Guten morgen, everyone! So, I’m ridiculously tired this morning. I spent all night editing a paper that I wrote about a revolutionary named Camille Desmoulins. So… I thought that I’d do something relatively easy for today’s blogpost: and that’s a top ten / top five. Top ten favorite musicals and my top five favorite songs from those musicals. Achtung, fertig, los!
· LES MISÉRABLES
o ON MY OWN – Éponine has to be one of my favorite characters from LES MIZ. Her story is wonderful (and heartbreaking) and this song demonstrates that perfectly, I think. It’s crafted so wonderfully that I just can’t help but love this song so much.
o DO YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING – “Do You Hear the People Sing” was the first song from LES MISÉRABLES that I really, really fell in love with and it was the first song to get stuck in my head. I also think that this song just really, really well portrays the student’s dedication to their cause.
o DRINK WITH ME – Personally, I find this song to be one of the saddest from the musical. Especially Grantaire’s part (that unfortunately got cut from the movie). It’s a wonderful song and weirdly enough, I used to put this song on repeat when I’d go to sleep in high school.
o EMPTY CHAIRS AT EMPTY TABLES – Personally, this is one of my absolute favorites. It’s an absolute heartbreaker and through it, Marius’s tragedy becomes abundantly clear. The revival staging of this is utter perfection and I bawled my eyes out. Beautiful, beautiful song.
o FANTINE’S DEATH / COME TO ME – Fantine was and is a character that I loved right from the beginning. She was probably the first character I ever really fell in love with from LES MIZ. Fantine’s caring for Cosette seemingly has no bounds and that becomes very, very clear in this song.
o DER SCHLEIER FÄLLT (The Veil Descends) – This song is actually probably my favorite song. Not just from this musical but in general. I adore this song. It’s bittersweet in so many ways and it’s just beautifully staged. Love, love, love it. Man… I can’t ever get enough of this song. The lyrics are beautiful. Everything about this scene is beautiful. It’s definitely one of the best finales I have ever seen.
o ALLE TANZTEN MIT DEM TOD (Everyone Has Danced With Death) – So, “Der Schleier Fällt” is a finale and “Alle Tanzten Mit dem Tod” is an opener. And a really, really good one. Now, for this one there is absolutely no debate. It is the best opener I have ever seen. Man… it’s awesome. It’s filled with imagery, metaphors, and beautiful riffs. The song’s great. Watching the scene is even better.
o WENN ICH TANZEN WILL (If I Want to Dance) – This song is addictive. Man… I could listen to this song (and the rest of the ELISABETH soundtrack) all day long. Goodness’s sake… I’m pretty sure that this was my first favorite song from this musical and it’s still one of my absolute favorites. It really demonstrates Sisi’s strength and yet it also shows that Death’s stronger than her and will ultimately take her down. But at the same time, it’s a lighthearted type of song. It’s also weighty though. Somehow, this song mixes everything together to make one masterpiece. Love it. And guess what? More puppet imagery! I’m a tad obsessed. Also… in this scene, Sisi is literally dancing with Death. Man… it’s awesome. Imagery and metaphors all over the place.
o SCHWARZER PRINZ (Dark Prince) – I don’t think that I truly appreciated how absolutely wonderfully cute this song is until more recently. But man… it’s cute. And ELISABETH is not a cute musical. It’s beautiful, stunning, and absolutely gorgeous but “cute” is not a word that I’d really ascribe to it. But this song… it’s cute. And who’d have thought that a song sung back and forth between Sisi and Death himself could be cute? Well… here’s your proof. Man, I might swoon out of the cuteness of this…
o DIE SCHATTEN WERDEN LÄNGER (The Shadows Grow Longer) – Okay. Let’s switch it up a bit. So far, the songs that I’ve picked for ELISABETH have all been cute, beautiful, or just drop dead entrancing (maybe all at once). But here we’ve got creepy. Creepy, creepy, creepy. You know… a song in which the personification of Death is convincing the crown prince to commit suicide… it’s horrifying. The staging even more so. Man… watching Death drag Rudolf around the stage is wonderfully well done but it’s scary. But this song is absolutely addictive and one that I could sing along to all day.
