So, I think that I’ve made it pretty clear that I love musicals. And that I love the songs from musicals. But I’ve not really talked about lines from musicals that I absolutely love. Just singular lines. So I think that I’ll talk about some of these today! These don’t necessarily have to be sung, they can be said. The only rule is that it can only be one sentence (two sentence if absolutely necessary)!
· “‘Nein’ ist kein antwort für mich!” (“‘No’ is no answer for me!”) from SCHIKANEDER – So… this is a great line. Simple, but it’s good. And I think that it’s the simplicity of it that it is one of the best things about it. Also, it just really well-demonstrates Emanuel’s character. It might also have a little something to do with the way in which Mark Seibert sings the line but… that’s for a different post.
· “Alle tanzten mit dem Tod doch niemand wie Elisabeth.” (“Everyone has danced with Death but no one like Elisabeth”) from ELISABETH – This is one of the first lines I fell in love with from this musical. I love the literal and metaphorical nature of this line and because it’s a line that shows up so early in the show, it’s effective for foreshadowing. And really, for fans of the show, it’s almost a funny line. Even though it is quite serious and carries a whole lot of weight.
· “Ich weinte, ich lachte, war mutlos und hoffte neu doch was ich auch machte mir selbst blieb ich immer treu.” (“I cried, I laughed, was discouraged and renewed my hope but no matter what I stayed true to myself”) from ELISABETH – Seriously, this line though. Actually, all of “Der Schleier Fällt” but…the point of this post is to narrow it down to lines. So, here we are. This line. Amazing. Seriously. I’ll be right back. Need to cry a little.
· “Die Welt sucht vergebens den Sinn meines Lebens denn ich gehör nur mir.” (“The world is searching in vain for the meaning of my life because I belong to me”) from ELISABETH – This line holds a lot of weight to me as a person who loves to study history. And really, it’s just an overall beautiful line. Seriously, I could give this line a thousand “sehr perfekt”’s and a dozen more “ausgezeichnet”’s.
· “So if you care to find me, look to the western sky…” from WICKED – It’s not so much the line itself that is so great but the way that it’s sung with such power is absolutely amazing. People always tell me “Wow! You’re a soprano? That’s like… the dream!” And well… yes. It’s great being a soprano. There are a lot of great songs written for sopranos but that also means that I can’t sing this line. Well… I can’t sing it well. Which is sad. Really.
· “So I won’t betray his trust though people say I must… I’ve got to stay true just as long as he needs me.” from OLIVER! – “As Long as He Needs Me” is one of my favorite songs from OLIVER! though admittedly, it is a song that I didn’t fully grasp as a child. My like for it has grown immensely now that I do understand what it’s about. And I think that this song is one of the greatest songs from musical theatre in general. It expresses so much emotion that it’s impossible to pass up.
· “Why should we bend our backs stupidly paying tax?” from OLIVER! – Okay, I’m not quite sure why I love this line so much. It just always makes me smile. Also, I love to sing it for some reason. “You’ve Got To Pick a Pocket or Two” is one of my favorite songs from musical theatre but if I had to pick just one line from it, it’d have to be this one… I think.
· “Guten Abend, hab vor mir keine Angst!” (“Good evening, don’t be afraid of me”) from TANZ DER VAMPIRE – Okay. So I bet that as you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking “What on earth is so special about this line? It’s just… weird.” And you are absolutely correct. It’s weird. And that’s precisely why I like it. Just the sheer politeness of “Guten Abend” is wonderful. Not feeling it? Okay. Fair enough.
· “Draußen ist Freiheit. Dort, wo der Horizont beginnt, gibt es ein Land, in dem alle Wunder möglich sind.” (“Out there is freedom. Where the horizon begins, there is a country in which all miracles are possible”) from TANZ DER VAMPIRE – I’m pretty sure that I’ve talked about how much I love “Draußen ist Freiheit” (Out There is Freedom) in a number of other posts so I’ll keep it short. This song is absolutely adorable. Sarah and Alfred are adorable.
· “Without me, his world will go on turning; a world that’s full of happiness that I have never known.” from LES MISÉRABLES – Éponine is a great character and I think that this line just explains her whole story and all of her emotions so well in such a simple yet powerful way. And this line gets me every time.
· “Oh my friends, my friends forgive me…” from LES MISÉRABLES – “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” is one of those songs from LES MIZ that I feel doesn’t get enough credit and yet isn’t quite well… underrated. And maybe that’s because people don’t like Marius (usually for completely irrational reasons if I may so myself). But this song is amazing. And seeing this scene played out on stage on Broadway made me bawl my eyes out like crazy. Yes, I cry a lot during movies, musicals, books, and other forms of entertainment and storytelling but this was something different.
