. But I think Ramin Karimloo nails this.
2. Vertrau in uns — Rudolf – Affaire Mayerling / Only Love — The Scarlet Pimpernel
This one took quite a journey. I first heard the song on the soundtrack of The Scarlet Pimpernel and later when I saw a stage production of the musical, the song was conspicuously absent. It took a little internet digging, but I found that the song had been removed from the musical so it could be added to another project Frank Wildhorn was working on. Turns out, that was Rudolf. What I’m sharing below is the first version of the song I heard, the original concept version, and then the song in it’s (hopefully) final incarnation. For what it’s worth, I love the English lyrics the most, but the German performance the best.
I see you try to turn away
I hear the words you want to say
I feel how much you need to hide
What’s happening inside you tonight
Come meet my eyes one moment more
Our eyes are different than before
This night, so beautiful and strange
This night begins to change who we are
Don’t turn away, it’s only love
Quietly coming to you, whispering through you
Take my hand — it’s only love
Let it come through you slowly
Don’t be afraid — it’s only love
1. If I Loved You — Carousel
Finally! Here we are. Could you have guessed it? Starting out, I wasn’t sure where this would end up.
Some of the prettiest lyrics ever penned, this song has just the right mix of hope and heartache.
(this is a rough recording, but Mandy Patinkin is my favorite)