· TANZ DER VAMPIRE
o EINLADUNG ZUM BALL (Invitation to the Ball) – This scene is gorgeous on so many levels. The set’s awesome for one thing. It’s absolutely amazing. Love it so much. The way that Count Krolock starts out on the roof and just appears actually inside the house in a matter of minutes is absolutely amazing and I love it. Also, his cape. Man, his cape. Also… this song can be kind of hilarious. I mean… the first thing Krolock says is “Guten abend hab’ vor mir keine angst” (“Good evening, don’t be afraid of me”). And… he just appeared out of nowhere. So he says “good evening” like it’s absolutely nothing and then hastily says “Don’t be afraid.” Because… you really, really shouldn’t be. (You should be afraid. I was being sarcastic.)
o DRAUßEN IST FREIHEIT (Out There is Freedom) – Wait… a cute song from a musical about bloodthirsty vampires out on the prowl, killing people? Huh. Well… “Draußen ist Freiheit” is the definition of cute and so are Alfred and Sarah. Man… I love this song. It’s adorable.
o TOTALE FINSTERNIS (Total Darkness) – We’ve got “Totale Finsternis” now, huh? And this is a song that’s practically hypnotizing (it’s supposed to be that way). And it gets stuck in your head… man… it really, really does. Also, it’s got a beautiful examples of cute German nicknames: “sternkind” (“star child”). Also, again, Krolock’s cape is beautiful. And Sarah’s red dress? Stunning. Seriously. The costumes are amazing.
o KOBLAUCH (Garlic) – Wait… a song about garlic? Yep. It’s a musical about vampires that regularly pick people out of a nearby town in Transylvania and kill them. So naturally, these people have garlic with them at all times. And I just love the Professor and Alfred’s immediate joy at the fact that they’ve found out that they’ve gotten a lead on the vampires. And when they bring it up, the townspeople are quick to deny. But it’s just a really great ensemble piece.
o NIE GESHEN (Never Seen) – Another cute song brought to the world by Alfred and Sarah. This song is the song that’s sung right after they first meet. And granted, their first meeting is pretty weird, but this song is so cute that you kind of overlook how weird their first meeting was. Also, the melody for this is on point.
o TANZ DURCH DIE WELT (Dancing Through Life) – So… you may be wondering: “But Celeste, all of the other songs from WICKED that you have listed are listed by their English titles? Why is this one in German?” And that is a very, very good question. So I’ll answer that for you! I first was introduced to WICKED through the German version. And funnily enough, “Tanz durch die Welt” was the first one that I came across. So… it’s special to me for sentimental reasons. Anyways, this scene is so fun to watch because of the whimsical dance and just overall happy air to it.
o FOR GOOD – This song is absolutely wonderful. It’s packed with emotion and I think that it’s one of the best songs from the musical. I feel tempted to cry every time I just listen to it so you can imagine the mess that I am when I actually watch the scene.
o DEFYING GRAVITY – I think that this is a favorite amongst musical theatre fans in general and it’s not hard to understand why. It’s an awesome ending to Act I and it’s just packed with feeling and character and plot development. Man, I love this song. I really, really love it. A lot.
o WONDERFUL – There’s something so catchy about this song. My younger sister hates when I put this song on repeat (something that I do pretty often). But man, I just love this song for some reason. It’s not a particularly beautiful song but it’s just… fun.
o NO ONE MOURNS THE WICKED – While the opening to WICKED is not my favorite musical theatre opener (that award has to go to ELISABETH), I still absolutely love it. Man, it’s packed with great costumes and seriously, I love it when Glinda enters the scene and I love her parts of the song. Man… it’s just a beautiful scene.
· THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
o ALL I ASK OF YOU – So, I think that at this point, it’s pretty obvious that I like Raoul and Christine together. And maybe that’s why I love this song so much? But… I love anything sweet. And this song is definitely sweet. This might be my favorite scene from the musical, actually.
o MUSIC OF THE NIGHT – “Music of the Night” was probably my first favorite song from PHANTOM just because of its alluring, hypnotizing feel to it. Now, though, it’s not my absolute favorite from this musical because I’ve grown picky over the years and now I only really, really like this song when it’s sung by certain actors.
o WISHING YOU WERE SOMEHOW HERE AGAIN – This song is packed with feeling. It’s actually my dad’s favorite song from the musical. It’s a song that I think anyone can relate to (after they’ve passed a certain age). Also, the costumes are beautiful in this scene. It’s easy to feel Christine’s grief and fear.
o THINK OF ME – “Think of Me” was the song that told me that I was going to fall in love with PHANTOM. It’s just a really, really great song. The lyrics are beautiful, the tune is beautiful, the message is great… I just love everything about it.
o DOWN ONCE MORE / TRACK DOWN THIS MURDERER – This, the finale of PHANTOM, is pretty drop dead great. First, the set is beautiful. The costumes are beautiful. The lyrics are beautiful. And man, it’s intense. Super duper intense. And I love it. A lot.
· STARLIGHT EXPRESS
o A LOTTA LOCOMOTION – I’m still obsessed with this song after all these years. Man… I think it must’ve been this scene that made me really want to play either Pearl or Dinah when I was younger (it’s still a secret dream of mine). This is just such a fun scene and I absolutely love it.
o STARLIGHT EXPRESS – From STARLIGHT, “Starlight Express” was the first song that I was introduced to and I fell in love. Personally, I like the German version better (same title), especially when it’s sung by Kevin Köhler (he’s my favorite Rusty).
o NEXT TIME YOU FALL IN LOVE – So this song is fun. In this scene, Rusty and Pearl are finally together and it just warms my heart. And it’s so fun to see them skating around together. Ah… the cute vibes!
o MAKE UP MY HEART – This is a slightly more recent obsession of mine. But man… this song is great. It really shows Pearl’s struggle in determining whether or not she has feelings for Rusty. It just makes you want to scream “Of course you love him! What’re you waiting for? Go find him!” Okay… maybe that’s just me.
o CALL ME RUSTY – Unfortunately, I don’t think that this song is technically a part of STARLIGHT EXPRESS anymore. But it really show how much Rusty is bullied by the other engines and you just feel really bad for him. But it’s really great because you get to see his strength and also his friendship with Peal, Dinah, Buffy, and Ashley.
· THE LAST FIVE YEARS
o SUMMER IN OHIO – “Summer in Ohio” is great because it really shows how hard Cathy works but at the same time, it shows how much she hates the fact that her career is seemingly going nowhere. It also shows just how devoted she is to Jamie and how excited she is to see him and I think it’s absolutely adorable.
o THE SCHMUEL SONG – Cute songs are hard to come by in THE LAST FIVE YEARS because it’s a musical about a failed relationships. But there are definitely some cute moments and this is one of them. It’s absolutely wonderful to see how much effort Jamie put into cheering Cathy up and just how much he believes in her. And that perfectly segways into my next point…
o IF I DIDN’T BELIEVE IN YOU – “If I Didn’t Believe in You” brings in a rare moment in which I feel sorry for Jamie. Now, I’m not saying that Cathy didn’t have her faults in their relationship. But Jamie went and broke it all of the way irreparably. But in this song, Jamie’s trying… really, really trying. And it’s kind of sad to see that Cathy just can’t take all of this pain anymore.
o I’M STILL HURTING – “I’m Still Hurting” is the opening song of THE LAST FIVE YEARS and man, it hurts. Cathy, please don’t make us hurt with you first thing! I’m just kidding… it’s a great opener and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Even if it hurts like crazy.
o GOODBYE UNTIL TOMORROW / I COULD NEVER RESCUE YOU – And here, we have the finale of THE LAST FIVE YEARS. And so we’ve got Cathy seeing the end of their first date and Jamie seeing himself reflecting the divorce. And man… it hurts but at the same time, it makes you happy. It’s just so bittersweet. The movie did a great job at portraying this scene, I think.