· “Is your life just one more lie?” from LES MISÉRABLES – I’ve never really understood why Grantaire is some people’s favorite barricade boy. I mean, it’s totally cool if you do, but I just never really saw the appeal in him. Still don’t quite see it. But this line from Grantaire is pretty moving.
· “It is either Valjean or Javert.” from LES MISÉRABLES – I’m a pretty big Javert fan. I think that he’s one of the most interesting characters in LES MIZ and well, I don’t see him as a villain (he’s an antagonist, definitely, but a villain?). And while it did take a long time for me to truly grow to like Javert, I think that it really takes understanding him and well… pitying him to a certain extent to start on that journey towards liking him. And this line helps with that. A lot. This line describes perfectly Javert’s whole ideology and thought process and his reasoning for everything that he does throughout the musical.
· “I am the one who watched while you died…” from NEXT TO NORMAL – I’ll admit that NEXT TO NORMAL is a musical that took me a while to get into. But this line just stuck with me from the moment that I heard it. I’m not sure why but it just did.
· “And I’m still hurting…” from THE LAST FIVE YEARS – When I first watched THE LAST FIVE YEARS, I was not expecting the absolute crying-fest that it turned out to be. And the musical starts with “I’m Still Hurting”, the song that this line comes from! So yes… I was crying from scene one. Yep. No joke. And that’s not to say that this musical is just sad all over the place. It’s not. Believe me, it’s not. But this line just hit me hard the first time that I watched it.
· “If I didn’t believe in you I wouldn’t have loved you at all.” from THE LAST FIVE YEARS – While it’s no secret that I am one of those people who just can’t stand Jamie at times in the musical, it’s this song that makes me feel bad for him as well. Because in his own way, he is trying to make things right. Even if it all goes wrong after that.
· “It wouldn’t do for you to touch or come too close at all…” from A TALE OF TWO CITIES – Do I even need to tell you who sings this line? For those of you who know this story and know Sydney Carton, it’s pretty obvious that this is Sydney. And seriously, this line (and song) just explain Sydney’s “I’m-Not-Good-Enough” complex perfectly.
· “But when I let go, do you promise they’ll be fast?” from A TALE OF TWO CITIES – It might just be the sheer simplicity of this song that makes me love it so much. And it hurts. Goodness’s sake, it hurts. It almost got my tough, “I never cry” friend to cry. That says something. And really, I just love this line. It shows the innocence of the seamstress and makes the audience ache with her and Sydney.
· “I was there but too late—out of sight, out of mind…” from A TALE OF TWO CITIES – Okay, I’m usually not all for flashback scenes in musicals. But “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” is the definite exception to that rule for me. And seriously, it’s such a haunting flashback and one that is done splendidly well. It shows the absolutely horrible lives of the poor prior to and during the French revolution.
· “Home is like a smile you see in a photograph. No matter what you do, it’s not supposed to change.” from WONDERLAND – Okay, so this always tugs at the heartstrings. The simile here is absolutely wonderful. I’m not sure what more I can say but really, this is a wonderful song. And it’s a wonderful line.
· “Ask me to share your fantasies dear but don’t ask me where tomorrow is.” from JEKYLL & HYDE – So… this line is not in the final production of JEKYLL & HYDE but it is in the concept recording. And so it counts… I think. Anyways, this just shows the sorrow that Lucy and her friends feel in the lives that they lead.
· “One sweet chance to prove the cynics wrong!” from JEKYLL & HYDE – And here we get some hopefulness from Lucy. Seriously. “A New Life” is a song that always gets me crying. Nancy just wants to be free. She just wants to live a life in which she can be happy and prove those cynics wrong about her.
· “I’m not the one you should pin your hopes on; you’re falling for the wrong kind of man.” from SUNSET BOULEVARD – Not even sure why I love this line so much but it’s just simple and sweet. And it fits well into the song it’s from. Absolutely beautiful song.
· “Take the hurt out of all the pain…” from SONG AND DANCE – Okay, so it just takes this line to get me crying. Because you know, it’s a line that is loaded with meaning while seemingly not saying much at all. Which is amazing and I always love those sorts of lines.
· “We never said our love was evergreen or as unchanging as the sea.” from THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA – I just love the similes here. “Think of Me” is in general a really beautiful song, but this line is just one of my favorites!
Whew! That was a long list! We’ll end that here. What are some of your favorite lines from musicals? Tschüss!