My Favorite “Goodbye” Songs From Musicals

It’s 2017! I still can’t believe it. It seems like a day ago that I was saying goodbye to 2015 and welcoming 2016. But it’s that time of the year again where we bid the old year “Tschüss” and the new one “Wilkommen”. So today, I thought that I would make a list of some of my favorite “goodbye” songs from musicals. These can be just for literally saying goodbye, teaching someone to let go of something or someone, or a song that deals with character death (a bit gloomy for the new year, I know but there are a few that fit this bill that I really, really wanted to include!).

  • “If I Never Knew You” from Pocahontas
    • Pocahontas is nowhere close to being one of my favorite Disney movies. As a history geek, I just can’t get past all of the historical inaccuracies that come along with it. But I love this song for the musical aspect of it. It was actually cut from the movie, but you can find it on YouTube and in the bonus features of newer releases. It’s a beautiful mix between a goodbye/love song.
  • “For Good” from Wicked
    • This song is quite possibly the epitome of the perfect farewell song. It’s a song about two friends parting ways and I love it so much. It moves me to tears every time and I love it so much. This song just really increases my love for both Elphaba and Galinda as characters.
  • “Totenklage / Rudolf, Wo Bist Du?” aus Elisabeth
    • This song is just so heart-wrenching when it’s sung right. I just love it so very much. But oh, it hurts. It hurts so much. And the most amazing thing? It’s just a few words that makes me start bawling. Yes, just a simple “Rudolf, wo bist du?” makes me hunch over with tears. The “Totenklage” part is a harsh farewell from der Tod (Death) to Sisi. And the “Rudolf, Wo Bist Du?” part is a farewell from Sisi to her dead son, Rudolf.
    • QUICK FACT: “Totenklage” means “Death Sentence” and “Rudolf, Wo Bist Du?” means “Rudolf, Where Are You?”. “Rudolf, wo bist du?” is a quick reminder of the song that appears earlier in the musical, “Mama, Wo Bist Du?” (“Mama, Where Are You?”) which is sung by Rudolf when he wants his mother (Sisi) but she does not come. Der Tod (Death) then swoops in to comfort him. “Totenklage” is interesting because, if you really pay attention, it is the point at which Death sentences Sisi to well… death.
  • “So Long, Farewell” from The Sound of Music
    • This song is a “goodbye” song in its most literal meaning. The words are actually said. And it’s a really adorable song. It’s actually one of my favorite moments of The Sound of Music.
  • “Wie Du” aus Elisabeth
    • “Wie Du” means “Like You” in German. It’s a farewell song that is an exchange between Sisi and her father. It’s actually a really sweet song that I really, really love and I think that it’s one of the cutest songs in the whole musical. Sisi talks about how she wants to go with her father on all of his travels and to be like him (hence the title) but she ultimately gets left behind saying that she wants to be just like her father.
    • QUICK FACT: There is a reprise of this song that is a lot darker later on in the musical.
  • “Crimson Kiss” from Lestat
    • Another parent-child goodbye song. This an exchange between Lestat and his mother, Gabrielle. Gabrielle wants to be free and get a taste of what it’s like to be a vampire and live forever. It’s actually a pretty touching song despite the subject and I really like it. I love the general elegance of the tune and Carolee Carmello’s voice is just absolutely perfect.
  • “Fantine’s Death / Come to Me” from Les Misérables
    • I don’t really know how to explain this one but it’s an indefinite goodbye song. It’s a goodbye to Fantine. It’s a goodbye from Fantine to Cosette. And it’s definitely a heartbreaker. “Fantine’s Death” is one of my favorite songs from Les Miz because of its absolute beauty. I love it so much (even though it makes me cry).
  • “Finale” from Les Misérables
    • Another one that makes me cry. This is a goodbye from Jean Valjean to Cosette and Marius (and vice versa). I’ll go ahead and include the reprise of “Do You Hear the People Sing?” too because that one is, I feel a goodbye exchange between the characters of the musical and the audience.
  • “I Can Go The Distance” from Hercules
    • In this one, Hercules says goodbye to his adoptive parents and goodbye to the old life of being teased and laughed at. It’s an inspirational song that I absolutely love. It’s probably one of my favorite Disney songs.
  • “Be Back Soon” from Oliver!
    • This song is so upbeat, cheerful and adorable. The choreography for it is great as well. It’s one of my favorite songs from Oliver! and I’m always constantly singing, whistling, and humming it!


Wishing everyone a happy new year from Seattle! What are some of your favorite goodbye songs?


3 thoughts on “My Favorite “Goodbye” Songs From Musicals

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