· A TALE OF TWO CITIES
o FINALE / I CAN’T RECALL – This scene almost made my friend who never cries cry. That’s the best way for me to describe this scene. It’ll make you cry. Man, it hurts. It hurts like crazy.
o REFLECTION – “Reflection” is the perfect demonstration of who Sydney Carton is as a person and his overall mentality. I think that fans of the book will listen to this song and say “Goodness’s sake… that’s Sydney.” It’s that good.
o THE TALE – “The Tale” is a song that I love because it’s a wonderful use of flashback in a musical. It’s really, really well done. Madame Defarge is not one of those characters that people get warm feelings about. But this song really adds some humanity to her.
o IF DREAMS CAME TRUE / WEDDING – Another super well done “Ah, this is definitely Sydney” moment. Really. I never cease to be amazed at how well the creators of this musical were able to capture Sydney Carton’s character.
o NEVER SAY GOODBYE – “Never Say Goodbye” is a pretty heartbreaking song. Actually… I’m just noticing that all of the songs I have listed for this musical are heartbreaking…. Man, this is a sad musical. Really, really sad. But really, really good.
o REVIEWING THE SITUATION – Ron Moody sings this song phenomenally. Man, I could rave about his performance for the rest of my life and I wouldn’t have said enough. This scene is so wonderfully done and so is the song. Man, I need to listen to this again.
o YOU’VE GOT TO PICK A POCKET OR TWO – This song has been a favorite of mine since around the time I was five. Yikes… that seems like such a short time ago but it’s really been over then years… whew… anyways, this song is great. It’s kinda funny but at the same time, it’s dreadfully serious. It’s also alarming. And I’m horrible at describing things.
o AS LONG AS HE NEEDS ME – In many ways this song parallels to LES MISÉRABLES’s “On My Own” and I thoroughly believe that Nancy parallels to Éponine. This is a song that I never really understood as a kid but now it’s one of my absolute favorites.
o BE BACK SOON – This is a really great finale of Act I and I absolutely adore it. Man, I don’t know why this wasn’t one of my favorites when I was a kid. But it definitely is now. I just love it.
o FINE LIFE – “Fine Life” is a song that I remember loving from a really young age. It’s a beautiful, beautiful song and it’s so vivacious. I think that it really demonstrates how vivacious Nancy is. And it puts a heavy façade on everything that Nancy lives with.
· BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
o IF I CAN’T LOVE HER – I’ll admit that my love for the movie version of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was greatly diminished when I saw the stage version and heard this song. This song is absolutely beautiful and it’s one that I’ll never, ever tire of. It’s perfect in so many ways and I love it to death.
o HOME – Another song that I am absolutely devastated is not in the movie is “Home”. Actually, who am I kidding? I’m devastated that all of the songs on this list are not in the movie. I’m hoping that the new live action remake will have at least a few of these…. “Home” just really well portrays Belle’s feelings about being a prisoner in the castle and it’s just packed with emotion.
o CHANGE IN ME – I love this song and really… it’s not recognized enough for what it is, I think. It’s a really, really touching song that Belle sings after she gets back home when the Beast lets her go to find her dad. I love it so much.
o NO MATTER WHAT – “No Matter What” is a super duper cute song that just isn’t in the movie either. And it’s a song sung by Belle and her dad. I’m always in love with songs that involve parents with their children and this is a perfect example of that. It kind of reminds me of “Wie Du” (“Like You”) from ELISABETH for some reason.
o END DUET / TRANSFORMATION – So… the transformation part of this song is in the movie. But the end duet is not and it’s a shame. Because it’s wonderful. That’s all that I can really say without making this explanation / description really, really confusing and poorly done.
Wow… this post turned out to be longer and a lot more time consuming to write than I was anticipating… I guess that this has fifty songs on it, huh? Well… hopefully this was kind of interesting. Anyways, what are some of your favorite musicals and favorite songs from those musicals? Did you find any of your favorites on this list? Tschüss!