My Favorite Villain / Antagonist / Anti-Hero Songs From Musicals

Villain songs are some of my favorites in musical theatre. Just a quick note though, that when I say “villain”, I really just mean the antagonist because not all antagonists are villains (and I suppose that the vice versa could be true as well).

· YOU’VE GOT TO PICK A POCKET OR TWO from OLIVER! – Yeah, this one is one from my childhood! Fagin is easily one of my favorite villains from a musical and I think that that might be due to the fact that he’s a great deal more comical than most villains. This is only the first of Fagin’s songs to appear on this list so… brace yourself! But I think that this song is a solid, good, classic villain song and it’s one that I absolutely adore.

· REVIEWING THE SITUATION from OLIVER! – I will limit the Fagin songs to these two. But goodness’s sakes… this song is so good. It’s one of my favorites from the musical and I just want to listen to it all day long because I love it so much…. This one’s great because it really shows the type of villain that Fagin is (especially in the musical; book Fagin is a little bit different). This is also one of my favorite scenes to watch from the movie. Ron Moody (who plays Fagin in the movie) is absolutely wonderful in this song (and the whole movie if I’m going to be 100% honest).

· STARS from LES MISÉRABLES – So, here we are. Javert. An antagonist who isn’t a villain. And he’s probably in my top 5 favorite characters from LES MIZ, actually. I just think that he’s so interesting and I think that his whole moral conflict is really interesting. Here, he’s super sure of himself and then in…

· JAVERT’S SOLILOQUY / SUICIDE from LES MISÉRABLES – Yeah. At this point, he doesn’t see any point in living anymore. After all, to him, if Jean Valjean’s right, then everything that he has believed and stood by is well… wrong. And it’s too much for him to live with.

· DER LETZTE TANZ (The Last Dance) from ELISABETH – So… I know that der Tod isn’t the most… villain-esque character, nor is he an antagonist really (though he kind of is, but I’d say that Luchini is actually the villain of ELISABETH). More than anything, I’d say that he’s an anti-hero. And I think that this song really illustrates that.

· DIE SCHATTEN WERDEN LÄNGER [Reprise] (The Shadows Grow Longer) from ELISABETH – So apparently, the trend seems to be that I name two songs for every villain / antagonist / anti-hero on this list. And well, truth be told, I’d like to include so many more than two for der Tod but limits are going to hold me from that and that’s a good thing. “Die Schatten Werden Länger” is one powerhouse of a song. That’s all that I can really say about that.

· EINLADUNG ZUM BALL (Invitation to the Ball) from TANZ DER VAMPIRE – I don’t think that Krolock is a villain… well… maybe but he’s not a villain in the typical sense of the word. I’ll go ahead and say that he’s an anti-hero. I think that that’s the best way to describe him. But this song is awesome. Seriously.

· WONDERFUL from WICKED – Here, we’ve got a solid antagonist! The wizard is pretty clearly the antagonist of WICKED. But this song really just shows that he’s just a human… a human that has pretty much just succumbed to the human want of pride, etc. And this song is great for looking into his mind.

· ALIVE from JEKYLL & HYDE – This song is sung by Hyde (a definite villain) right after the first transformation from Jekyll to Hyde. And this song is chill-invoking. Yikes. This could quite possibly take the prize for being one of the most awesome musical theatre villain songs ever. Yikes. That’s literally all that I can say.

· CONFRONTATION from JEKYLL & HYDE – So this one is sung by Jekyll and Hyde… but Hyde really takes the reins in this song and he definitely is the one who shines in this song. And seriously. If you think that “Alive” is amazing, then “Confrontation” will completely blow you away. I highly recommend that you listen to the version that is sung by Anthony Warlow.

· ME from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – So, Disney likes funny villains. Gaston’s no exception and seriously, this song is one of the funniest songs that I’ve ever heard a Disney villain sing. And maybe that has something to do with the fact that in this song, Gaston is completely and utterly vain (so… he’s just being Gaston) and Belle’s reaction only makes the whole thing funnier. The video of Earl Carpenter singing this song is one of my absolute favorite things ever.

· MAISON DES LUNES from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – This song, like “Me” was not included in the movie but I hope that both of these songs will be in the new live action movie because these songs are absolutely wonderful. Whereas “Me” is comical, “Maison des Lunes” is anything but comical. In fact, it’s scary and pretty creepy (while still giving some comic relief in the form of Lefou).

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What are some of your favorite villain / antagonist / anti-hero songs from musicals?

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4 thoughts on “My Favorite Villain / Antagonist / Anti-Hero Songs From Musicals

  1. Of the songs that I know from this list, my favorite one is “Stars”. It is such a gorgeous song, but very hard to understand what it is about. This is the song where yo kind of learn just how strictly Javert follows the law and his religion is the law

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      1. Sometimes I still don’t understand some of his actions. He is a bit too obsessive with catching Valjean and sees the world in black and light and just doesn’t understand how someone can change. He says “once a criminal always a criminal”. Valjean has clearly changed and even Javert cannot see it at all. He learns that he has been wrong his whole life right after Valjean released him. The moment Valjean released him is when Javert began his downfall.

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